Author Topic: Seeking source for ~1" N scale beads and stiff wire.  (Read 3230 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

SandyEggoJake

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 477
  • It's pronounced Sandy AHHH Go
  • Respect: +57
Seeking source for ~1" N scale beads and stiff wire.
« on: October 09, 2018, 03:52:42 PM »
0
Seeking 1" N scale beads for modeling.  Fully realize how small this is and as such as big a 2"N (0.3mm) would work.  Ideally metal and spherical. 

Smallest beads I've seen to date are "Size 15/0 Miyuki seed beads" but they still measure at about 0.059" (massive 9.4" in N scale).  There must be something available that is smaller...

While on this topic of small supplies, thought I would also ask what N & Z folks are using the smallest stiff modeling wire?  Smallest I have on hand is the Tichy 0.008" (~0.2mm) Phosphor Bronze which works fine for 1.25" N (a bit bigger when painted) and is stiff in short length (say hand grabs) but for anything longer still flexes and gets bent a lot in handling (eg, cut levers).  Anyone find a source for stiffer / smaller wire?  I've located a vendor selling 0.125 mm Phosphor Bronze (0.005" or ~0.8" N) but only sells untempered in 50m spools. 

Also wondering if anyone has modeling experience using stiffer materials for wires, such as annealed titanium - the same vendor offers the same 0.125mm size for an even sillier price for a 10m reel.  But I'd spring for the added price if it performs better and I could get it in smaller Tichy like 8" lengths. 

peteski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 21863
  • Gender: Male
  • Honorary Resident Curmudgeon
  • Respect: +2528
    • Coming (not so) soon...
Re: Seeking source for ~1" N scale beads and stiff wire.
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2018, 04:49:13 PM »
0
Wow!  You are looking for a 0.3mm diam bead with a hole through it?  I have no clue where to find something like that.  I could uses some (glass ones) myself to make N scale crystal chandeliers.

I have some hard temper stainless steel wire but I think the smallest I have is 0.010"  And at that thickness it is not very sturdy.  You think that titanium is very stiff?
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 05:52:13 PM by peteski »
--- Peteski de Snarkski

-"Look at me, I'm satirical!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm anal retentive!!!"
-"Look at me, I have the most posts evahhhh!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm snarky!!!!"
-"Look at me, I have OCD!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm a curmudgeon!!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm not negative, just blunt and honest!!!"

DKS

  • The Pitt
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 11571
  • Respect: +2067
Re: Seeking source for ~1" N scale beads and stiff wire.
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2018, 04:59:25 PM »
0
Perhaps a logical question at this point would be, what are you modeling?

C855B

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 8209
  • Respect: +1144
Re: Seeking source for ~1" N scale beads and stiff wire.
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2018, 05:17:24 PM »
0
Micro beads... a holy grail of mine for several years. In my case, it has been trying to find 18/0 beads in light green or clear to simulate telephone and signal pole insulators. I've run into the same brick wall, very little smaller than 15/0. I have run across European sources in the very small sizes, none in the colors I need, but for what is out there all in memory have indicated limited stock and will not be replenished. I have not searched in about a year or so.

Starting in 2015 or even earlier there was a worldwide ban on plastic microbeads in cosmetic products due to water pollution issues. Considering that was the primary market for microbead producers, I conjecture that shut down the source industries for everybody.

Good luck.
...mike

http://www.gibboncozadandwestern.com

We don't make mistakes, we have happy accidents. We just don't tell anybody. -Bob Ross

SandyEggoJake

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 477
  • It's pronounced Sandy AHHH Go
  • Respect: +57
Re: Seeking source for ~1" N scale beads and stiff wire.
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2018, 06:28:02 PM »
0
Fair question, @David K. Smith.  Heard a rumor of some dude who once made this itsy bitsy railroad layout for less than $10.  Wondered what could be done if he wasn't so cheap.  (Kidding, your title is safe with me). 

Lots of things I could thing of using a sub 9" N scale bearing / fitting.  But my near term is knobs for the end of long straight hand grips on the side of a scratch switch cab I'm planning to make a run at.  Also as fake couplers on hoses.  And yes, some in green or purple for pole insulators.  That kind of thing.   I know I can put a ball of solder, or viscous glue or the like, but wondered if there might be a cleaner solution.

I did find I could get tin spheres and florescent microspheres used for calibrating electron microscopes (0.1 μm, 0.2 μm, 0.5 μm, 1 μm, and 4 μm) but they are far too small.  The biggest is a tad over 1/2 mm N scale!  (You don't what to know the price)

No, beadish shape of say .008 to .01" with say a .005 or .008 hole would be ideal. 



SandyEggoJake

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 477
  • It's pronounced Sandy AHHH Go
  • Respect: +57
Re: Seeking source for ~1" N scale beads and stiff wire.
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2018, 06:51:46 PM »
0
@peteski  My hunt for microwires lead me to some weird corners of the google machine.  Vape guys experimenting and the like.  One site compared physical characteristic of micro wires and noted that Titanium was this stiffest of those that have been used for resistance wires.   As Titanium is one of the wires one can get below 0.008", I looked up the Young's modulus (what ever that is) and it does seem materially better than Phosphor Bronze, depending on the grade and the annealing of the PB. 

But truth be told, I don't know if this 0.008"  Tichy wire can be improved by say extra annealing.  Held horizontal on one end, 8" of the Tichy stuff straight from the tube bends down 10 cm to the other end, under it's own weight.

Nickel titanium, also known as Nitinol or memory wire might be nice if I could get it small enough.  Some charts show it is rather stiff - more so than PB.  Added benefit is if (or let's be honest - when) it gets bent from handling, I could heat it up and get it to return to the heat programmed shape.     
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 06:56:23 PM by SandyEggoJake »

DKS

  • The Pitt
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 11571
  • Respect: +2067
Re: Seeking source for ~1" N scale beads and stiff wire.
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2018, 08:21:45 PM »
0
For applications that don't require much stiffness, I'd recommend solenoid wire. #40 is 0.003 in (0.08 mm). As for micro-beads, how about extra-fine ball point pen tips? They're around 0.3 mm (but no holes--sorry).

 
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 08:28:21 PM by David K. Smith »

peteski

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 21863
  • Gender: Male
  • Honorary Resident Curmudgeon
  • Respect: +2528
    • Coming (not so) soon...
Re: Seeking source for ~1" N scale beads and stiff wire.
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2018, 09:08:20 PM »
0
Solder paste (used when assembling and reworking SMD circuit boards) is made up from tiny spheres of solder suspended in a liquid flux.  If you rinse the flux away you will end up with tiny solder spheres. No holes.
--- Peteski de Snarkski

-"Look at me, I'm satirical!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm anal retentive!!!"
-"Look at me, I have the most posts evahhhh!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm snarky!!!!"
-"Look at me, I have OCD!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm a curmudgeon!!!!"
-"Look at me, I'm not negative, just blunt and honest!!!"

mmagliaro

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 4708
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +951
    • Maxcow Online
Re: Seeking source for ~1" N scale beads and stiff wire.
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2018, 12:08:08 AM »
0
NGineering.com has .004" wire in stainless.  It comes in straight lengths, about 12" long I think, in a tube.  I have some.
It's great for things like a whip antenna on a tiny N Scale automobile.

As for beads, 18/0 is not the smallest you can get.  I hear tell of some kook who scratchbuilt an N Scale steam locomotive and needed to make marker lamps, who stumbled upon "vintage" beads that go down to 24/0.   They are still bigger than you want (more like 0.7mm across = about 4.5" in N Scale).
But they are round and they do have a hole in them.  And although they are glass, I found that I could even file them with a diamond file (although they shatter easily, so you have to go easy).

If you do a web search for "vintage beads 24/0", you'll find them.

Update:

This place:
http://www.earthmothercrafts.com/proddetail.asp?prod=VINT-ITL-240-02

has geniune antique ones (not current reproductions), that they claim are more round and smaller than the "contemporary"
"alleged" 24/0.  They say they are more round and are 50 beads/inch which would be 0.5mm or 3.2" in N Scale.  I think that's the smallest bead you're going to find.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2018, 12:13:41 AM by mmagliaro »

Maletrain

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1380
  • Respect: +183
Re: Seeking source for ~1" N scale beads and stiff wire.
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2018, 07:59:09 AM »
0
Jake, I don't think NiTiNOL wire is going to do what you want.  It is quite easily bent when at normal room temperatures, so would not hold its shape well on a model that gets handled.  It does have quite a bit of force to it when heated to the temperature where it tries to return to its last annealed shape.  But, I don't think I want to be heating my models very frequently.

RRRover

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 48
  • Respect: +9
Re: Seeking source for ~1" N scale beads and stiff wire.
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2018, 09:20:15 AM »
0
I have a bag of 1mm glass spheres, but no holes, I picked up at American Science and Surplus. I bought green tint for insulators. Probably abotu 500 in the bag for a couple of bucks. Things at AS&S come and go, so I'm not sure they still have them.

ridinshotgun

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 173
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +11
Re: Seeking source for ~1" N scale beads and stiff wire.
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2018, 09:45:21 AM »
0
Glass bead blasting media is small but no hole and not colored.  They go down to .0015 in and smaller.

u18b

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 2564
  • Respect: +528
    • My website
Re: Seeking source for ~1" N scale beads and stiff wire.
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2018, 11:45:14 AM »
0
Not sure if it will be small enough for you....

But I use guitar strings for fine wire.

Brass and phosphor bronze is too soft at tiny sizes.

I regularly use guitar strings in sizes:  .012"   .010"  and .008".

It is possibly you might be able to find one smaller.
I find that I can solder to them if needed.

This guy has .007" and .006"
Obviously, you don't need a whole set- so maybe he could just sell you the ones you need.

http://www.garrygoodman.com/expanded_range_guitar.htm
Ron Bearden
CSX N scale Archivist
http://u18b.com

"All get what they want-- not all like what they get."  Aslan the Lion in the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis.

Ed Kapuscinski

  • Global Moderator
  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 18344
  • Has a degree in American History & Culture.
  • Respect: +2441
    • Conrail 1285
Re: Seeking source for ~1" N scale beads and stiff wire.
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2018, 11:47:14 AM »
0
What about a fixture to drop drops of CA into water?

mmagliaro

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 4708
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +951
    • Maxcow Online
Re: Seeking source for ~1" N scale beads and stiff wire.
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2018, 01:19:47 PM »
0
Honestly, you're not going to beat 304 stainless wire at .004".  It is straightened, very strong, and
very small.
https://www.ngineering.com/004_wire_howto.htm