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C.Griswold

Wireframe material

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So far I've made a 4.5 ft Christmas star for the top of my mega tree and a 24 ft Christmas star for the side of my house. For both of these I used 1/4" round rod.

I am about to make a 3 ft 3D Christmas star (3 stars 60 degrees rotated), for which I will also use 1/4", and I will use a section of 1/2" round rod right down the center to weld them all to for extra support.

A friend across town makes animals and stuff like that, and he also uses 1/4"

I've only done a little bending for a couple of hooks, and I just used a piece of steel pipe and bent 1/4" around it by hand. Almost all are straight sections, which I just cut and weld. My friend has various diameter metal objects welded to a table that he bends around, but I don't recall how he said he really does the bending, (with heat or not?).

We get it from a local welding fabrication shop. Mild carbon steel round rod is what I call it.

I buy 20' length pieces and the prices for 20 ft are $3.27 for 1/4" and $11.39 for 1/2" pieces.

A nice little Lincoln 125 mig welder does everything I ask of it, if only I could learn to make better welds.

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Depending on the size of the wireframe I use either 3/16 or 1/4 inch. For smaller wireframes the 3/16 works fine and its eisier to work with (bend). Those are also the most common sizes of wireframe light clips.

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Most decent welding shops stock 1/4" cold rolled "wire". It comes in 20' lengths - so plan accordingly with either a trailer or bolt cutters. As for bending, you can use a good bench vise and a steel pipe to assist in bending "free hand" - heating with MAPP gas makes this easier. Or for about $70 a ring roller for bending curves/circles. And of course, an inexpensive MIG welder to hold it all together.

Douglass J Fir (DJ) was bent entirely free-hand using a vise and a scrap piece of 8" steel pipe as a bending form for the eyes.

SANY0001.jpg

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I use 1/4 or 3/16 inch hot rolled rod.

I avoid the cold for several reasons:

1) hot rolled is easier to work with

2) there is no oil coating on hot rolled

3) hot rolled is cheaper

Hot will rust sooner, but if you prime and paint the frames as most of us do, that negates that issue.

You can get hot rolled from any welding/manufacturing shop

Greg

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I use 3/16 cold rolled for pretty much everything I make. I bend it by hand except where I need a tight bend, then I use the vise and a hammer to get it where I want it. I buy it at our steel supply store here in 20 ft lengths for about $3 each. I have them cut it down to 10 ft to fit in my truck since I dont' have a trailer. I does come coated with an oil coating, so I hjave to clean it up before I use it, but that is eay while it is in long lengths. When I am done building what I want, I paint everything with rustoleum and they last a long time. When I am making something big, I will get some 1/2 square tubing to weld everything to for support. I will also leave the square tubing long enough at the bottom to drive it into the ground.

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many thanks to the person who posted this its been of big help to me locating what type of steel / metal is used to make chrimbo type lights and haloween lights, so a big thumbs up for this thread. :D:D:D:D

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I usually go out and grab the election signs that are everywhere, the wire frames are pretty easy to bend and as long as you keep the heat on the welder down they weld pretty good

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If you want manageable pieces and you don't live near a steel supply house/fabrication shop - try McMaster-Carr. They we're cheaper per foot for 1/4" round and if ya order 6' sections rather than long pieces, the shipping is decent.

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