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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone know where to buy spring tempered stainless steel wire? I need 0.5mm diameter. At a sensible price for a small quantity, so by the metre or yard. Mail order to the UK, so somewhere in the EU would be best.

Many thanks, Sam.
 

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hey i was told guitar shop or piano shop....i need to go and get some myself....do you have a local music shop?....i was told it should be easy to find..
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm not a musical at all... as I understand it piano wire is spring tempered steel, but it's not stainless steel. Do any instruments use stainless wire?

A diver's watch bezel spring can come into contact with sweat or sea water so it needs to be stainless or it'll corrode and rust.


hey i was told guitar shop or piano shop....i need to go and get some myself....do you have a local music shop?....i was told it should be easy to find..
 

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Might be worth getting in contact with THESE PEOPLE. I used to get small quantities of materials from them a few years ago for development projects....... (perhaps ask for a small sample piece to 'evaluate' ;))
 

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The only stainless steel wire I know off is the rolls they sell for the welders. A roll of stainless welding wire cost 5 times as much a s roll of standard welding steel wire. I guess it could be used as a spring steel in small applications for a watch movement spring but in general stainless steel does not hold up as well as a spring material as tempered steel.

Michael
 

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Surely a guitar string is stainless? It comes into contact with sweat all the time. I've read quite a few suggestions of making bezel springs and case springs out of it so I assume it must be fit for purpose. Guitar springs come in a wide variety of sizes so take your callipers into the store with you. When I got one a while ago to try making a spring (I never finished that job), I think it cost me about $1.50 for a length - not sure how long but maybe 70cm?
Could you dunk a section in salty water for a few days to see if it rusts?


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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks - they have the wire, website is a bit odd though. In an attempt to find out how much P&P is to the UK, I seem to have actually placed an order by accident. Still no idea how much I've paid though, wtf !?*!

Maybe try mcmaster carr. They have pretty much everything.

Google says you can get stainless strings (they're normally nickel?) but in 0.5mm size it would be a wound string as I understand it...?

Surely a guitar string is stainless? It comes into contact with sweat all the time. I've read quite a few suggestions of making bezel springs and case springs out of it so I assume it must be fit for purpose. Guitar springs come in a wide variety of sizes so take your callipers into the store with you. When I got one a while ago to try making a spring (I never finished that job), I think it cost me about $1.50 for a length - not sure how long but maybe 70cm?
Could you dunk a section in salty water for a few days to see if it rusts?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
email from McMaster-Carr - "We have cancelled your order from the website. Due to the cost of complying with extensive US export regulations, McMaster-Carr accepts international purchases only from our established international customers"

Ho-hum

The really frustrating thing is, less than a couple of miles from where I live is http://www.foxwire.co.uk/, a world leader in the manufacture of stainless steel wire.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I had a look cheers, I didn't see any Spring temper, but they did have various tempers, so I'd have to have a chat with them.... it's a definite maybe.

Any luck with 'Goodfellow'?
(my original link, which seems to have died :confused:, was to this page in their on line catalogue)
 

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I had a look cheers, I didn't see any Spring temper, but they did have various tempers, so I'd have to have a chat with them.... it's a definite maybe.
Should be easy enough to re-temper after forming? Some information HERE
I suspect the 'as drawn' temper will be quite hard anyway.......
 

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Try ASTM A228 music wire.
316 stainless is widely used subsea.
Electric guitar strings will rust as they need to be ferrous to create a current in the pickup.
 

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Search for "stainless steel music wire" Many listings and it is common. The skills to temper it after forming will be the challenge.
 

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We use metals from Goodfellow, but his is very expensive, high quality, but laboratory standard.
You want 302 stainless to a high tensile strength, something like C1300 (1300 Mpa), we use 1 ton a month of sheet in 0.015", for laser cutting, but wire of the same tensile strength is available, "spring quality"
 

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email from McMaster-Carr - "We have cancelled your order from the website. Due to the cost of complying with extensive US export regulations, McMaster-Carr accepts international purchases only from our established international customers"

Ho-hum

The really frustrating thing is, less than a couple of miles from where I live is http://www.foxwire.co.uk/, a world leader in the manufacture of stainless steel wire.
I would try to email Foxwire and talk to a customer service person . They may be gracious enough to help you out...maybe for a promo on the watch forum sites .
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for all the suggestions. The amazon seller doesn't ship to the UK unfortunately. The Foxwire and Goodfellow options are tempting but they'll probably require some serious blagging so I'll keep them on the back burner for now.

I've ordered some music wire, non-stainless, but should be much tougher than mild steel, so I'll test its resistance to corrosion.

I think I've also found a source of heavy gauge, plain (not wound), stainless guitar strings, so I'll buy some of those too and see how springy they are.

In the meantime, I'll be happy to check out any other promising leads...

Watch this space.
 

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feca67 - i'm not sure how much trouble it would be to use an address stateside, but i'll be happy to get it and send it to you. let me know if i can help. i'd be happy to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So.... I bought two sorts of wire, Roslau piano wire - £2 for 3m, and some Steel Guitar strings for £1 each. I when I say steel guitar strings, I mean strings for a steel guitar, not steel strings for a regular guitar. You can get steel guitar 'plain' strings in heavier gauges than regular guitar strings, which use 'wound' strings instead. I think the strings are stainless steel, but I don't know what grade etc. Both wires are 0.5mm / 0.020" which is what I've measured as required for my watch and bezel.

The wires:


The piano wire is very hard and very springy. It almost feels like it'll snap and break if you try and bend it. In fact it's quite dangerous stuff, it's sharp and has a tendency to flail about like a whip and could take your eye out. The guitar string is also very hard and springy (compared to mild steel) buy not quite so much as the piano wire. When used on the watch, the wire only flexes when fitting or removing the bezel, the rest of the time it's static, just locating the bezel in place whilst allowing it to rotate. So, I think either wire would be OK for the job.

I did two simple tests of the wires' anti-corrosion properties. One with an acidic solution (vinegar) and one with alkaline solution (salty water). I cut short lengths of the wires, placed them in a shot glasses, half covered with the solutions, and then sealed the glasses with cling film.

Wire in vinegar pic:


24 Hours later....

The piano wire in the vinegar test is encrusted with corrosion deposits above the vinegar. The guitar string is clean:



The piano wire in the salt water test has small spots of rust all along it, and the water is rust coloured. The guitar string is clean:



So, I'll use the guitar string to make my bezel tension spring, not the piano wire.

Thanks again to everybody who helped out - I hope this saves some time and effort for others.

Cheers, Sam.
 
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