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Heat tapes....SUCCESS! for $20

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Heat tapes....SUCCESS! for $20

Postby Chemsolder » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:52 pm

So been trying to research who is selling them what other alternatives etc, trying to do this all on a budget ugh...I made me one bow thinking it was stinking cheaper than buying a bow...well I've spent enough since them to buy at least three really nice bows....Now I NEED heat tapes because the hot box is just too slow...searching through the forums I saw some homemade by tattman...anyone still using those homemade? how are they holding up? Anyone ever make small ones for overlays? If you were doing it today what would you do? Thanks for the help
Last edited by Chemsolder on Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Heat tapes....

Postby Jon in Montana » Mon Feb 17, 2014 3:50 pm

I made some - I've only been testing them lately to make sure everything is right on my math. So far, they work great -- I'm hoping to lay up my first bow with them today or tomorrow.

I haven't made any for overlays yet - but it would be easy to do. I bought a 24v power supply through ebay for about $20 about a year ago. It's just a matter of figuring out the math, which is not too difficult.

One thing I will say - the sewing aspect is a little tricky. I have very good machines and a lot of experience (I basically sew for a living right now with making bow cases) and it took a lot of patience to get it right.

As far as longevity - I'm not sure yet! I don't see there being any issues, though. These should last a lifetime. Even if they don't, I can make a new set for cheap. Even the silicone ones from Binghams wear out.

One more bonus - I'm going to make a set for each of my main forms. They will all run off the same power supply (only one set at a time).
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Re: Heat tapes....

Postby arrowlauncherdj » Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:00 pm

Tattman2 made some for me, work well and come with a regulator that will work way better than the old dimmer switch I had hooked up to my silicone ones that Kirk used to sell. I contacted Kirk to get some more for another form I had and for spare, and he said Rob was making them and worked way better... and that he had stopped selling the Hi-heat brand ones. Rob hooked me up. Havent seen him post in a while, but you oughta PM him and see if he is still in the biz.

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Re: Heat tapes....

Postby jeffhalfrack » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:07 pm

Guys I say contact Tatman you have no idea how much time he has into these he is by far the man to talk to Jeff W
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Re: Heat tapes....

Postby Chemsolder » Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:35 pm

Sent Tattman a PM, but by the looks of it he hasn't been on the forum in a while.
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Re: Heat tapes....

Postby Chemsolder » Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:04 pm

So no response yet from tattman so I ordered some nichrome wire and played with it a bit. Found out you can get it amazingly hot...just hook it to a thermostatic switch and it glows. Gave me an idea melt it into a piece of rubber so I took a bit and gave it a try..Image melted in fine after a bit and was able to cure some smoothon a little too quickly in the process. Now to get a proper rheostat to make it work at a proper temp. This is a short one which after cleaning up will be used for overlays.
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Re: Heat tapes....

Postby Jon in Montana » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:54 am

That's a great idea if it works!

I will mention - I've been playing with these and want to make it clear how important the amp/wattage/volt calcs are for determining how much wire is needed. Better to go with more wire than not enough - you want the heat spread evenly. If you only have 4 or 5 wires, the heat might be too concentrated. I can't quite tell from your pics how many you have.

It also changes with the width, length, etc. I'd be happy to help out as I've made a basic formula that has been working for me. I'm using 1/8" aluminum pressure strips, so I have my heat calc'd at 2 watts per square inch. If the alum. was thinner, the wattage should be dropped a little. Sadly, a little bit of trial and error!

My personal opinion - even if these were a little under-wattage and it took 1.5 hours to cook a bow (instead of 45 min), I'd still be happy. Rather than getting them too hot and boiling glue!
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Re: Heat tapes....

Postby Chemsolder » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:27 pm

Jon that was a small section I melted into a piece of rubber baseboard from a big box store it is a bit over 70" in wire there is a single wire but it runs across the rubber 7times. Was just playing around and glued a couple of scrap boards together using it, just a bit too hot. Tonight I will start prepping to make longer tapes for my form measure wire and do the math to figure out the power requirements. I picked up a rheostat but not sure what size transformer yet. Also thinking 10 runs should be easily doable. With proper layout.
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Re: Heat tapes....

Postby Chemsolder » Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:04 pm

So success!!! I found that the maximum temperature that duct tape is ated to is 200 degrees....hmm I only want to go to 160-180 so I tried it and it works. The oly thing is if your tape is not covered it will overheat in the area it is not covered in, has to do with the ability to transfer the heat away from itself and all that science and math.

What I did is completely unsafe and not for the careless, wreckless, or those without good insurance!

So I took and laid out my nichrome wire 32awg on the duct tape, then put another piece of tape over that but left the ends exposed.

Image

On those exposed ends I put a small piece of brass rod and wired my copper wire to that.then I covered it with duct tape as well. This is not a UL listed tape and is not intended to insulate wires, a job that it must do if you are to go without shocking yourself in this endeavor.

Image

The power source is simply a dimmer switch (the one that only works with halogen and incandescent lights) and a plug. I also incorporated a light so I can tell it is on and the intensity. It is much SAFER to INCLUDE A TRANSFORMER and not wire this up directly as a direct wire means each strip of nichrome is now carrying 110v...not safe but it does heat

Image

So I had everything on my shelves at home but the nichrome and dimmer which together costed less than $20 for enough to make a few long heat strips and several smaller ones. I think I prefer the strip I melted in to the rubber then just added tape over the side the wires are on, but both work.
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Re: Heat tapes....SUCCESS! for $20

Postby Jon in Montana » Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:47 am

Pretty cool. I had thought about duct-tape also, but never actually tried it! I just bought another 250 feet of ni-chrome. Might need to give it a go with duct tape. That would be way easier than sewing....

For power, I bought a 24 volt, 10 amp power supply off ebay for about $20. The only ones I can find now are 6.5 amp - but considering I'm not even pulling 1, that would work just fine!

Nice job!
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