Re: guitar strings


As a musician I've used many retired guitar strings on models, .008" mostly on standard grab irons since they are much tougher than brass of the same thickness. E Strings (smallest on most guitars) come in .008, .009, .010, 011 and .012 to fill most grab iron needs, and thicker on B and G strings for brake pipe and other grabs and pipes. Guitar strings stay straight and generally don't stay sagged with most handling.

Some warnings: Short lengths do not bend easily, so use pliers. Guitars strings are steel, so they can rust if conditions are right for it. Certain sections of used strings may have matter (sweat, finger grease, oxidation) on them that may not take paint, so clean them before bending and cutting. Bronze strings have steel cores, as do the wrapped or wound strings. The best long-term fastening in drilled holes I've found is with epoxy, and it's best to drill all the way through so the guitar string can protrude and the epoxy can form a rivethead. Some of my models are more than 20 years old and I've never lost a grab iron in epoxy, and I have with ACC. Most importantly, guitar strings make deep holes in your fingertips without warning. Those on blood thinners or prone to infection should use something else.

....Mike Del Vecchio

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tue, Mar 20, 2012 2:00 pm
Subject: Re: [STMFC] guitar strings

As is, the guitar string make nice lagged piping.
Chuck Hladik

In a message dated 3/20/2012 12:38:26 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
albyrno@... writes:

Another source for music wire is guitar strings,they are sold by
diameter,if you know someone who plays guitar ask them for the old strings next time
they change them or go to a music store and tell them what size wire your
looking for and get it there.Strings straighten out when you remove coiled
spring from envelope.

From: randy arnold <_61mkii@... (mailto:61mkii@...) >
To: _STMFC@... (mailto:STMFC@...)
Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 2:22 AM
Subject: Re: [STMFC] bending brass grab irons

You might try .008" music wire from Small Part Inc, it holds paint better
than brass and should not break.


On Tue, Mar 20, 2012 at 2:50 AM, Anthony Thompson <
_thompson@... (mailto:thompson@...) > wrote:


Rob Kirkham wrote:
I'm working on a Speedwitch model of an Erie 70000 series boxcar.
The ladders have relatively shorter rungs, so I am bending my own
(about scale 16" length). Using DA .008" brass wire, I find some of
them break at the bends as a result of metal fatigue.
No, they're being deformed beyond their limited capacity. One
bend isn't fatigue.

While I can bend plenty, so will eventually get enough for the
model, I'm wondering if heating the brass wire before bending will
do anything to make it take the bend with less brittleness?
If it's ordinary brass, yes, softening it will work. Our brass
wire is cold drawn, consuming most of its capacity for further
deformation (which is why it breaks upon your bending it). Softening
fixes that. But it will also give you ladder rungs that are easily
bent out of shape (think floral wire). You might be best off to try
bending a slightly larger radius and just throw away the failures.

Tony Thompson
2906 Forest Ave., Berkeley, CA 94705
(510) 540-6538; fax, (510) 540-1937;
e-mail: _thompson@...

Best Regards

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