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Heat Shrink – Duct Tape For Electrical Projects

March 23, 2012

LEDAnother product I frequently use is heat shrink.  Heat shrink is the wonderful product that covers your solder connections so you don’t get any shorts later while also adding strength.  Kind of like duct tape for electrical projects.

Heat shrink comes in a variety of sizes.  I tend to like the 3/32″, 1/8″, 3/16″ sizes as these usually fit the project I am doing.  Most heat shrink also as a 2:1 shrink ratio, although I have seen it come in a 3:1 shrink ratio.   It generally comes in black, white, red, blue although I have see other colors like pink.

Just cut a piece big enough to cover any bare wire and apply heat to shrink it.  When I first started I was using a lighter, then I upgraded to my wife’s hair dryer, but now I have bought a heat shrink gun and love it.

In this photo from my Lucky Panda Fortune Teller project, I had soldered a resistor onto one wire of each LED.  Then I added heat shrink to cover each individual wire.  Then I added another piece of heat shrink to cover both wires.  This prevents any short circuits later and adds strength to the connections.

If you are not sure what sized heat shrink you want, you can always get started with a variety pack.

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