Malcolm H. Houck
In a message dated 3/2/2007 9:58:36 AM Eastern Standard Time,
The Detail Associates wire is hard. If it is bent at a tight right angle it
Quite true.........and the hardness, from package to package is somewhat
uneven. You'll likely find that one wire is harder (or softer) than another. One
will snap, but another may not.
Secondly, any "bend" should be, not with a plier cut dead square across the
jaw and side of the jaw, but with ever so slight a modification to soften and
relieve the hard edge where the bend will be made. A couple of passes with a
stone will do the trick, and then that tool can be kept for its newly
The area where it is to bent should be heated with a butane lighter
momentarily to anneal the wire first.
Try also phosphor bronze wire from Tichy. It is packaged in a variety of
sizes from 0.035 to 0.008. This's much better than hard brass wire, and will not
snap in the same fashion as the brass, when bent. Also, any adjustments to
the bend, and re-bending to make a correction will not work harden the bend
nearly as severely as the hard brass wire.
You still may need to use brass wire from DA, if a longer uninterrupted run
is needed than can be made from the shorter Tichy lengths. The previously
mentioned cautions for hard brass wire apply.
I've used wire in coils in the past, and at least for rolling stock
detailing purposes, the extra headache and unrealized perceived savings in using a
piece clipped from a larger coil often isn't worth the effort.
If you must use coiled wire in order to straighten it first cut your piece
to an approximate length. Then place on a surface harder than the wire, such as
the machined steel or iron table of a machine tool (table saw or band saw),
or a granite surface plate Then place a block of a material softer than the
brass (but still reasonably unforgiving) such as oak or maple on top. Roll
back and forth a surprising few number of times, and the formerly "coiled" wire
will be dead straight.
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