I have a couple locomotives missing handrail sections (Athearn Blue Box stuff). Can anyone recommend a type and gauge of wire that works well to fashion handrails?
Piano wire comes on a roll. Might be kinda hard getting it perfectly straight. It works great for the Tortoise Machines when you have thick roadbed to go through.JP Most real RR handrails are 1-2" dia. So just find piano wire that size to scale. It can be bent w/ good pliers. But Athearn handrail sets do show up on eBay.
jpati75;Thanks for all of the great ideas, gents!
Great points on the stanchions and soldering. Appreciate the picture of the wire you used. Many years back my mother and grandmother used “Artistic Wire” to make decorative trees to sell at craft fairs. They used to have rolls of artistic wire everywhere...until they realized no one wanted to buy wire trees. :laugh:jpati75;
Sometimes its necessary to replace the vertical stanchions that hold the handrails as well as the handrails themselves. When doing this its very handy to be able to solder the wire handrails to the stanchions. Most of the prior replies, while quite good, don't suggest a type of wire that can be soldered. Brass wire and phosphor/bronze wire can be easily soldered. Brass wire in the small size you'll need fro handrails is very flexible. That means it may easily get bent out of shape when handling the locomotive. Phosphor/bronze wire is a little bit stiffer than brass, though not as rigid as the steel music wire that John suggested.
The tops of wire stanchions can be flattened before installation, and then wrapped around the handrail, and soldered making a strong permanent joint.
I ordered the phosphor/bronze wire I use for making catenary from Amazon. It's inexpensive, solders easily and is quite strong.
As you can see in the photo, it is sold as "Artistic Wire", for reasons unknown to me. In the background is some of the N-scale catenary I made with this wire.
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