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Author Topic: Hand Rails - Piano Wire  (Read 4299 times)

sailorboy61

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Hand Rails - Piano Wire
« on: December 09, 2014, 01:25:44 PM »

I have a substantial amout of rail work to complete and I'm thinking of using piano wire instead of brass, partly the cost, and partly the longer lengths available.

I've done a bit of googling and soldering seems to be a workable option observing the cleanliness rules.  Does anyone have first hand experience of this and is there any advice on best method? I will make a wooden jig to achieve some uniformity (I hope), and hold it all in place during the process.

Cheers
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dougal99

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Re: Hand Rails - Piano Wire
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2014, 01:31:29 PM »

Brass wire is available in metre lengths - should be long enough. Otherwise I have one word for you - Rust.

Steel may look good at first buy will eventually rust, of course this could be accepted as natural weathering.
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Brian Roberts

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Re: Hand Rails - Piano Wire
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2014, 01:48:30 PM »

Do as dougal99 suggests and go for brass wire, piano wire is also very hard to bend satisfactorily and worse, it's the very devil to solder. I've been there, got the T shirt etc.

Brian
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Hand Rails - Piano Wire
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2014, 01:55:15 PM »

If you have a coil of brass wire, (which is the cheapest way to buy it), cut off a decent length, put one end in a vice and stretch it. You will then have an even longer perfectly straight length which will be very easy to work with and solder - much better than piano wire.

Colin
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sailorboy61

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Re: Hand Rails - Piano Wire
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2014, 02:02:19 PM »

Thanks all, thats the piano wire option out then......

To come to Colin's option, whats the best way to stretch out a coil into a decent straight length, 1M would be adequet?
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Hand Rails - Piano Wire
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2014, 02:13:50 PM »

Cut off a metre of wire and you will find it will stretch 10% or more when you straighten it so cut off the length you need and stretch that and you will have plenty in hand.

Stretch it too far and you will fall over when it breaks! Try a short length first, you will soon get a feel for it.

Colin
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sailorboy61

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Re: Hand Rails - Piano Wire
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2014, 02:16:16 PM »

Thanks Colin, I can feel some falling over coming on tonight!!
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Paul Swainson

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Re: Hand Rails - Piano Wire
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2014, 02:22:44 PM »

You could also use black fishing line 0.3mm and this will bend without any worries, also will not break the stanchions if court by accident and as it is black you do not have to paint it.   Just another idea.
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sailorboy61

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Re: Hand Rails - Piano Wire
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2014, 02:26:32 PM »

Thanks Paul, I've used stretchy beading nylon previously on larger scale models with great success. On this occasion it's a 1/96 scale model, so I'm not sure whats available stanchion wise in this size that my fat fingers can still deal with!
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Xtian29

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Re: Hand Rails - Piano Wire
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2014, 02:34:06 PM »

As Colin said
Quote
  If you have a coil of brass wire, (which is the cheapest way to buy it), cut off a decent length, put one end in a vice and stretch it. 


Myself I put one end in the vise and the other in che chuck of a drill - turning a little when stretch it make perfect straight length.


Xtian
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Paul Swainson

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Re: Hand Rails - Piano Wire
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2014, 02:46:03 PM »

I am building a 1/96 scale scratch build of HMS Illustrious and the centre island has a few areas along with the full flight deck and spooners to be done with two and three hole stanchions along with the 6  pompom guns and it works great.
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Big Ada

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Re: Hand Rails - Piano Wire
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2014, 04:58:54 PM »

As Colin said

Myself I put one end in the vise and the other in che chuck of a drill - turning a little when stretch it make perfect straight length.


Xtian

That's how the chaps straighten the wire when fitting Suspended Ceilings, the rascals used to attach one end of the wire to the Central Heating Pipes I was installing in Office Blocks,  I was not best pleased!.

Len.
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davidm1945

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Re: Hand Rails - Piano Wire
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2014, 05:55:13 PM »

You could also use black fishing line 0.3mm and this will bend without any worries, also will not break the stanchions if court by accident and as it is black you do not have to paint it.   Just another idea.

Just be aware that fishing line is affected by sunlight and will over a period of time become brittle and break easily. Beading thread is, as far as I have been able to find out, not affected in that way.

Dave
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Geoff

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Re: Hand Rails - Piano Wire
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2015, 01:53:26 PM »

John Haynes does a number of photo etched stanchios in 1/96 scale 3 bar either even spaced or odd spaced (Even spaced for early navy up to about 1918 and merchant ships - odd spaced for post 1918 navy and some earlyies smaller ships) . You need to thread them with 0.5mm brass wire for best effect. This is available at "4D" model suppliers in London priced at about 74/78 pence a piece so the cost is not unreasonable.
 
For complex superstructure shaped I use 0.6mm copper wire as its much more laeable. For long lengths I space them all on a soft piece of balsa, theread them and straigh them them all up then just spray paint, no need to solder as the paint holds everything fine. Some touching up is usually required after fitting but this method woks very well.
 
They are also surprissinly tough as I flattened a whole bunch of them on a model battleship when the model was upside down! Long storey, but they just all straigntened up again.
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Howard Q

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Re: Hand Rails - Piano Wire
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2015, 10:29:57 PM »

Hello.
In the past and I will soon be using the same method, enamel coated copper wire as used in windings on motors, this come in various thickness and on a reel, this is easily obtained from Maplins for a good price, as advised cut a piece approximately the length you need, put one end in a vice and gently pull on the other with a good pair of flat nosed pliers, the wire will stretch and you will feel the snapping point, it will become bar tight but bendible, practice makes this easier,I have used this method on a lot of my models, can also be soldered or glued.
Howard Q
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