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Author Topic: Aluminum Welding Rods, for Vintage Models!  (Read 400 times)

Offline Avaiojet

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Aluminum Welding Rods, for Vintage Models!
« on: December 02, 2021, 11:30:30 AM »
Yea, Everything I Post gets criticized. Problem with this is, some may believe my critics, a really bad thing.

For anyone involved in scale, and I know it's only a few, especially the Golden Age Racers, here's my latest poo pooed tip. And if you look who it's coming from, understandable.  LL~


We, many of us, have actually used aluminum welding rods for flying wires for sometime, decades in fact. I've built many Gee Bee Z's for R/C, over many years, and I can honestly tell you from past experience, they are great for this purpose.

Visit my Gee Bee Z build and you will see photos and an explanation on how scale model builders, like myself,

use this product.

Sorry, I don't have time to look for a link. Here's a photo. Proof of the pudding.

Trump Derangement Syndrome. TDS. 
Avaiojet Derangement Syndrome. ADS.
Amazing how ignorance can get in the way of the learning process.
If you're Trolled, you know you're doing something right.  Alpha Mike Foxtrot. "No one has ever made a difference by being like everyone else."  Marcus Cordeiro, The "Mark of Excellence," you will not be forgotten. "No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot."- Mark Twain. I look at the Forum as a place to contribute and make friends, some view it as a Realm where they could be King.   Proverb 11.9  "With his mouth the Godless destroys his neighbor..."  "Perhaps the greatest challenge in modeling is to build a competitive control line stunter that looks like a real airplane." David McCellan, 1980.

Offline katana

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Re: Aluminum Welding Rods, for Vintage Models!
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2021, 12:35:28 PM »
Why / what is the perceived issue? They are lightweight and maybe a bit thick, but unlike the original, they are not so structural. Piano wire maybe more scale in a thinner section but use whatever 'floats your boat' providing a scale judge isn't going to frown on it !

Offline Avaiojet

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Re: Aluminum Welding Rods, for Vintage Models!
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2021, 01:16:04 PM »
Why / what is the perceived issue? They are lightweight and maybe a bit thick, but unlike the original, they are not so structural. Piano wire maybe more scale in a thinner section but use whatever 'floats your boat' providing a scale judge isn't going to frown on it !

Flying wires are airfoil in cross section. Not round like wire. They have available, for modelers, hollow aluminum flying wire in different sizes. I don't like the stuff and it's not offered in small scale sizes.

What I use, the aluminum welding rod, is perfect for small scale models. It's already flat AND, if you elect to put in the time, they can be filed for a better look and shape.

This model doesn't require flying wires which are "structural." However, I have built and flown a Gee Bee Z which required structural flying wire. Others have also who built the same model at 80" in span. We had no choice.

We all used electrician's snake wire. Difficult to work with but we got it done.

My guess is no one in the Forum will be building a model which needs flying wires. And if they do, most likely will find a simpler method. It's not the easiest way to arrive at an authentic look, but probably the best way. IMHO.

Years ago and I do mean years ago, guys used silver stitching elastic.

I know a guy who won an R/C scale event using this silver elastic.  ;D

Remember the days of straight pins for rivets?

Trump Derangement Syndrome. TDS. 
Avaiojet Derangement Syndrome. ADS.
Amazing how ignorance can get in the way of the learning process.
If you're Trolled, you know you're doing something right.  Alpha Mike Foxtrot. "No one has ever made a difference by being like everyone else."  Marcus Cordeiro, The "Mark of Excellence," you will not be forgotten. "No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot."- Mark Twain. I look at the Forum as a place to contribute and make friends, some view it as a Realm where they could be King.   Proverb 11.9  "With his mouth the Godless destroys his neighbor..."  "Perhaps the greatest challenge in modeling is to build a competitive control line stunter that looks like a real airplane." David McCellan, 1980.

Offline Fredvon4

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Re: Aluminum Welding Rods, for Vintage Models!
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2021, 03:40:55 PM »
Modelers for years repurposed very light aluminum knitting needles for all sorts of hobbies including model aircraft --then they found carbon fiber, additionally a number of scale companies extrude all sorts of solid and hollow shapes for struts n stuff
"A good scare teaches more than good advice"

Fred von Gortler IV

Online Dan McEntee

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Re: Aluminum Welding Rods, for Vintage Models!
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2021, 04:09:21 PM »
Yea, Everything I Post gets criticized. Problem with this is, some may believe my critics, a really bad thing.

For anyone involved in scale, and I know it's only a few, especially the Golden Age Racers, here's my latest poo pooed tip. And if you look who it's coming from, understandable.  LL~


We, many of us, have actually used aluminum welding rods for flying wires for sometime, decades in fact. I've built many Gee Bee Z's for R/C, over many years, and I can honestly tell you from past experience, they are great for this purpose.

Visit my Gee Bee Z build and you will see photos and an explanation on how scale model builders, like myself,

use this product.

Sorry, I don't have time to look for a link. Here's a photo. Proof of the pudding.


     Well, if you look at that photo REALLY close, you will see that it isn't finished, will probably never be finished. I know you are referring to me and there is so much wrong with all of this that it isn't even funny. The original comment about aluminum welding rods was in reference to a member's Smith Mini Plane built mostly from a SIG kit. Using welding rods any where near to scale size for that model is certainly risky. I'm a trained, professional welder by trade, and hundreds of feet of aluminum welding rod has passed through my left hand while TIG welding over the 47 years or so that I have been doing it. Whether the "flying wires" will be structural or not,  I would not even consider using aluminum welding rod because it is so soft and has no structural integrity. Like I mentioned, if it gets bumped or tweaked in any way, you won't get it back into it's original shape, and would be best to make a new one. But I would only use it for display purposes, which is what your models are for the most part anyway.  The airfoil shaped tubing that you poo pooed (as you put it) Actually would make a better flying wire or strut because it is made from a harder aluminum. It needs to be properly terminated on it's ends, but care still needs to be taken in it's use because once' it's dented, that's pretty much done with structurally, but so would a full size hollow strut. Remember, us modelers that fly our models usually use a tube for pushrods because they are lighter and more stiff than a straight wire!

   I don't care what you claim you have done. I know better. If you are talking about larger scale models, and the size of the rod gets bigger, you probably were not using welding rods. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE!!! You don't want to be holding a TIG torch that is running hot enough to melt aluminum that is so thick that it requires welding rod that big!!! If the aluminum in question requires welding, there are other processes that can do the job better and more safely. I'm familiar with electrician's fish snakes also. As I evolved into the industrial maintenance field (where my welding training and experience are what got me hired) I have run hundreds of miles of wire and made all the connections for web and sheet fed printing press installations and other heavy industrial equipment. Fish snakes are spring steel, and you are correct, very difficult to work with if you had to drill a hole in one. They are flat on all sided and rectangularly shaped, and I have only ever seen them in one cross section size. For doing any kind of hot work, we used fiberglass snakes. I seriously doubt that you successfully used the spring steel material without a lot of annealing or something, and that would be hot, dirty work and not something that I picture you doing. Again, from it's size it would only be scale like on a large model. I have read just about every scale column that was ever published in Model Aviation magazine, and know a LOT of REALLY good scale modelers and the use of electricians fish snakes has never come up. There are just so many other ways to do the job.

     So, you can just take all of this, roll it up and stuff it where the sun don't shine!  And again, a picture of a model that ain't finished and has never flown is hardly irrefutable evidence!

   Have a nice day!!
   Dan McEntee
AMA 28784
EAA  1038824
AMA 480405 (American Motorcyclist Association)

Online Dan McEntee

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Re: Aluminum Welding Rods, for Vintage Models!
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2021, 04:15:40 PM »
Modelers for years repurposed very light aluminum knitting needles for all sorts of hobbies including model aircraft --then they found carbon fiber, additionally a number of scale companies extrude all sorts of solid and hollow shapes for struts n stuff

  Hi Fred;

   You are absolutely correct!! I just never had to try to find 2 foot long knitting needles, or if they even make them that long! Knitting needles are hard anodized because of the beating they take while in use. Just pick one up and try t flex it. WAY different than welding rod, which has a completely different purpose and metallurgical make up. Some times you want to bend them, and in order to use them and it needs to bend easy. And unless it's an energency, a knitting needle won't make very good welding rod either!
  Type at you later,
   Dan McEntee
AMA 28784
EAA  1038824
AMA 480405 (American Motorcyclist Association)


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