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  1. #1
    KillYrTV started this thread.
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    Building semi-automatic small gauge wire stripper

    This is my first electronics project, and I've been working on a semi-automatic small gauge wire stripper, made from scrap as much as possible,
    one motor powered by 9v battery, one by 3v watch battery. I want to feed the small gauge wire into a slot, hit a switch, and have a cleanly slit wire out the other end within seconds. I'm using DC motors, gears and hardware from VCRs, printers, and CDROMS, and I'm starting to pull relay switches and other components from TV boards. Tomorrow I'm going to make a breadboard out of ribbon cable connectors. I'm also trying to work out a gear train that will take the ~20k rpm of the 12v dc motor down to about 60 rpm.
    I need to wire up a relay circuit to start the motor (A) with a signal from a physical push button switch, moving a razor blade cutting down into the insulation of a wire. Then stop the motor when it receives a signal through the blade when it contacts copper wire, while sending a signal to a different motor (B) that feeds the wire past the blade. (The wire is now being stripped, have a drink). A physical switch will send signal to reverse direction of motor A, returning it to its start position (once it gets there, it needs a signal to stop), and same switch will tell motor B to stop.
    Getting current through the wire can be done by manually slicing a bit of the insulation and clipping an alligator clip on the end of the wire connected to another battery. Once motor A detects the current through the blade, motor B will start the feed rollers with enough force to knock the clip off as it hits the housing.
    With extra precision, I think it would be possible to have the blade horizontal/paralell, so you could use the full length of the blade, shifting the cutting surface once it gets dull, or at a timed interval.

    I welcome any advice..I barely know what I'm doing
    Last edited by KillYrTV; 01-01-2016 at 11:47 PM.

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  3. #2
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    wow , this seems like a fun project. I have only a little knowledge on creating circuits to do what you envision. If i may suggest a few things. Maybe try to have the blades on a mechanical spring mechanism. A spring with enough tension could self adjust for different gauges and sheath thicknesses. Maybe also try using a Infrared Diode sensor before and after the cutting mechanism. It could trigger a feed motor once a wire is pushed through and shut off once it exits. I have found these in VCRs, DVD players and some printers. Hope this helps and good luck.

    Last edited by Faceball; 01-02-2016 at 11:52 AM. Reason: added pics

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  5. #3
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    Neat project. Please share procedures and pictures when you are successful. It sounds like something many on the forum would be interested in. Good luck.
    Give back more to this world than we take.

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  7. #4
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    i would suggest using another power source, the energy stored in 9v and watch batteries are not going to be very cost effective.

    a 120vac to DC power supply, a automotive battery with a divider circuit, etc. would be a better source in my opinion.

    that's my two cents.

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  9. #5
    KillYrTV started this thread.
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    9v battery is only going to be used for testing purposes, I plan to upgrade the power supply once the machine is complete.

  10. #6
    KillYrTV started this thread.
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    I saved all the parts from many VCRS and printers, but I didn't bother to remember how to put them back together It wouldn't be as fun if it were easy though. I have buckets full of stripped copper wire, I wonder if I could hot glue it to plywood, and make a ghetto breadboard? The larger scale might help me learn the circuits.

  11. #7
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    Sounds interesting...keep us updated...with pictures.

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    A planetary reducer would be the most compact unit to reduce 20,000 down to 60 RPM,,or you could use a compound pulley system.

    At any rate it wont take you long to figure out that your stripper will not come to fruit using your selection of recycled parts. There are better parts to choose from with heavier duty cycles.



    Last edited by alloy2; 01-03-2016 at 02:18 AM.

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  14. #9
    KillYrTV started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alloy2 View Post

    At any rate it wont take you long to figure out that your stripper will not come to fruit using your selection of recycled parts. There are better parts to choose from with heavier duty cycles.
    I realize that. However, I am excited about the challenge of using parts that I have scrapped. I will also consider parts I find at the flea market or thrift stores. I've already got the RPMs pretty low using 3 or 4 VCR gears and a half dead battery, and I can tweak to my heart's content.
    Last edited by KillYrTV; 01-03-2016 at 09:38 PM.

  15. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by KillYrTV View Post
    I realize that. However, I am excited about the challenge of using parts that I have scrapped. I will also consider parts I find at the flea market or thrift stores. I've already got the RPMs pretty low using 3 or 4 VCR gears and a half dead battery, and I can tweak to my heart's content.
    Good thing your using permanent magnet motors otherwise a half dead battery would quickly burn out a brush style motor. Motor start ups draw more current than when the motor is running.

    You want to build a real wire stripper use one of your larger stepper motors connected to a stepper driver then controlled through your computer.

    Stepper motors have incredible power no matter the RPM is one revolution or a thousand and their easily reveres on demand via the software on your computer.

    You can find schematics online to build your own drivers for the stepper motor,

    You can get the software to run to machine you build here, LinuxCNC

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  17. #11
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    You will find this type of stepper motor in a lot of the type of equipment we scrap, these motors require a circuit called a driver that driver communicates via software with the motor controlling speed and direction forward and reverse

    Stepper motors make 3D printing possible along with a multitude of other automated types or equipment performing repetitious movements or reading from a DXF / DWG file to make a part on a CNC lathe or milling machine.

    Stepper motors also make great wind mill generators.



    The open source Reprap 3D printer, plans freely available on the Internet.

    Last edited by alloy2; 01-04-2016 at 02:38 AM.

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  19. #12
    KillYrTV started this thread.
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    I have 4 stepper motors I've pulled from printers, but since I was in newbie scrap mode, I wasn't careful about it, and I didn't keep track of how they were wired. I didn't scrap them though, so there might be a chance I can still use them. I get play money next month, I'll be sure to get a controller to mess around with.. but I want most of my invention to be made from scrap. An electric egg beater I got the other day seems promising as a wire feed motor.. it's pre-wired with 5 speeds.

  20. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by KillYrTV View Post
    I have 4 stepper motors I've pulled from printers, but since I was in newbie scrap mode, I wasn't careful about it, and I didn't keep track of how they were wired. I didn't scrap them though, so there might be a chance I can still use them. I get play money next month, I'll be sure to get a controller to mess around with.. but I want most of my invention to be made from scrap. An electric egg beater I got the other day seems promising as a wire feed motor.. it's pre-wired with 5 speeds.
    Steppers have infinite speed control.

    As for the wiring there are plenty of schematics available.

    Your egg beater motor probably has carbon brushes running on a copper segmented commutator, this is refereed to as a Universal motor which will operate from both AC and DC current.

    Universal Motors Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_motor


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  22. #14
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    alloy2
    you are truly legendary, great contributions to a noob of electronics such as myself

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  24. #15
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    Just want to add, Alloy2 referred to a web site with his pulley drawing. That web site is The Engineering ToolBox is a great reference for building, designing or just trying to understand just about anything, good work alloy2!

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  26. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigburtchino View Post
    Just want to add, Alloy2 referred to a web site with his pulley drawing. That web site is The Engineering ToolBox is a great reference for building, designing or just trying to understand just about anything, good work alloy2!
    Thanks bigburtchino for pointing this out, and I might add with my level of math skills a great number of my projects would not be possible with out the aid of the various calculators available at the Engineering ToolBox



    Building my 12 inch centrifuge I needed to calculate the proper RPM of the bowel to produce a certain g-force, with out the Engineering ToolBox this would have been an impossible feat for me.
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