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UK Sources for Undercarriage Wire

FDS

Well-known member
#1
If anyone is looking for the wire used in the Scout and Sportster or similar FT builds then this steel rod and these wheels were a perfect match, the wire is a 500mm length, you will have a little bit left left over. I had to ream the wheel holes out a little bit to 3.2mm.
 

d8veh

Well-known member
#2
3mm dia is their minimum diameter, which looks a bit thick (heavy) to me. Also, it's EN1A, which is plain ordinary low carbon mild steel. We normally use steel with a higher carbon content to be springy. I'd say that the best place to get it is most likely your local model shop, where it comes in 3ft lengths for less than £1 each. It used to be called "piano wire", but I don’t hear that name much these days. I sometimes see "music wire" or "spring wire".

I haven't measured it, but I'd say that 2mm would be about right, which is 14g.

http://inwoodmodels.com/14G-PIANO-WIRE-203MM-36-LONG

You can also use bicycle spokes at a push, but they also have a low carbon content, so will distort if you do a heavy landing. That's OK for light planes, like most of the FT ones.

I use these wheels:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4-Pcs-Gr...&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&redirect=mobile
 
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FDS

Well-known member
#3
Nearest model shop to me is an hour away. It doesn’t sell any aircraft parts or tube stock.
Will look into slightly higher carbon steels. I picked 3mm because the wheel centres were that size if you wanted larger than 50mm wheels.
FT gear wire in their store is 3.2mm thick. Even the medium wire is 2.6mm
3mm Piano wire and 2.5mm wire links from EBay. I see the other lengths are K&S metals which in my part of the world are easiest to get from Cornwall Model Boats.
 
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Merv

Well-known member
#6
I have found some wire yard signs make excellent landing gear. If you are lucky enough to have a farm supply store near by, high tensile fencing wire also works. Of course, the old standby, good thick wire from a clothing hanger.
 
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Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#7
I use a lot of alternate sources for my wire. For pushrods I prefer to use straightened paper clips.

For landing gear on small models I salvage the spokes from old bicycle wheels and for medium size models I use the spring wire circular clip used on plastic hubcaps.

Another source of rather strong spring steel wire is old furniture including old mattresses. The wire edges of mattresses make great undercarriage for those larger models.

You can also get flexible push/pull wire from bicycle brake cables.

Have fun!
 

FDS

Well-known member
#8
I ordered a pack of 2mm music wire from Cornwall Model Boats and some 1mm for control rods. I think the FT wire for control rods is slightly thicker, I will add a link to this post for the K&S music wire alternative.
It worked out much cheaper than buying FT version from UK sellers, it was £10 including shipping for 4x36” lengths of 2mm and 5 400mm lengths of 1mm, which will do plenty of small builds.
 

d8veh

Well-known member
#9
I ordered a pack of 2mm music wire from Cornwall Model Boats and some 1mm for control rods. I think the FT wire for control rods is slightly thicker, I will add a link to this post for the K&S music wire alternative.
It worked out much cheaper than buying FT version from UK sellers, it was £10 including shipping for 4x36” lengths of 2mm and 5 400mm lengths of 1mm, which will do plenty of small builds.
That's a good price. I think I'll order some too. Thanks.
 

Kananga

Active member
#11
1.6mm or 16 gauge is great for pushrods 1mm might flex but see how it goes.
There is a model engineers supply near me (Macclesfield model engineering supplies) if we can work out how to post it cheaply I'm happy to go and buy a load of piano wire of any size. It's much better priced when you're not buying from a model shop.

Ps, that kds metals stuff is poor quality and very high price but it's highly polished and they send out those display racks to all the shops so it's in every model shop lol.
 

Tonero311

Well-known member
#13
For undercarriage landing gear I use wire coat hangers I bought in £stretchers. £2 for 8 and 2.8mm. Worked perfectly on my bushwacker yesterday.