How to Splice Electrical Wires Like They Did in the Old Days


Splicing electrical wires is the process of joining two or more wires together to extend their length or redirect the flow of electricity. While splicing can be done in several ways with modern tools and connectors, splicing wires like they did in the old days requires more rudimentary materials and techniques. In this article, I'll walk through the step-by-step process of splicing electrical wires the old fashioned way using tape and solder.

Gather the Necessary Materials

To splice wires the old school way, you'll need the following materials:

Strip the Wire Ends

The first step is to strip off about 1 inch of plastic insulation from the ends of the wires using wire strippers. This exposes the metal conductive core of the wires that needs to be joined.

If any plastic insulation remains on the stripped ends, you can carefully scrape it off with a razor blade. The wire ends should be completely clean and bare metal.

Prepare the Wires

With the wire ends stripped, you need to prepare them for soldering by twisting and tinning them:

This coats the wires in solder and minimizes fraying when you go to join them together.

Join and Solder the Wires

With the wire ends tinned and twisted, you can join them together for splicing:

Insulate the Spliced Joint

Once soldered and cooled, you need to insulate the joint:

The spliced joint should be fully encapsulated in tape with no exposed wire.

Tips for Quality Splicing

Follow these tips for creating solid, durable splices when joining wires the old fashioned way:


While more convenient wire connectors exist today, splicing wires manually using solder and tape creates a very solid, long lasting electrical connection. It requires more skill and time compared to modern splicing, but produces a durable joint. Just be sure to insulate any splices properly for safety. With a bit of practice, you can master the technique of splicing wires old school style.