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OT sort of: inline-axial wire stripper

specfab

Titanium
Joined
May 28, 2005
Location
AZ
I am looking for a wire stripper that essentially operates in line with the wire being stripped, so that you clamp down on the insulation and pull straight in line with the wire. Conceptually, it would look like ice-cube tongs. I need to strip some insulation on 14 ga. solid conductor house wiring, where the end of the existing wire was cut off, now down inside an extension box that was installed when I had some stucco applied to the wall where the original box was already mounted and wired. I just can't get enough wire length to get to the wire with normal strippers, and I need to extend the wire to get a new outlet installed in the extension box. I believe I have actually had a wire stripper like I'm thinking of in my hand at some previous (ancient) date, but I don't remember when or where, or if I have ever seen one in a catalog.
 
Never mind -- I found some, they're called "end-type wire strippers", at least by Amazon.
 
Thermal strippers will also work, and require far less force, which may be useful, although one must be careful not to burn anything else.

Thermal strippers are pretty expensive when new, but used ones are available on eBay et al. Not all will do #14 wire.
 
Thanks for the inputs. I ordered a Knipex stripper right after I posted "Never mind...";-). I knew these things existed, and I was picturing in my mind something I had seen in a previous life somewhere, which must have been an antique sort of tool for the purpose.

The Molex and Wago connectors look interesting, and I might have gone that way if I had remembered they existed. Might still do that, if I find that trying to get a wirenut connection on the stub and the new wire is just too much like a half-day project. I'm working on live conductors, so need a little finesse and patience down inside the box.

The Harbor Freight item looks like it would work as well, although I generally stay away from Harbor Freight items that have several moving parts that are sequentially interdependent ....
 
The Molex and Wago connectors look interesting, and I might have gone that way if I had remembered they existed. Might still do that, if I find that trying to get a wirenut connection on the stub and the new wire is just too much like a half-day project. I'm working on live conductors, so need a little finesse and patience down inside the box.

What can also work is a Euro-style barrier terminal strip of a size that will accept a 1.8 mm diameter bare copper wire.

https://www.molex.com/molex/products/part-detail/terminal_blocks/0391001803

Molex part number 391001803, 8.00mm Pitch Beau Eurostyle Two-Screw Terminal Strips, 3 Circuits.

You will need an insulated metric flat-blade screwdriver for live work. Electrical supply houses will know which one.
 
Thanks, Joe Gwinn -- this adds to the possible "ease-of-work" solutions. I'll have to see which connectors may work best once I have the wires stripped.
Regarding the approach to working on live conductors, it's just a matter of convenience to not have to reset "stuff" that is on the same circuit. If it looks doubtful, or way simpler if the power is off, I'll do that, but I usually do simple repairs with caution and a known risk. Nitrile gloves usually give OK protection for standard 115V work. I don't generally work on 220 split or 3-phase without de-powering.
 
"usually give OK protection".............. Oooooh, yeah.

Not that I actually endorse the idea of nitrile gloves *..... but the smart money here is on longish insulating gloves (what you hope the nitrile is), with shorter leather gloves over them for protection (could be another material).

official "hot work" gloves were done that way, with covering gloves to take the wear. And since gloves are susceptible to developing pinholes, they would be tested at their insulating value periodically, when dipped in a conductive bath (like salt water).

By the way, the end-operating strippers come in bad and decent types. The bad ones are just a pair of knife edges that close down, cutting the insulation on each side, and hopefully not nicking the wire as you pull.

The good ones have sized openings for 2 or 3 sizes of wire, so that they will be less likely to nick the wire.

* You can get decent gloves with a voltage rating. IIRC Home Depot used to carry them, and I believe McMaster does. They are thicker than the nitrile, and are double layer. The cover gloves are still a good idea.
 
Probably have a fire extingisher standing by as well. Photos of the aftermath appreciated. On very RARE occasions electricians leave a *teeny* bit of slack in the wire outside the box - you have slacked the clamp screw and tugged on the line?
 
Thanks, Joe Gwinn -- this adds to the possible "ease-of-work" solutions. I'll have to see which connectors may work best once I have the wires stripped.
That's good.

Regarding the approach to working on live conductors, it's just a matter of convenience to not have to reset "stuff" that is on the same circuit. If it looks doubtful, or way simpler if the power is off, I'll do that, but I usually do simple repairs with caution and a known risk. Nitrile gloves usually give OK protection for standard 115V work. I don't generally work on 220 split or 3-phase without de-powering.

In such a restricted and fiddly location, I'd be terrified to work live. Slips are too hard to avoid.

Careful = slow. It's probably faster overall to shut power off and then go around resetting everything. Certainly less stressful.
 
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