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Cheap Magnet Wire from the Junk Box

cheap magnet wire

Cheap magnet wire is just a glance away.

I wanted to use magnet wire to string my receiving frame loop. Since the loop is going to be moved by some micro servo motors, I wanted very light wire. Magnet wire provides two advantages. First, it is a solid wire available in very small diameters, often less than 30 AGW. Second, it uses an thin enamel coating for insulation Where you want to remove the insulation, a few rubs with a fine sandpaper does the trick.

Where to find some cheap magnet wire? A quick check of my local suppliers showed a cost of around $30 for half-pound spool. The spool length varies for 100 feet (18 AWG) to 1600 feet (30 AWG). Only needing around 150 feet for my loop I wondered if I could find some used magnet wire.

After an unsuccessful search on Kijiji, I was looking through my junk box and found a broken bathroom fan. I began to wonder if I could use the broken fan motor as a source of cheap magnet wire?

According to Wikipedia, magnet wire is enameled wire used to wind transformers, motors, inductors and – well anything electromagnetic.

Rescuing Cheap Magnet Wire

So, out came the tools and I began to dismantle (read destroy) the old bathroom fan. The hardest part was removing the coil of wire from the iron core. The core was riveted together rather than bolted. So, I used a nail driver and a hammer to pound out the rivets. And, that was not easy work.

At the end of the process, I had retrieved a spool of around 300 feet of #26 magnet wire. For nothing. Enough for my loop, and also for winding some low power RF transformers and baluns.

As a side benefit, the dismantling also provided a couple of bushings that will find their way into some future project.

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