Size of heat shrink most often used in model railroads

ModelRailroadForums.com is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


railBuilderDhd

Active Member
Hey guys,
I was looking at the heat shrink you can find on eBay and wanted to know what sizes user find they need the most. I would rather but 3 or 4 sizes and not a pack of all kinds of sizes. I'm thinking sizes 3/32, 3/64, and 1/16. Maybe 1/8 but would I need that size much?

Love to hear about what you folks use and what you don't use because it's not needed.

Thanks
Dave
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
I would go with the 1/8th inch. That will cover almost any gauge wire you use on the layout whether for track wiring or for accessory wiring and, as is obvious, it will shrink to fit smaller gauges.
 

wombat457

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Good info. Thanks for that but what about the finer wires like those on the locomotive for the decoder or LEDs?

Dave

That becomes a different matter. For such fine wiring you'd need smaller diameter shrink tubing. What that size would be I'll leave to some one more experienced; however, I would think trying to add shrink tubing to decoder wiring could be more trouble than it might be worth?
 

railBuilderDhd

Active Member
That becomes a different matter. For such fine wiring you'd need smaller diameter shrink tubing. What that size would be I'll leave to some one more experienced; however, I would think trying to add shrink tubing to decoder wiring could be more trouble than it might be worth?

I'm more thinking of the LEDs and use for shade you slip over the LED when installing light to keep light from leaking out. Also there may be times to use heat shrink on decoder installs. I just did an old blue box and it may have helped.

Dave
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Most of the LED's we use are 1/8th (3mm) so a bit larger to slip over easier maybe, otherwise 1/8th would be probably the largest you would use on a regular basis, smaller ones for when just covering a joint between small wires (Decoder wires as you mentioned). The less you need to shrink the tubing, the better, less heat to apply for one thing, especially over resistors etc. I get mine from a local electronics parts store in about 36" lengths. Only need about 3 sizes.

I would not cover a whole length of decoder wire though as the shrink tubing becomes somewhat hard and wouldn't bend easily.
 




Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)


ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

Top