Archive for April 14th, 2017
Sculptors build figures with aluminum armature (*) wire, because it’s dead-soft, bends easily, and holds its shape:
The sizes: 1/4 inch, 3/16 inch, 1/8 inch, 1/16 inch. The latter came from my Big Box o’ Specialty Wire, with the others from Richeson via Amazon. You can certainly get better prices for larger quantities from metal suppliers.
- 1/4 inch wire is way too rigid, although a stalk might hold a display
- The 1/8 inch wire looks much different than the others
- 1/16 inch wire may work better inside a braided sheath with the LED conductors
The wire is probably a 1000-series alloy, if only because anything else would start out too stiff and work-harden too quickly, although the sharp bends in the coils already feel hard. It’s possible to anneal aluminum by hand with some soap and a torch, with meltdown an ever-present hazard. Other references suggesting soaking at temperatures in the 300-400 °C range in a furnace I don’t have.