Heat Shrink Tubing without a heat gun?

I just finished modding my SE FightStick (pics to come this weekend) and the cable situation is pretty ugly. I’ve got an MC Cthulhu installed, so there are three cables coming out of the stick (USB, PSX, Cube). First I tried using zip ties to keep the cables together and avoid tangling, but that wasn’t really working well, so I wrapped it all in electrical tape. It’s pretty ugly. I was thinking about possible alternatives and remembered heat shrink tubing, but from what I recall it requires a heat gun (which I don’t have).

So, long story short, is there a cheap and convenient way to use heat shrink tubing without a special heat gun?

A blow dryer should work well. Heat guns are just huge blow dryers.

harbor freight sells heat guns for about $12-15 if you have one near you, otherwise it can be difficult to heat evenly.

I think you’d have to resolder everything if you were going with the heat shrink tubing since you have to pass the wires through the tubes. Give this stuff a shot.

Most people use a hair drier. I use one at work for heat shrink tubing.

you can even use a lighter if you’re careful enough

A hair dryer is definitely the easiest, but I’ve used a lighter in a pinch (not that I’d recommend it, though, if you have other tools at your disposal).

I’ve got a 15 watt soldering iron, a 40 watt soldering iron, and my girlfriend has 5 hairdryers. I’m looking on Radio Shack’s web site and only seeing very small lengths of heat shrink tubing (6 inches maximum); I’ve got about nine feet of cable to cover. Does Radio Shack carry longer lengths in store, or is there another store I can stop at today on my way home and pick up tubing?

use a lighter with care

The typical use of heatshrink tubing is to apply it at intervals instead of the entire bundle.

Also any hardware store worth its salt has heatshrink tubing; RadioShack is not the only option!

Hairdryer is a good sub. Also acehardware would carry tubing


i just turn lower the flame on the lighter.

i almost 90% of the time use a lighter no matter what the application. For me its has better control and is a safer approach if done right.

you dont need a heat gun to shrink some 1/4" heat shrink… thought it might be a good idea to use one with some 2" heat shrink.

the solder iron is another way but usually get uneven results.

any general hardware store should have some but the best heatshrink ive ever used is from
techtron which is sold at Fry’s

you should just braid your cables like hair. line them all up, take the outside one put it in the middle, take left outside cable, put it in the middle, repeat, until you get to the end of the shortest cable. Zip tie that mofo, tie some hookup wire to that zip tie, braid that with the last two cables.

oh the knowledge gained from having a sister.

Hot Damn that’s wrong! (lol)
But yeah hair dryer all the way, cheap and effective :slight_smile:
Be really careful though (I got to close once and ended up with a Hasselhoff style blowout when I was done wiring my stick =D ) (rtdzign-see what you started…)

i have always used a torch lighter.(they use electronic switches and are hotter than hell)

heat guns are good to have but not always as convenient as having a lighter in your pocket.

You think thats wrong? You should see my sister. Try braiding that hair!



Is she riding a motorcycle in those pics?

She looks like kind-of a hippie so I think it’s just one of those double bikes.

It’s not really my sister, It is a joke reference to the Boost Mobile commercial. The girl has 3 ft. long armpit hair brushing the face of the guy in the back seat of the bike. The campaign uses the phrase, “you think this is wrong?”.

sigh guess you had to have seen the commercial. It think it first aired on the Super Bowl.