Sources for "real" music wire


Argh. Just bent up a landing gear for a model plane. 1/8" "Music wire"
from K&S. Nominally the same thing, except one was the tail-end of an
older piece, and one was brand spanking new.
The new piece is _soft_ -- more welding rod that nice hard music wire.
I had noticed this before with some 1/16" stock, but it didn't penetrate
my poor thick skull. K&S is obviously going down the "consumers are
stupid" route.
Any ideas on where I might best get good old fashioned three-foot
straight pieces of music wire? I see that McMaster has it -- in one
foot lengths, and Small Parts has it -- mostly in six foot lengths. I
can deal with the odd length issue, but I'd sure like to order with
confidence that I'm getting something decent, not just the same metallic
noodles that I can get from the local hobby shop.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
Loading thread data ...
McMaster typically specifies the exact characteristics, metal alloy, etc. for it's items. Suggest giving them a call to see if they can supply it in 3' or 6' lengths.
Reply to
Pete C.
I assume that Tim has a good feel for what's "hard" in 1/8" music wire. That's the largest legitimate diameter of real music wire, and it's the softest. Still, it's not soft. I think the ultimate tensile is around 110,000 psi or something like that; the Rc hardness would still be pretty good, compared to any ordinary plain-carbon steel.
Reply to
Ed Huntress
My guess was low on that tensile strength. 1/8" should be over 200,000 psi.
Reply to
Ed Huntress
That sounds way low. Cold drawn 1045 rounds are nearly that strong.
261 to 288 ksi here...
formatting link
Reply to
Ned Simmons
Yeah, if you caught my correction, the minimum is around 220,000 psi.
Reply to
Ed Huntress
I have a good _feel_ for it, but not a feel that's calibrated in numbers, unfortunately.
I'll have to see what I can get from McMasters, I guess. They have a 3' assortment that sure lights up the 'candy shop' part of my brain, but there's the expense...
Reply to
Tim Wescott
McMaster, Enco, MSC. All sell real metal to real metalworkers.
Last batch I got was from Enco. They have 12" cut lengths (straight) or 1 lb coils (not clear if an order of two pounds would be one coil or two one pound coils - use the phone if it matters to you). I happened to need stainless (mounting a skeleton, don't want rusty bones...btw, "just say" never again.) The largest diameter of the three I got was 0.080" - all of it (I also got 0.063 and 0.051) seems respectably hard for stainless. Due primarily to slight variations in the price each way, I got the .063 in 12" straight, and the other two in coils.
MSC also seems to have only 12" straight, and you report the same for McMaster, so I guess straight 3 foot sections are out from those suppliers unless you want drill rod, and that won't be prehardened. Coils they all have, I think, and a 1/8 coil will be on a pretty large radius (and about 24 feet)
Reply to
Ecnerwal
If I had a way of straightening it as needed I'd be happy with a coil. Somehow I think I could buy a _lot_ of straightened music wire for the amount of time I'd spend trying to make a straightener.
12" would leave me with lots of little unused bits ranging from 1/2" to 5" (I know, bitch bitch bitch).
Reply to
Tim Wescott
The amount of bend in a coil of 1/8 (based on the way the coil of 0.080 was packed, and how it unrolls from how it's packed) would be tiny over an inferred maximum length of 11-1/2" (1/2" scrap from 12"), and if you can work by feel and eyeball, two nails in a board will straighten those sections further (or just use the bending fork you probably already use for sharp bends to hold the end while you put some back-bend in and compare to a straightedge) - how straight do you really need?
Contraiwise, while you pay a premium of $8 for 25 straight chunks .vs. 24 feet in a coil, and there's more waste, if dead straight matters to you, it's cheap - it's also a heck of a lot easier to store and dispense (you don't want to get careless with a coil of big music wire - it likes to uncoil with force, and it will hurt you if given a chance.)
But, perhaps your best option is 6 feet from small parts, which you mentioned at the outset, IIRC - even less waste, already straight, cut in half when it arrives if you are committed to 3 feet for storage. Just make sure they understand that you'll be sending it back and expecting a refund if it's noodles. I've never bought from them, but I recall other people speaking well of their products (if not always of their prices).
Reply to
Ecnerwal
I would give K & S a chance to send you another piece. They may have gotten a bad lot from their vendor. So an email or phone call might solve your problem.
As someone said you can buy drill rod in 3 ft lengths. But you would have to heat treat it.
Dan
Reply to
dcaster
I saw it with the mouse click right after the one that dispatched my nag.
Reply to
Ned Simmons
I've ordered from Small Parts a few times, and what I got was always top drawer.
Perhaps I should call McMaster or Small Parts and see if they know what the relaxed diameter of their 1/8" music wire is. The shop's big enough I could just hang a (relaxed) coil on the wall, if it's less than eight feet around.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
K&S is a brand; they sell to hobby shops and Michael's crafts, etc. I'd have to take it back to the local hobby shop where I got it, and make Russ's life even more miserable over keeping $2.00 parts in stock when what he really makes money on is $500 almost ready to fly airplanes.
Since I'm thrilled to pieces to have a _real_ hobby shop in town, I don't want to encourage him to turn into just another toy store.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
I don't see your point. K&S provided the product, they have a business office and a phone number and a CEO. The worst that can happen is that they won't do anything, so why not give it a try?
Reply to
J. Clarke
While I can understand your point, I don't think you are doing him a favor by letting him, unknowingly, continue to sell poor quality stuff. Over time, the result is that customers will quit coming in the doors, and that's not what he wants.
If you don't want to take the item back, at least let him know, in a friendly way, that the product is no good.
Reply to
Robert Roland
Right, the best of all possible worlds would be your local shop stocking good music wire.
Dan
Reply to
dcaster
A couple weeks ago I received a package of socket set screws from McMaster that were apparently improperly heat treated -- they were brittle as glass. McMaster could only apologize and give me a refund, but a call to the mfr got me a new package from a different lot and a thanks from the plant manager for alerting them of the problem.
Reply to
Ned Simmons
I wonder if this is the same music wire that the local hardware store carries? I looked there yesterday on the way home. Tried a piece of 1/8 inch, three ft long. Seemed to be the same type stuff as you described. They even had 1/4 inch wire?
Paul
Reply to
co_farmer
I don't know if the standard (ASTM a228) actually specifies a maximum diameter, but, IIRC, 1/8" is the thickest that can reliably achieve the specified minimum yield strength (specifically, 231,000 psi under the ASTM standard).
Here's a summary of properties:
formatting link
Many other materials are loosely called "music wire" or "piano wire," but the description above is for the real thing.
Reply to
Ed Huntress

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.