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Piano Wire - Materials & Tools. - More Practical Help - Your Model Railway Club
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 Posted: Fri Dec 14th, 2012 07:56 am
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Bob K
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Hi all

I often hear references to piano wire for operating signals, points etc, but I know nothing about it, where to obtain it and how much it costs. I was wondering if any members have used it and what their experiences might be? Is there one grade/size of wire, or does it vary? Does it bend easily and can it be shaped? I would welcome any comments, in particular examples of it being used.

Thanks

Bob

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 Posted: Fri Dec 14th, 2012 08:00 am
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MaxSouthOz
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Bob, piano wire is a generic term used for high or medium tensile single strand steel wire.  The really thin versions are used for the B and E strings on a guitar, but it is also available in 1/16" which is the usual size found in model shops.  The lower notes have a bronze wire wound around them to increase their mass and so give a lower note.



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 Posted: Fri Dec 14th, 2012 09:58 am
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Chinahand
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Hi Bob,

Have a look here on Page 344 of the Squires catalogue. http://www.squirestools.com/12-19a.pdf

They have a pretty comprehensive selection at reasonable prices.

PIANO WIRE


PIANO WIRE hard piano wire in 36" lengths and various sizes.


CODE TYPE PRICE


KS498 Piano Wire .015"................................................... £0.60


KS499 Piano Wire .020"................................................... £0.60


KS500 Piano Wire .025"................................................... £0.65


KS501 Piano Wire .032"................................................... £0.65


KS497 Piano Wire .039"................................................... £0.75


KS502 Piano Wire .047"................................................... £0.85


KS503 Piano Wire .055"................................................... £0.95


KS504 Piano Wire .062"................................................... £1.05


KS505 Piano Wire .078"................................................... £1.20


KS506 Piano Wire 3/32"................................................... £1.65


KS507 Piano Wire 1/8"..................................................... £1.90


KS508 Piano Wire 5/32"................................................... £2.65


KS509 Piano Wire 3/16"................................................... £3.65


KS510 Piano Wire 7/32"................................................... £5.05


KS511 Piano Wire 1/4"..................................................... £5.85



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Trevor
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 Posted: Fri Dec 14th, 2012 10:22 am
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Brossard
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I got some 0.010" guitar string (for loco springing when I get roun' toit) from my local music store.  The man behind the counter seemed bemused when I told him what it was for.  Pricewise it was CDN$1 - about 60 p.

John

 



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 Posted: Fri Dec 14th, 2012 10:45 am
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John Dew
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I use it to replace the weaker wire supplied with Tortoise Point motors.........this is widely recommended to improve performance



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 Posted: Fri Dec 14th, 2012 01:07 pm
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Brossard
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You mean 0.032" steel wire John, I assume.  Yes, the 0.020" wire supplied is too wimbly.  Cobalts come with pre shaped 0.032" wire.

The other John



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 Posted: Fri Dec 14th, 2012 01:49 pm
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John Dew
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Thanks John............as you guessed I couldnt remenber the dimension!

I know cobalts come with a number of enhancements but I have heard a number of adverse reports.......I am a committed Tortoise Fan......and the price seems to have dropped $13.65 US for a single!

Sorry Bob.....I digress:oops:



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 Posted: Fri Dec 14th, 2012 02:27 pm
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Brossard
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Yes John, Cobalts do have some refinements and are more expensive than Tortoise.  I particularly like the Cobalt feature that lets you clip in the wiring (like Hi Fi speakers) - no soldering.  I had problems with the Tortoise soldered wires moving around and causing shorts on my last layout (10 minutes before show opening!).  There is a separate connector which still requires that the wires are soldered but at least it's easy to unplug. 

John



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 Posted: Fri Dec 14th, 2012 03:13 pm
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MaxSouthOz
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I've replaced my Tortoise motor wires as well, John.  Especially important when they're mounted on their sides.



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 Posted: Sat Dec 15th, 2012 06:29 am
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Bob K
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Thanks all for the rapid responses, especially for the links. I will get some when I am next home and have a play around.

Bob

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