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View Full Version : How to terminate 11Ga wire melter elements?


Jim Rideout
05-03-2012, 10:13 AM
Im building a wire melter using 11ga elements and deploying them much as described in the CraftWeb articles by Richard Huntrods. I'm looking for options for how to bring the tails of those elements out through my furnace wall. The wire is so heavy that creating doubled pigtails and terminating them may be difficult. Does anyone have any proven solutions they would recommend?

Thanks,

Dave Bross
05-03-2012, 10:32 AM
You'll have to double them to get the resistance down enough to not heat up.

I use those clamps electricians use to clamp two wires together to clamp the incoming wire to the element:

http://www.mcmaster.com/#electrical-wire-splices/=hdh0s7

Thomas Chapman
05-03-2012, 10:43 AM
the "split bolt connector"

Rollin Karg
05-03-2012, 06:41 PM
And bend the ends down and away after they exit the passthroughs.

Richard Huntrods
05-03-2012, 08:02 PM
I used the split-bolt connectors. I bent them over double so they would fill the slot better and provide a more solid contact once the bolt was tightened.

Not very good pictures here under the November 16, 2003 heading...

http://tinshack.huntrods.com/tinshack_calgary/construction.html

-R

Dave Bross
05-04-2012, 06:14 AM
There's a smaller version of the split bolt idea that's not a split bolt. Good for hooking to smaller gauge elements.

It's a small piece of brass square tube with a screw threaded through one wall, Inside the square tube is a piece of inverted brass angle ("v" facing down) that rides in a track inside the square tube.
The bolt compresses the piece of angle and the wires overlap each other under the piece of angle. When the bolt is tightened it compresses the two wires between the angle and the opposite inside wall of the square tube.

Complex explanation for a simple device but I couldn't find any pics. They're in every home wiring dept. at Home Depot, Lowes, etc.

Pete VanderLaan
05-04-2012, 08:36 AM
I run them through the walls in heavy walled thermocouple tubing.

Dave Bross
05-04-2012, 10:30 AM
I make the pass through holes big enough to draft some air through. My furnaces are designed to keep the air moving up and out to evacuate the offgassing stuff and my thinking is that you get two for one here in that a little cooling breeze past the connectors is a plus.

Randy Kaltenbach
05-04-2012, 11:56 AM
There's a smaller version of the split bolt idea that's not a split bolt... but I couldn't find any pics. They're in every home wiring dept. at Home Depot, Lowes, etc.There is a whole shwack (quantity = humongous) of electrical connectors at homedepot.com if you navigate to:
Home .. Electrical .. Electrical Tools & Accessories .. Electrical Tape & Wire Connectors .. Wire Connectors
I didn't find exactly what Dave describes, but I'm thinking the non-lug version of this:

Richard Huntrods
05-04-2012, 12:13 PM
Dave describes exactly what I used. They come in several sizes, so you do have to pick the correct one.

http://www.homedepot.ca/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/SearchView?catalogId=10051&storeId=10051&langId=-15&N=0&Ntt=split+bolt&Nty=1&D=split+bolt&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial&Dx=mode+matchallpartial&s=true

Dave Bross
05-04-2012, 05:28 PM
Randy,

Yes! that's it. It does come w/o lug but I've cut the lugs off those when the others were out of stock.

Pete VanderLaan
05-06-2012, 07:55 AM
What Randy is showing is called a buss block. I would recommend that you go get them from an electrical supply house, not home depot. They are made by a company called "Burundy" out of Manchester NH and that company makes lots of stuff. You can get them in Copper or Aluminum. I buy the really big ones for 600MCM wire. I would think that for what you are doing, a buss block for #6 wire would work fine.

The ones in Richard's photo is a split bolt connector, also better purchased from an electrical supply.

Jim Rideout
05-20-2012, 11:28 PM
You guys have given me a number of great solutions. Appreciate it.

Cheyenne Malcolm
05-21-2012, 11:28 AM
You will also want to use a nickle coated copper wire with some insulating properties from split bolt/element to THHN.

Rollin Karg
05-24-2012, 07:53 AM
You will also want to use a nickle coated copper wire with some insulating properties from split bolt/element to THHN.

Thanks Cheyenne, I will try some of this in a couple of areas that are persistent problems.

http://www.amazon.com/High-temperature-wire-AWG-roll/dp/B001ALK97C

Pete VanderLaan
05-24-2012, 09:45 AM
I too thank you Cheyenne. I ordered a roll as well.