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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA

    Default Transformer For Embedding Device

    If I take an old transformer from an O gauge train set, can I use this as an embedding device?

    I'm assuming I can hook up some wired alligator clips to either end of the foundation wire, (wiring deep frames, so both wire ends are on one side,) then turn up the juice to heat the wires. I'll have to test for the best "speed" and time.

    Am I correct in the set up to make this work?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA

    Default Re: Transformer For Embedding Device

    The transformer that Kelley sells for embedding is rated at 12.6 volts and 2 amps. My bet is that you will need approximately similar output from the train set transformer you are proposing to use. What are its ratings?

    And the wires that go from the transformer to the frame wire you are embedding need to be substantially larger in diameter than the frame wire, unless you want to get them hot as well.
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Wausau, WI, USA

    Default Re: Transformer For Embedding Device

    The embedding tool used with the transformer, helps push down the wire while it's heated. Your alligator clips won't do that for you. The tool is easy enough to make yourself. I made mine. I don't use a transformer. I use a small 12 volt battery. When I say small 12 volt I mean like a fish locator, emergency exit sign size. It only takes about 1 - 2 seconds on the switch and the wire melts in.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.

    Default Re: Transformer For Embedding Device

    Do a search for a previous thread. This has been well discussed in the past. I use a float charger, a 12 volt car battery, and 5 tail light bulbs as a ballast resister.

    Crazy Roland

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Troy, OH

    Default Re: Transformer For Embedding Device

    I picked up a transformer from Radio Shack. 12.6V 3A was what they had in stock. You just have to make sure that your transformer is rated for 2A or so.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Crenshaw County, Alabama

    Default Re: Transformer For Embedding Device

    I tried a train/racetrack transformer which resulted in no joy...then I tried a bunch of wall-warts (people will wonder why all those wall-warts don't have plugs on them anymore)...the wall-warts didn't work either. I finally drug out an OLD rusty beat-up trickle-charger (small battery charger). This was simply a charger that had a 6v/12v switch and a 2/8 amp switch on it and nothing works like a dream. Goodwill stores, flea markets, yard sales...good places to find an old trickle charger.

    I use the leads off of an old multi-meter. I don't use the embedding tool mentioned previously, though it does look nice and maybe one day... What I do use are a couple of small pieces of plywood tacked together...the pieces are cut small enough to just fit inside my medium frames. The thickness of this sandwich is great enough so that a when a wired frame is laid down on the sandwhich the frame will be suspended above the countertop and the weight of the frame is resting on the wires.

    I nail in my wedge and foundation (using wedge top bars) and then lay the frame with foundation down on the plywood sandwich with the foundation against the plywood and the wire on top of the foundation. This causes the weight of the frame to press the wires lightly against the foundation. I normally do one wire at a time (2 per frame). As I prepare to contact each end of the wire with the leads I use the palm of each hand to lightly exert downward pressure to get good contact between the wire and foundation. I have one lead pressed against one end of the wire and with the other hand carefully touch the other end...I may touch it a few times to get the "melt" that I'm looking for. I may touch the wire towards the middle with the "moving lead" if I see there's a spot there that didn't embed very good.

    The actual melting of the foundation of the wire takes a little practice and getting use to your individual style and equipment. You can easily cut the wax sheets with this setup so a series of short jabs is better than one longer contact. You'll get the hang of it. It doesn't have to be perfect...just good enough.

    Well, I hope that was clearer than mud.
    Best wishes,
    Last edited by Intheswamp; 03-21-2013 at 08:36 AM.


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