How to straighten out music wire? - RC Groups
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Oct 27, 2002, 07:48 PM
Registered User
ferradas's Avatar

How to straighten out music wire?

Im putting together a Space pro sailplane which has a long run from the servo to the rudder horn. most music wire at the hobby shops are 36" long. I need about 50". The plane came with the plastic housing installed, I just need the rod. I went to the hardware store and bought some music wire in a roll for $4.00. I tried streching it straight and heating it with a torch but it coils back. I gave up

Any suggestions on how to straighten it?
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Oct 27, 2002, 07:59 PM
SAM Elec GrdChmp04,07,10,12,14
Jay Burkart's Avatar

How about CF

How about not using music wire...rather use carbon fibre rod, it comes in many small diameters and I believe you can get it in longer lenths if you call the suppliers direct.
I know that AeroSpace composites has stock lengths at 48"
and I bet you can get it longer.
They also have many diameters.

Give them a call and you can pretty well use it in most pushrod
hookups. you just glue the rod in the clevis or tighten down with
a setscrew like the metal rod.

Oct 27, 2002, 08:47 PM
Space Coast USA
hoppy's Avatar
Overlap 2 shorter pieces by 1", cover overlap with heat shrink tubing, shrink and fill tubing with CA, presto...longer wire. Or wrap overlay with thread and than CA.

What you might try with your coiled wire is to attach it to a fixed object and then stretch it a little. You'll have to use your imagination to figure out out to stretch it. Turnbuckle?? Be sure to wear safety glasses.
Oct 28, 2002, 10:21 AM
Registered User
When I have music wire that I want to straighten out, I hammer it. I have a couple inch square flat spot on my bench vise. I place the bent wire over this area with the bend up. I take a hammer and lightly hit the wire to knock the bend out. Rotate the wire while hammering until it comes out nice and straight. This may be impractical in your 50" application, but it does work nicely on shorter pieces.
Oct 28, 2002, 10:31 AM
Registered User
Don't heat it, that's for sure. If you get it hot enough, it won't be music wire anymore.

Unfortunately, music wire's difficult to bend, and nearly impossible to straighten. The steel is simply too hard.

Are you sure that the plane wasn't intended for Sullivan Gold-n-Rods? They make those in 48" lengths. With the steel stub pushrods, you can get up to 60", so 50" isn't too difficult to achieve.
Oct 28, 2002, 01:00 PM
Registered User
Tony Oliver's Avatar
Why not do it the easy way and make it a closed loop system?
If you use stranded steel fishing trace, nylon covered, of around 30lb or more you will have a lighter, and more practical method without the problems of flexing pushrods.

Just make sure the rudder horn on each side equals the servo output arms so there's no binding or slackening of the lines.

Oct 28, 2002, 10:01 PM
York Electronics
Gary Warner's Avatar
I've had fair results by hanging the wire from the ceiling and attaching a brick on the end. Heat it up with a blow torch, just to the point of glowing red, not more. Have a rag soaked in oil handy. As I move down from the top to the lower end, I grab the wire with the oil soaked (motor oil) rag to shock-cool the wire. It works "fairly" well, but the wire does loose just a bit of its stiffness. My Artimus still flies with a wire that this was straitened this way. The wire, when just heated and air cooled, did bend on launches as it was too soft after heating it. But now itís working just fine since I tempered the wire with this oil soaked rag. Watch out for the thick smoke.
Oct 29, 2002, 01:56 AM
Registered User
ferradas's Avatar
thanks for all the advise guys, I finally decided to put together 2 peices of music wire joined by a brass tube in the center. The music wire straightening seems like alot of work.
Oct 29, 2002, 05:30 PM
Senior Moment Member
I've never tried it with music wire so I don't know how well it will work, but the best way to straighten long lengths of wire is to twist it under tension.

Clamp one end SECURELY in a vise. Bend the other end into a loop and chuck it tightly into a drill. Start the drill turning slowly while you pull back on the wire, keep it straight and really tight, pull hard. A few turns and the wire will be perfectly straight, and it tends to stiffen it even more than it was originally because of the twists.

That's a common method of straightening wire that is supplied on coils when you need perfectly straight pieces.

But like I said I've never tried it with music wire, it may be too stiff, but should work with the smaller sizes.