How to build a scrap wire stripper

Written by matt scheer
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How to build a scrap wire stripper
(Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Harvesting the bare copper wire is a common way to acquire spare materials or make some cash from a scrap yard. Most scrap wire, however, has insulation covering it, since it's used to carry electrical currents and needs a protective coating to prevent fires or shorts. Although its possible to cut small segments of insulation off with a hand held wire stripper, stripping large reels with one would take countless hours. Fortunately, you can make a scrap wire stripper in less than an hour that, although manual, can strip wire much faster than a hand held version.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 2 Wood blocks of at least 1 foot in length
  • 1 Wood block at least 4 feet long
  • Variable Speed Drill
  • Nail
  • Hammer

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  1. 1

    Drill a hole an inch away from the end of the 4 foot long wood block. Drill another hole 6 inches away from the first hole you drilled.

  2. 2

    Hammer a nail into the wood block so that the tip of it sticks perpendicularly through the shaft of the first hole you drilled. The sharp tip of this nail acts as the blade that strips the insulation from the wire.

  3. 3

    Position the other 2 wooden blocks a few feet apart parallel to each other. Place the wooden block with holes over these so that the side that has the holes sticks out beyond one of the perpendicular wooden blocks.

  4. 4

    Thread a spool of scrap wire through the top of the second hole you drilled and then poking up through the hole with the nail. Stand on the wooden block so that the holes are to one side of you. Bend down and pull the end of the wire sticking out of the hole with the nail. Pull hard and continuously so that the nail tip strips the insulation.

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