Went all over today, and couldn't find any. Did find quarter twenty joiners about an inch long. Hex in shape. Definitely steel Will use them this trip to join the two short pieces together, and by next year, I'm sure they'll be a blob. Maybe by then, I'll have something else figured out. I DID find brass rod (not welding rod) in the metal section of Ace. Think I'll go with my idea of cutting off some short threaded sections and welding them on to the end of a solid brass rod for next year. Will be interesting to see how hard they corrode on there. The other ones (combo aluminum body with steel nuts) have been easy to get off. The brass threads are not corroded much, and can be cleaned by just chasing with a nut run down from the other end.