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Thread: Anybody using 3/32" styrene tubing for utility poles?

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    Default Anybody using 3/32" styrene tubing for utility poles?

    I need to make some utility poles like this one -



    The plan is to have functional light arms, but the wiring for said is a bit of a monkeywrench. The smallest diameter styrene tubing I could find at my LHS was Evergreen 3/32" (.093 diameter). And although it does accommodate the wires, it also seems a bit fat for a utility pole. So, I'm kind of waffling.... Anybody ever used anything like that, and were you happy with the results?

    Thanks!
    -Mark

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    Are your poles going to be visible from all 360 degrees? If so you might have to run the wire inside it. Otherwise why not just run magnet wires up the back of the poles? Then you can make the poles a more reasonable thickness. 15" diameter is pretty doggone stout for a pole.
    "Do Not Hump!?!?! Does that mean what I think it means?!?"--Michelle Blanchard

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    Yes, pretty much 360. I actually went the external wiring route for this light pole, and although it's not the greatest look in the world it does allow me to use a more appropriately sized pole (and an actual wood one at that, which is always nice).



    Waffle, waffle.....

    -Mark

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    How about brass tubing-? I believe it is made in smaller diameters.

    Just a thought,
    Wolf

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    That is true, but at some point it becomes too tight for the wiring. I might be able to get away with a slightly smaller diameter, but as is it's a pretty snug fit. Another consideration is that I don't want to go too flimsy with the wires since they will be forming the arm for the light.

    -Mark

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    With brass tubing you only need to be able to get one wire through it; because the brass is conductive you can just use the brass tubing as your second wire.
    Bronman - "Trains and Legos... you can't have too many of them."
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    Maybe I need to switch scales. O scale has prefab poles that are exactly what I want

    -Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by SP-Wolf View Post
    How about brass tubing-? I believe it is made in smaller diameters.

    Just a thought,
    Wolf
    Tubing works, but I recommend copper as it's much stiffer. The hole is small though, so you might have to use the tube as one of the conductors.

    I mostly went with long cocktail toothpicks, running the wires down the side.




    If I remember right, this was 3/32 copper on the left, and cocktail pick on the right, showing how those were assembled from string LED lights. (I painted them first, then glued the LED leads on with white glue.)

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    Looks nice, ender. Maybe I'll just go with the external wiring.

    -Mark

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    2 Evergreen .080 half round, scrape edge off one, cement back to back, creates a small channel to lay wires...?

    You can rough sand the full length result (before wires) to create a scale wood grain effect then cut to size before laying wire... Assembly line method can be effecient, depending on how many are needed.
    **Never tried, but have "imagineered" this as a possible future project. A bit more work but "possibly" satisfying results.
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    There are premade ones, without the crossbars' from Woodland Scenic
    https://woodlandscenics.woodlandscen.../JP5638/page/1

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotian_Huntress View Post
    There are premade ones, without the crossbars' from Woodland Scenic
    https://woodlandscenics.woodlandscen.../JP5638/page/1
    Wow, cool. Kind of spendy, but something to consider.

    Edit - Hmm, MSRP is $25, but they can be had for $19. Definitely worth checking out.

    -Mark

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    Good grief, I didn't even notice that the price on the WS poles is for a pack of 3. Now I definitely need to check them out.

    -Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spookshow View Post
    And although it does accommodate the wires, it also seems a bit fat for a utility pole.
    About 15 inches OD, so not that overly large. Just not tapered.
    Paul Schmidt

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronman View Post
    With brass tubing you only need to be able to get one wire through it; because the brass is conductive you can just use the brass tubing as your second wire.
    the plus side to brass tube is you can use the tube for a wire, just solder the one wire to the tube and other wire through the tube.

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    I ordered up 12 of the Woodland Scenics poles, so I'm pretty much all-in there. If they suck, I'm comin' after ya Scosh!

    -Mark

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    Scosh.... he went that'a way
    The Ho ones are rated well but they are delicate
    https://www.amazon.com/Just-Plug-Woo...ustomerReviews
    N Scale ones got a good review - albeit one review only
    https://www.towerhobbies.com/cgi-bin/wti0001p?&I=LXFXBK
    I hope they work for you.

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    Looks like you're on your way to a solution, but another possibility is the stainless steel tubing from Ngineering. I'm using the .050 OD tubing for my signal masts.
    Tim Rumph
    Modeling the Southern Railway in N-Scale

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    If the lights on those WS poles are anywhere near as bright as the headlights in their vehicles, I'm going to need to add some resistors into the equation. At 12V, those things are "fry your retinas" blinding!



    -Mark

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