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Reconnecting a cut wire

Postby Bungle1 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:51 pm

I have accidentally cut through one of the wires in my new guitar project. Due to the routing and wiring on this I don't want to take out the cable if I can avoid it so is it possible to reconnect the 2 ends of the wire by stripping the plastic and soldering them together? Would I need to sellotape around the connection in case it ends up touching the copper shielding?
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Re: Reconnecting a cut wire

Postby ef37a » Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:16 pm

Bungle1 wrote:I have accidentally cut through one of the wires in my new guitar project. Due to the routing and wiring on this I don't want to take out the cable if I can avoid it so is it possible to reconnect the 2 ends of the wire by stripping the plastic and soldering them together? Would I need to sellotape around the connection in case it ends up touching the copper shielding?
Ugh! Not tape of any kind, it will go sticky and probably fall off anyway in a year's time.

Get your A to Maplins and buy a pack of assorted heatshrink sleeving. Slip a piece about 2x wire diameter over the wire, solder then cover with sleeving and cook gently with a hair dryer or you can shrink it by running a (clean!) solder iron bit over it.

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Re: Reconnecting a cut wire

Postby Exalted Wombat » Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:17 pm

Bungle1 wrote:I have accidentally cut through one of the wires in my new guitar project. Due to the routing and wiring on this I don't want to take out the cable if I can avoid it so is it possible to reconnect the 2 ends of the wire by stripping the plastic and soldering them together? Would I need to sellotape around the connection in case it ends up touching the copper shielding?

You're for real? :-)
Yes, if there's enough slack to allow a little overlap so the wires can be twisted together this will work. Not sellotape though. Preferably heat-shrink sleeving, or electrical tape. Try for a good physical connection before fixing it with solder.
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Re: Reconnecting a cut wire

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:28 pm

Why bungle a project for the sake of ten minutes rewiring, bungle? Yes, you can bodge it... But it will always be a bodge and you'll know it's a bodge. As my old dad used to say, if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing right. Disassemble, pull the cut wire out, run in a new one, and do the job properly... And be more careful next time! ;-)

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Re: Reconnecting a cut wire

Postby ef37a » Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:40 pm

Well, I take exception Hugh at a wire splice and heatshrink being called a bodge!

Often it is the only practical way to do a job. Consider replacing a mains transformer in a hand wired amp? Wireman's original, lacing etc. You are never going to duplicate that so the only way is to cut, splice and shrink, carefully leaving the cosmetics as is.

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Re: Reconnecting a cut wire

Postby Folderol » Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:50 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:Why bungle a project for the sake of ten minutes rewiring, bungle? Yes, you can bodge it... But it will always be a bodge and you'll know it's a bodge. As my old dad used to say, if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing right. Disassemble, pull the cut wire out, run in a new one, and do the job properly... And be more careful next time! ;-)

H
I think you are being rather harsh there. Yes, it's a bodge, but depending on exactly where the wire runs, the O/P might have to remove tightly fitting parts and run the risk of doing more visible damage.

Also, a neat repair in a controlled situation can be very good training for when you have to do something like that out in the field (sometimes literally).

To the O/P I agree with the others that selotape is a no-no, but sometimes if the proper heat-shrink sleeving is not available a way round it is to get a piece of thicker wire, and strip its sleeving off, then use that to slide over the joint.
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Re: Reconnecting a cut wire

Postby zenguitar » Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:13 pm

There's a lot more to design than how something looks. How it is made, maintained, and repaired is just as important. So yes, a splice is an OK solution, but I would recommend replacing the hook-up wire precisely because it is a difficult job. After struggling with it and taking a lot of time, you will remember the lesson and improve future designs with better access. And it will help you remember to take care to avoid accidentally cutting wires in the future too.

Fixing mistakes teaches more effectively than any book.

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Re: Reconnecting a cut wire

Postby ef37a » Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:33 pm

zenguitar wrote:There's a lot more to design than how something looks. How it is made, maintained, and repaired is just as important. So yes, a splice is an OK solution, but I would recommend replacing the hook-up wire precisely because it is a difficult job. After struggling with it and taking a lot of time, you will remember the lesson and improve future designs with better access. And it will help you remember to take care to avoid accidentally cutting wires in the future too.

Fixing mistakes teaches more effectively than any book.

Andy :beamup:
Sorry Andy, I generally agree with you but I have to say I find that just a bit patronising.

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Re: Reconnecting a cut wire

Postby shufflebeat » Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:34 pm

ef37a wrote:
zenguitar wrote:There's a lot more to design than how something looks. How it is made, maintained, and repaired is just as important. So yes, a splice is an OK solution, but I would recommend replacing the hook-up wire precisely because it is a difficult job. After struggling with it and taking a lot of time, you will remember the lesson and improve future designs with better access. And it will help you remember to take care to avoid accidentally cutting wires in the future too.

Fixing mistakes teaches more effectively than any book.

Andy :beamup:
Sorry Andy, I generally agree with you but I have to say I find that just a bit patronising.

Dave.

Seems entirely appropriate to me although I'd be more likely to do the heat shrink sleeve thang. Be warned, OP, the insides of my instruments would cause much raised blood pressure in these pages and I have come to regret short term fixes in the past. Unless there's a very good reason, do it right. Apart from anything else you could end up making more work for yourself in the long run.

As far as repairs go, any kind of tape should only be relied upon to get you through the evening in an emergency.
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Re: Reconnecting a cut wire

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:43 pm

I don't mean to sound harsh, but I stand by my statements. The wire can be mended, of course, and you've already described the best way of doing that. But rejoining a cut wire will always look to anyone else as a quick -- and dare I say cheap -- repair. Yes, it is often the most pragmatic, quickest and most expedient solution, and there have been times when I've made similar repairs when time was money... But it's also lazy and if I were overseeing an apprentice I would insist on a replacement wire... As my trainers previously did with me back in the day ;) If you're going to mend it, mend it right!

The OP said this was a project, so I assume he has built it from scratch. That being the case, it is surely not that difficult to disassemble and rewire as originally intended. Let's face it, we are talking about a guitar here -- it ain't that complicated and were not talking about intricate wiring looms. Yes, it is more work to strip and repair properly, but as Andy says, it focuses the mind and it's much less likely a similar mistake will be made again. Moreover, the end result will be far more satisfying.

Having said all that, if it was my guitar I would curse and swear, strip it down and start again, but I accept that others would be entirely happy to repair the cut wire. Each to their own -- I'm just offering my opinion as you have, and mine is just as valid as yours. The OP can make his own decision and either way the thing will work equally well afterwards. But no Sellotape or electricians tape please ;)

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Re: Reconnecting a cut wire

Postby ef37a » Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:54 pm

The point is Shufflebeat a soldered, heatshrunk joint is NOT a temporary repair. It is stronger and has better insulation properties than the original wire and is also practically fireproof!

Ok, it may not be pretty, but if they had had to make RF kit "pretty" they would never have got radar to bloody work!

I am also not an advocate of the "three time round the bush plus bowline then solder technique". If the tag is clean and the solderer competent, flooding the tag, tinning the wire, heat and pass thru' will last forever.Especially with Pbfree because it "freezes" so quickly. Do the former and THAT you will regret when you need to change that valveholder!

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Re: Reconnecting a cut wire

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:02 pm

ef37a wrote:The point is Shufflebeat a soldered, heatshrunk joint is NOT a temporary repair.

But it is still an obvious repair and not as the original manufacturer intended... And in my terms, that makes it a 'bodge'. :D

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Re: Reconnecting a cut wire

Postby shufflebeat » Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:07 pm

I understand that, and well put. The problem comes when you're an inexperienced worker (no offence but - sellotape?) poking a hot iron into a small cavity where there could be other wires, stripping back and overlapping a wire you've previously not maybe left enough slack for such a job.

Anyway, as I say I would probably have done it that way myself.
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Re: Reconnecting a cut wire

Postby ef37a » Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:12 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
ef37a wrote:The point is Shufflebeat a soldered, heatshrunk joint is NOT a temporary repair.

But it is still an obvious repair and not as the original manufacturer intended... And in my terms, that makes it a 'bodge'. :D

H
Then manufacturers should fit longer wires! I STILL think you are finger wagging.

And what is SO great about OEM builds? I have lost count over a considerable number of years of the amount of "bodging" I have had to do to rescue a bad design or the use of poor materials.

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Re: Reconnecting a cut wire

Postby ef37a » Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:22 pm

shufflebeat wrote:I understand that, and well put. The problem comes when you're an inexperienced worker (no offence but - sellotape?) poking a hot iron into a small cavity where there could be other wires, stripping back and overlapping a wire you've previously not maybe left enough slack for such a job.

Anyway, as I say I would probably have done it that way myself.
If you are working amongst a bundle of other wires it does not take a physics grad' to think of a piece of stout card or coke can to protect those other wires?

Fork! A repair is a repair and most customers want it working, safe and yesterday!

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Re: Reconnecting a cut wire

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:02 am

ef37a wrote: I STILL think you are finger wagging.

You can think what you like Dave. I think I'm suggesting that working to the highest standards is a GOOD THING and should be encouraged. :angel:

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Re: Reconnecting a cut wire

Postby shufflebeat » Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:07 am

ef37a wrote:
..it does not take a physics grad'

You sound like a man who has had very few "oh s**t, I should have seen that coming" moments.

I have accidentally cut through one of the wires in my new guitar project...


Would I need to sellotape around the connection

Me and the OP will be having plenty.
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Re: Reconnecting a cut wire

Postby ef37a » Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:35 am

"You sound like a man who has had very few "oh s**t, I should have seen that coming" moments."

Well, not now no, but I have been "at it" a bloody long time!
When you have 10 calls and more a day to get round to pay the mortgage etc and customers who got more unpleasant with every passing year, you quickly learn that nobody expects EVERY job to be a full strip, clean and check to spec situation and in any case, the deeper you get into a piece of kit the more likely it is that you will cause further damage.

When I am not on a deadline and building things for myself or in the lab I am incredibly OCD*! I search for ages so that all the screws are of the same type. Same with connectors,I hate to see different jack types on kit.I sleeve all wires up to tags. No need but it looks good! But as I say. A repair is just that. So long as it is safe and reliable (often better than original!)I am satisfied...Next job. (tho' I am not a service tech anymore) You want pretty/original? Then pay and wait!
*For example(Jan 13) I would not call the Dave Hill Titan "neat and tidy". Those toroid leads should be dressed and clipped back in my book.



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Re: Reconnecting a cut wire

Postby shufflebeat » Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:47 am

ef37a wrote:So long as it is safe and reliable (often better than original!)I am satisfied...Next job.

Good rule.
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Re: Reconnecting a cut wire

Postby zenguitar » Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:20 am

ef37a wrote: Sorry Andy, I generally agree with you but I have to say I find that just a bit patronising.

Dave.

Yes, and if it is any consolation I agree with you. All I can say in my defence is that I took a LONG time writing that post working hard to try to avoid it sounding patronising whilst still keeping it concise. The underlying problem here is that something that should have been an easy fix isn't, and there is a reason for that. Designing and building guitars is actually a lot more complicated than people like to think. And it is actually very difficult to express that without sounding patronising because people really do believe that making an electric guitar is simple, like 'painting by numbers'.

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Re: Reconnecting a cut wire

Postby Bungle1 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:51 am

Wow I did not realise there were so many worms in this particular can. I'm going to replace the wire; doing a Jazzmaster but with Seymour Duncan P-Rails which have multiple configurations accessed via push/pull pots etc so as you may expect the wiring is pretty 'busy' compared to a straightforward humbucker / volume / tone / pickup selector wiring!!
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Re: Reconnecting a cut wire

Postby IvanSC » Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:47 pm

ef37a wrote:Well, I take exception Hugh at a wire splice and heatshrink being called a bodge!

Often it is the only practical way to do a job. Consider replacing a mains transformer in a hand wired amp? Wireman's original, lacing etc. You are never going to duplicate that so the only way is to cut, splice and shrink, carefully leaving the cosmetics as is.

Dave.


Hah! Wimp!
I rather suspect I have forgotten with the passing aeons, but I used to rework both waxed string and nylon lacing back when I were a lad.
And then along came those nasty plastic locking fasteners....
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Re: Reconnecting a cut wire

Postby ef37a » Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:24 pm

Wimp Ive'?
Maybe, I have done some lacing waaaay back. But my point was that the disturbance is not just to the traff wiring. In the case I am thinking of you have heaters and HT, to from choke and other stuff. The looms are laced in as a sequence and I doubt anyone could strip it all out and then make it look good again.

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Re: Reconnecting a cut wire

Postby Folderol » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:42 pm

Done a bit of that too. I always thought waxed thread was the nicest to work with. It stays where you put it, is unobtrusive and doesn't scrape your knuckles like the rotten cable ties do.

Yes, yes. I know it's supposed to be a fire hazard.
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Re: Reconnecting a cut wire

Postby ef37a » Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:48 pm

Folderol wrote:Done a bit of that too. I always thought waxed thread was the nicest to work with. It stays where you put it, is unobtrusive and doesn't scrape your knuckles like the rotten cable ties do.

Yes, yes. I know it's supposed to be a fire hazard.

Will, mate. You can get a "gun" for cable ties!

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Re: Reconnecting a cut wire

Postby Folderol » Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:48 pm

ef37a wrote:
Folderol wrote:Done a bit of that too. I always thought waxed thread was the nicest to work with. It stays where you put it, is unobtrusive and doesn't scrape your knuckles like the rotten cable ties do.

Yes, yes. I know it's supposed to be a fire hazard.

Will, mate. You can get a "gun" for cable ties!

Dave.
Yes I know, but they still look a fugly mess, and if you have go in there for any reason the sharp edges will still scratch you to pieces (bearing in mind I'm more used to industrial panels than titchy stuff)
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