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Can anyone recommend where I can get brass rods and nuts for bridge building? I am in England but if there is no one here I will send of to the US.
I would probably prefer a kit but my previous experience of trying to obtain one from the US was a awaiting time of about three months.


dave 
 

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I used brass welding wire and bought a metric die (1.6mm I think) then made my own rods.



I have seen on these forums someone used bicycle spokes for the same purpose. Try http://www.microfasteners.com/ for small nuts and washers (thats what I used on this bridge) they also sell small dies and taps although the smallest metric is 2mm. Have a look there, they have fast service ( I live in Australia) and I havn't seen prices cheaper.
Regards
Dave
 

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Dave,

I am using stainless steel bicycle spokes on my latest bridge project (as yet unfinished http://www.sdfr.info/images/main span2a.jpg),



and while they come with a thread on one end, I found it impossible to cut threads on the other end despite trying several different dies and even trying softening the end to be threaded. Therefore if you want them fastened with nuts at both ends I would avoid that solution. My solution was to feed the lower end through a block of aluminium and bend over the spoke to, roughly, the correct length and then screw it into the upper fastener, finally locking the position with a grub screw in the aluminium block. This works OK with a metal deck, but would look wrong for a timber bridge.


I get most of my metal supplies from Metal Supermarkets (http://www.metalsupermarkets.co.uk/). I have found them to be very helpful in getting what I need, if not already in stock, and cutting to size when asked. If you have a look at the web site you can find the depot nearest to you and look up the sizes available.
 

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Hi,

Welcome to MLS, I am sure that collectivly we can answer any queries you have: I live near Manchester.

You do not say where you are in England but brass rod can be bought, in meter lengths at the Model Shop in Manchester.


As an alternataive can I suggest that you look at bicycle spokes: they are much better and the fitting on the end (that holds the spoke into the rim can be mostly hidden at the top by sinking it into to the wood). Being generally stainless stell they are also stronger, and can be blackened with one of the liquids like 'Gun Blue', but for stainless steel, and then painted. I used spokes on my bridge.


The topic 'new truss bridge' in the trestles etc section uses those and there is a good photo of that bridge.

An alternative, and not cheap but you do get the threaded brass rods, and redwood, is a company in Germany who make kits of truss bridges, they are at www.gartenbahnparts.com , go to shop, then on the left hand side is a link to bridges. The only downside is the lousy exchange rates we have now!
 

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Posted By daveat22 on 12/07/2008 2:56 PM
Can anyone recommend where I can get brass rods and nuts for bridge building? I am in England but if there is no one here I will send of to the US.
I would probably prefer a kit but my previous experience of trying to obtain one from the US was a awaiting time of about three months.


dave



Dave,

I recently bought a bunch of taps and dies for threading brass rods, and I bought several boxes of brass rods made by K&S Engineering at the same time.

Micro Mark has both in their catalog, with a table of tap/die sizes and rod size. [ K&S are the folk who provide a variety of metal shapes for modellers - most US hobby shops have their display. ]
P.S. If you waited 3 months for the kit, it was probably made-to-order, otherwise known as just-in-time delivery!
 

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Dave,
I would go with t'other Dave's suggestion on this, and use welding rod. An alternative to (relatively expensive) brass welding rod would be copper coated steel welding rod. This is hard drawn and very stiff, thus takes threads well, and is strong. Available in 1.6 mm and a lot of other sizes. The 1.6 mm, which is very close to 1/16" dia., can be threaded with a number of different thread systems (1.6 metric, 1/16" BSW etc.) The copper also gives a bit of protection against rust, but better to prime and paint them. Over here, copper coated steel welding rods are sold by the kilogram, but welding workshops will usually give me a handful of rods for nothing. BTW, it's the type of rod that's used for oxyacetylene (gas) welding.

Regards,
André,
Norway
 

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I agree with the use of steel welding rod, they worked nice for me.
Although the copper coating might privide some rust prevention in the bubble pack on the store shelf, it did no good once outside.
I built my arch suspension bridge using them and it rained the second day it was outside and they were completely rusted in a couple of days.
So, I, also, would recommend painting them. I just can't imagine the tedium of painting long thin rods!

I never thought about threading the ends myself, I just bent the ends over. But I suppose if you get the appropriate diameter rod it would work fine.


 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys that information is brilliant I will try and get some brass welding rods and dies, and some nuts. I used to use welding rods for water divining!!! I think I threw my dads welding rods and mask away at the last tidy up, doesn't that always happen?
I have been looking for a budget saw bench to cut the timbers to size. I quite like the idea of a long covered bridge across my pond.


dave 
 
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