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Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by Uncle Daddy, Jun 18, 2018.
What's the best way to deal with this stuff? My ends fray out and look a mess!
Don't strip it. Push back the ends to expose the wire
A small (small !) amount of CA glue can help to avoid that the braid be shred.
Also, a sharp pari of dykes for cutting it is a plus.
I cut them back with a scissor/knife and then burn the frays with a lighter for 1 sec
I've used a small drop of clear lacquer, applied with a toothpick, to prevent fraying. It doesn't stick to the metal part as aggressively as CA glue. Avoid getting any glue on the wire part, or it could interfere with the electrical connection.
I cut the cloth with a razor, then push it back enough to make the connection.
This works for me too.
The "not vintage" but modern way to handle the fraying is to slip a short length of electrical shrink tube over the cloth insulation and push it back. Solder the joint. Go on to the next solder joint and do the same. When all wires are soldered in place, slip the tubes up to the joint and apply heat from a heat gun. Presto neato you're done. It's a clean professional looking solder joint. Not vintage looking though.
I melt/burn the frayed threads with the soldering iron.
Probably not recommended but it's addictive.
All the above answers are correct, IME. I've got a few more.
The drop of lacquer is good, but I find it's even better to let it dry and who has time? So where I have a bunch of wire, I'll spray a whole coil and let it dry before cutting or stripping any. For heaters, you can use clear lacquer on one and brown or black on the other -- aids in maintaining phase.
Then: The wire matters. IMHO the vintage stuff Hoffman sells seems to be the best. Theoretically the cloth-over-PVC stuff should be better, but it's bulky and awkward and somehow hard to strip.
And, if you have really sharp diagonal cutters to cut the wire and jacket cleanly (Hoffman sells some of these too) you can avoid stripping altogether *if* you can take advantage of the push-back feature. There are a few approaches:
Push back say 5 mm, solder down say 2mm of wire, and slide the cloth back 3mm so it doesn't bunch up. Great for pot lugs, socket lugs, and other accessible, visible spots that need just a little wire to solder.
Free the cloth over the length of the wire, slide it say a half inch off one end, cut off the half inch of jacket with sharp scissors, and recenter the cloth jacket to leave two quarter-inch stripped ends.
On long runs, more than several inches, distribute the pushed-back cloth over the length of the run, so it doesn't look like a boa constrictor that swallowed a guinea pig.
And for runs that go under the board, just make sure the guinea pig is out of sight.
Where you must strip (I often do) wire strippers matter *a lot.* I've worked my way up to a pair that are very precise; they don't have a label on them, and I forget where I got 'em. Stripping action: Cut, then twist the strippers while holding them tightly closed, or alternatively, cut, hold, then twist the small length of cloth you're going to strip.
Those two pesky strands of white inner thread? Despite all I've said, I sometimes still get 'em. Yeah, a lighter can burn them back flush with the cut. The trick is to just burn them, not the rest of the cloth. I have a 'Soto pocket torch' that focuses a gas-station lighter into a tight blue flame. Or sometimes a tiny pair of nail scissors (your wife can buy more) are even more precise and tidy. The scissors on a Swiss army penknife aren't bad.
I use these with the "modern" insulated cloth wire with great results!
Here is a pic of my "Twin" clone, only the black is push back wire.
I didn't find any trouble removing the insulation from the modern cloth wire, but I did find it was easy to nick the (solid core) wire. I had a couple break wires on me because I nicked them.
Something like this is what I use and does a clean job on the cloth.
This stuff if great. I’ve used it in my guitars and it is so easy to work with. Definitely going to use it in my Princeton build.
I didn't figure this out until I was soldering my very last wire on a Strat pickguard assembly.
^^^ THIS ^^^
...and once you button up the control plate, you won't notice it!
#2 is a really good trick. You can also use short bits of the cloth to slide over leads of axial caps etc. when they are in iffy places.
It also depends on the wire.
I built an amp with cloth push back wire from Mojotone. It came out great with no fraying. It looked nice! No special techniques or tricks were required.
On my next build, Mojotone was out of yellow so I bought it somewhere else. It frayed a lot. Looked kinda sloppy.
I think the Mojotone wire might've been potted.