This Automated Teflon Wrapping Machine Is Simply Amazing

Need to heatproof some electrical wiring? Then why not build this automated Teflon tape wrapping machine?
Christopher McFadden

If the video player is not working, you can click on this alternative video link.

Did you know that wrapping electrical wire in Teflon makes it considerably more heat resistant? This is great for wiring that needs to be used in very hot environments or come into contact with hot surfaces. 

While you can manually augment your wire with Teflon tape, it might less time-consuming, not to mention more fun, to devise a machine to do this for you. 

Like most projects of this nature, you'll need a few basic tools (listed below) and some other bits and bobs to get the job done. 

We have included links to some of the products in case you need to buy them: 

Main components:

Gear needed:

With all these bits and pieces in hand, it is time to get on with the build.

The first step is to take the plywood and cut down to size, as shown in the video. Belt or rotary sand, or hand sand, the cut edges and round the edges off.

diy telfon tape wrapper wood
Source: Interesting Engineering

Mark out set intervals as also shown in the video. These will be required later on. Next, take the aluminum plate, and cut two pieces to the size shown in the video. Like the wood, also round off the corners.

After that, take the smaller of the two cut aluminum pieces, mark out, and drill a hole to accommodate one of the threaded bolts.

diy teflon wrapper aluminum
Source: Interesting Engineering

After that, take the M10 bolt and place it into your rotary tool. Drill a hole in both ends. You will want to make the bolt completed hollow as the wire to be wrapped will pass through it.

Next machine down the thread end to remove any burs, as shown in the video. This bolt will hold into place the main wrapping arm of the machine. 

diy teflon wrapper bolt
Source: Interesting Engineering

Next, 3D print the parts needed. No plans are provided so you will have to mock them up and experiment to replicate them. You will basically need to design and print the plastic wrapping crank that will do the actual cable wrapping. 

The center of the crank's larger eye will need to be big enough to fit one of the ball bearings snuggly inside. The wire to be wrapped will run through the center of the ball bearing later. 

diy teflon wrapper 3d print
3D printed wrapping crank, Source: Interesting Engineering
diy wrapping machine tape holder
3D printed tape holder, Source: Interesting Engineering

 Trim down and clean up the printed models once complete. 

diy teflon wrapper parts
Some of the main parts at this stage, Source: Interesting Engineering

Take the bolt, a couple of nuts, one ball bearing, the smaller aluminum plate, and the 3D printed handle. The larger drum of the crank will need to be toothed to accommodate the rubber belt. 

Now assemble the main wrapping assembly, as shown in the video.

diy teflon wrapper wrapping assembly
Completed main wrapping assembly, Source: Interesting Engineering

Next, take the rubber belt. Place around the drum of the crank, and mark out the rotating arc when fully taut on the aluminum using a marker pen, or similar.

diy teflon wrapper arc
Source: Interesting Engineering

Mark out the longest point of the crank's turning arc, print off the drilling template shown in the video, and glue into place on the aluminum sheet. 

diy teflon wrapper template
Source: Interesting Engineering

Now drill the holes into the aluminum sheet using the paper template as a guide. You will need a drill hole in each of the holes around the circle's circumference, and the larger central hole. 

These holes are to hold the DC motor in place and allow its main shaft to pass through the aluminum sheet through the larger hole. This motor will turn the main wrapping crank.

diy teflon wrapper motor
Source: Interesting Engineering

Secure into place an appropriately sized pulley to the motor's shaft, as shown in the video. You may need to modify some parts to fit snuggly. 

diy wrapper pulley
The build at this stage. Note the motor, shaft, and pulley, Source: Interesting Engineering

The next stage is to make the motorized wire threading assembly. Cut to size, clean up, and drill holes as shown in the video. 

teflon wrapping machine threading assembly
Threading assembly parts needed, Source: Interesting Engineering

You will need another of the paper templates for this stage too. The creator also machined a metal pulley to attached to the second motor's shaft using a piece of the aluminum rod.

See the video for more details. Assemble as shown in the video. 

teflon wrapper threading assembly
Completed motorized threading assembly, Source: Interesting Engineering
diy teflon wrapper main parts
A closer look at the two main assemblies, so far, Source: Interesting Engineering

Now, grab the plywood board you lovingly crafted earlier. Mark out and drill holes, and use the spade drill head, to attach the previously assembled parts. 

Watch the video for more details. You will also need to cut a suitably sized length of aluminum rod and drill a hole near the top to guide the wire later.

diy teflon wrapper base
Completed base, Source: Interesting Engineering

 Attached main parts as shown in the video to the base. 

diy wrapper base with bits
Source: Interesting Engineering

With most of the mechanical parts sorted, the next stage is to sort out the electronics. See the video for more details on this section. 

Here is the circuit diagram: 

diy wrapper wiring diagram
Source: Interesting Engineering

Now assemble and solder the parts needed, as shown in the instruction video. 

diy teflon wiring circuit board
Completed microcircuitry, Source: Interesting Engineering

Attach the circuit board to the plywood base and wire up the motors and circuit board, as required. The potentiometers will be used to manually control the RPM of the motors so no code is actually needed for this project.

You will need to tinker with these to perfectly sink the two motors prior to threading the wire to be Teflon coated. 

diy telfon wrapper syncing
Source: Interesting Engineering

Next, attach the tape to the previously printed tape holder. Bolt the tape, and holder, to the arm of the 3D printed hand crank assembly. Secure in place using a washer, spring, and an appropriately sized wing nut. 

diy wrapper tape holder
Source: Interesting Engineering

And that is pretty much the DIY Teflon wrapping machine complete. Now grab a length of electrical wire that you want Teflon coated and thread through the machine, ready for wrapping. 

teflon wrapping machine
The complete machine, Source: Interesting Engineering

Now fire up the machine. You may need to further refine the RPM of the motors to ensure successful Teflon tape wrapping on the target wire. 

DIY wrapping machine close up
Close up of the "business end" of the wrapping machine, Source: Interesting Engineering

Now, just fire up the machine, sit back, and enjoy watching your hard work pay off in front of your very eyes. 

The process isn't completely automated, however, as you will need to replenish the tape when it runs out. Apart from that, this is a masterpiece of automation. 

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