Wire Splicing Basics - Hemmings Article & Recommenditon with Video

I have to say that Hemmings has some great Help Topics and thought I might incorporate a few on our Help Topic Page. I thought I would start off with a very basic topic -- Wire Splicing.  I will also include a video with my recommendation - the "Lineman's Splice".

Click on this link for a run down of the basic wire splice methods and a comparison:
Hemmings Daily: Which Wire Splicing Method is Strongest?

If you read through the article you will note that the Lineman's Splice (often called the Western Union Splice) is very strong and provides a lot of contact between the wires and lays flat.   Add some solder and heat shrink to it and you have a nice strong connection and is my splicing method of choice.   If you have to splice wires in a moving or exposed area, or where the wires may be strssed, such as those in the door wire rubber conduit, this is a great splice.  

With that, here is a good YouTube Video illustrating the Lineman's Splice. 

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From my Radio control airplane builds for 20 plus years in the hobby  I do all of the above but i solder the wires before I use the shrink tubing over them 

I myself never saw this done without using solder but very sure that wire joining  wrap will hold up real well the way that much wire length is wrapped carefully 


Tony, did you watch the video? It recommends soldering at about 4:09 in the video to make it stronger. 


 I watched  the video again per your post 

I thought the video was done after he sealed the wiring and did not see the last part were he suggests doing soldering for a stronger bond 

If soldering you need to slide the heat shrink down the wire a bit  more  —away from the joint because the heat from the solder joint will  will travel in the wire and cause the heat shrink to shrink  from the heat and prevent it from moving over the joint when you need to do that 


When doing a lot of the above wiring joints  it is very easy to forget to be sliding the heat shrink down one side of the wires  being joined  first —before you start the  actual wire joining having done many hundreds of this type of wire joining in the past 

Ask me how I know ! 

Also noted in the video.

Tony, The Hemmings article evaluates the added strength with solder. Go to article and scroll down to "Adding Solder for Strength".  It also looks at impedance (Resistance) without and with solder. Did you check out the article?


I did just read that 

Interesting the resistance stays very much the same after soldering 

First time I ever saw the —J hook type wire joint ( very strong connection )  like that one a lot 

Thanks for pointing that out 


Tony, The resistence went down slightly. It did not stay exactly the same for the Lineman's splice after the solder. 

explain how the resistance of a wire went down after he cut and spliced it?  this is impossible, he has a defective meter, so none of this can be trusted.  he needs a Fluke or to change his batteries.

The point of this post was to show the different wire splicing method.  If it helps someone out.. that is fantastic. If someone is looking for more of an indepth and exacting study of the characteristics of electrons across a splice this is probably not it. 

With that said, thinking about the resistance, I can see resistance going down after splice and again after the the solder. The spliced joint potentially makes a "larger pipe" for electrons to flow, and the solder again adds volume (area) for electrons to flow.   

So, like the author of the Hemmings article I decided to do a crude quick test, and clamp two ends of a wire to my multi-tester, get a reading for resistance, and leaving the leads connect exactly the same, cut the wire and do Lineman's splice and note the reading. For me it dropped from 7.3 ohms to 7.2 ohms. Perhaps my meter is defective.. but doubt it as I tested against some 15 and 30 ohm resistors and it was dead on.

Honestly I didn't expect any change.  Perhaps my breathing on it reduced it by 0.1 ohm! LOL  Maybe shortening the wire that 1" or so for the splice made a tad difference. (Yes, the overall wire length is shortened!) I can definitely see solder improving (ie. reducing) impedance vs spliced with no solder. It's more conductive material for the electrons to flow.  I guess it would have been better if the author of the Hemmings article had just left out the simplistic, unscientific resistance test. I do think the illustration & description of the wire splicing techniques was worth sharing.  I also think, the wire splice strength tests, albeit also crude, was spot on from my experience. 

Again, just trying to share ways to splice wire. Maybe someone will get something out of it.

When using the soldering method to make wiring joints the soldering iron is used to shrink the heat shrink material ( not a lighter ) 
A soldering paste Flux. ——must be used first one the wire  joint  —before applying the solder to the joint for the solder to bond properly to the wiring material to get the solder joint done correctly 

I find a Weller  pistol grip electric soldering iron to be the best tool for the job myself 

That SB enough info to give some soldering a try if not having ever tried soldering before on your wiring joints 



I'm a heat gun junkie.. 9 times out of 10 I use the heat gun for heat shrink.  



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