I know I could buy magnet wire but unfortunately, the availability of magnet wire in my area is close to non-existent.

I'm looking to make 2 transformer coils one of 60 turns AWG10 (5 metre) and one of 10 turns (2 parallel wire AWG10 around 2 metre).

As a test, I made a small electromagnet out of AWG10 as insulation, I used electrical tape to prevent any short, each layer is covered with tape and each turn has some space which prevent wires to touch themselves on the same layer.

This seems to be good enough for a low power electromagnet but I'm wondering if there is a better way to insulate a cooper wire at home considering a lot of current is going to flow in the transformer I'm looking to make.

  • \$\begingroup\$ You mean that you have a lot of bare copper wire? \$\endgroup\$ – pipe Jul 25 '17 at 9:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ Sometimes there is just no substitute to using the right materials. \$\endgroup\$ – PlasmaHH Jul 25 '17 at 9:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just amazed, because some time ago I was searching for plain old bare copper wire, but all I could find was insulated. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong place. \$\endgroup\$ – pipe Jul 25 '17 at 9:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ When you say "transformer" what voltages is it for? \$\endgroup\$ – Transistor Jul 25 '17 at 9:52
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    \$\begingroup\$ Then NO. You can not do this safely. 60 turns is not enough anyway. You risk fire and excessive current. "a lot of current is going to flow". This is not good enough. You need to specify how much (within 10% or so) and then start designing a transformer properly using the right components and wire with an understanding of how to achieve adequate isolation between primary and secondary to withstand periodic surges in voltage which may appear on your supply. Then purchase from a reputable supplier who will supply datasheets with each component. I think you have much to learn. Start studying. \$\endgroup\$ – Transistor Jul 25 '17 at 11:01

The way to have insulated copper wires for magnets is to buy magnet wire. This is insulated with a thin but tough layer of varnish-like insulation. Often it's copper-coloured, and it's easy to think the wire is bare, unless you've met it before.

There is no practical way to try to replicate this with bare wire and household materials like insulation tape (too bulky) or paint or varnish (you'll never get a well-adhered tough even film).

If you don't need much, then unwinding an old transformer (motors less so) can provide a useful source. However, the kinks in the wire from first use can make it impossible to wind neatly, and the insulation film, though tough for a film, is still fragile enough to be damaged by rough handling, so this second-hand wire source is definitely second best.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I thought about it but at the moment the only magnet wire I could salvage are pretty much 30AWG to 36AWG. What about silicon? \$\endgroup\$ – Loïc Faure-Lacroix Jul 25 '17 at 10:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ It depends on how much you value your time, and the reliability of any wire you make. By all means, experiment with different coating materials, and different ways of applying them. The machines that apply the coating in industry are the result of years of development, precise coating rheology, and accurate wire speeds. Let us know how you get on. \$\endgroup\$ – Neil_UK Jul 25 '17 at 13:01

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