Heat shrink and heat guns

tudorsailor

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I am new to using heat shrink. I have found that with an ordinary cigarette lighter, that it is all too easy to char the heat shrink

Is there a portable little heat gun I could buy?
Has anyone successfully converted an old soldering iron into a heat gun? If they have, what blower did they use?
Any other tips would be great

TudorSailor
 

moomba

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If you have mains power, a regular heat gun works fine. Otherwise small gas iron with 'tube' attachment.

+1 just finished of some blue lcds today always use heat shrink and a heat gun no issues , you can buy non mains heat guns as said powered by gas , but defo if near mains use a heat gun
 

grumpy_o_g

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I am new to using heat shrink. I have found that with an ordinary cigarette lighter, that it is all too easy to char the heat shrink

Is there a portable little heat gun I could buy?
Has anyone successfully converted an old soldering iron into a heat gun? If they have, what blower did they use?
Any other tips would be great

TudorSailor


Are you actually charring it or just getting soot on it? As long as there's not too much draft you should be OK with a lighter though it's not the best tool. Just take your time make sure the flame itself doesn't touch the heatshrink . You might get some soot on it but that will mostly wipe off - there's no hurry and you can take as long you want to shrink the stuff. The biggest argument against using a lighter is actually that you might damage the insulation where the heatshrink ends - that's really why I try and avoid using them. I use a gas blow-torch that is part of a gas soldering iron kit (cost about £20 or 30 or so I think) but actually aim the flame just to one side of the shrink and bring it slowly closer until I see the heatshrink shrinking then move it slightly away and back again moving it along and around the tube but any any closer until it's fully shrunk. Just occasionally I'll find it won't shrink fully so I move the flame a little nearer. The other trick is to get a few bits of heat-resistant board or similar that you can use to shield other cables and stuff in the vicinity.

A cook's blow torch would probably work too but, if it's anything like mine, it's not a very pinpoint flame and you've a good chance of incinerating a few cables nearby even with a shield.

This is similar to the thing I have (I think mine came from Lidl or Aldi) albeit probably slightly more upmarket.

https://cpc.farnell.com/iroda/pro-7..._0EV4GfjIP7ZFeZzE02VjCCAHW8GhLiRoCo-IQAvD_BwE

SD0109306-40.jpg
 
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elton

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I am new to using heat shrink. I have found that with an ordinary cigarette lighter, that it is all too easy to char the heat shrink

Is there a portable little heat gun I could buy?
Has anyone successfully converted an old soldering iron into a heat gun? If they have, what blower did they use?
Any other tips would be great

TudorSailor

A heat gun is better, but you can get away with using a cigarette lighted if you just wave it under the heat shrink from a distance, and watch it as it shrinks. It doesn't all need to shrink at once. Gas (cigarette lighter gas) heat guns are available on eg eBay quite cheaply, which also have soldering iron bits; I keep one of those aboard.
 

cmedsailor

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I have found that with an ordinary cigarette lighter, that it is all too easy to char the heat shrink

What a relief. So I am not the only one.....!
I was testing a couple of day ago some new heat shrink connections I got from ebay. With fire it was a complete disaster and I was thinking "what kind of crap have I bought?". Until I used a heat gun.
 

bluerm166

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To use heat shrink to form a neatish protective sleeve of the optimum diameter e.g. to feed over a group of cables emerging thro a sharp hole at the foot of the mast ,rather than as a waterproof isolator,you can pre shrink the sleeve in a saucepan of water heated on the stove.Certainly gives a neat even result on some types of shrink.
 

prv

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Gas soldering irons often come with a "hot air" adapter. It has a catalyst inside that burns the gas without a flame, and blows out a narrow stream (so you can avoid burning nearby stuff) of air at the right temperature for heatshrink.

I also have a dedicated gas heatshrink-shrinker which uses the same principle but doesn't take soldering bits. It actually uses a standard cigarette lighter as the fuel cartridge, so you could insert a series of disposables or use a single refillable one. It ignites by piezo spark when you squeeze the trigger, not using the lighter's flint. Having a dedicated device is more convenient than having to swap the main iron back and forth between soldering and shrinking bits.

Pete
 

gilesfordcrush

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I use the side of my soldering iron, which will almost certainly be close to hand when using heat shrink. It is a mains iron, although I am very keen on a gas one, which would surely perform the same function.

The trick is not to let the shrink get too hot, keep the iron moving.
 
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