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Metal chassis from coat hanger?

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  • Metal chassis from coat hanger?

    Is this worth trying?
    I know, try and find out!

    Scott
    Why doesn't my car run like that?

    Scott

  • #2
    Scott, if you are just trying to get rid of some coat hangers,.....go ahead, knock yourself out.......but there are absolutely no properties in the wire that coat hangers are made of that will make a better chassis than brass tubing......they both solder well. and have very little memory..(which is unfortunately not a good thing in a slot chassis ).

    Piano wire (because of its high memory/strength ) is the best wire material to construct a chassis with, by far.

    So, is coat hanger wire the ""new mystery go faster chassis material" ??......absolutely not, but , they are certainly plentiful, and built well, the resulting chassis will run just fine, and on a par with most of the brass tube chassis seen on this Forum.

    Try one !!

    Cheers
    Chris Walker

    Last edited by chrisguyw; April 20, 2020, 06:10 PM.

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    • #3
      I was building in the day when any dia. piano wire in the .032-.063 range was just a nickel a foot. Coat hangers might be free, but would require some preparation before use. Most hangers, if not all, will have some sort of coating on them to prevent rust & oxidation. This would need to be removed before soldering. Most hangers won't be as straight as piano wire. And it's soft enough that it won't always hold its bent shapes. But try it & see if you like working with it. Unfluxed brazing rod from a welding shop might be another cheap building material.

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      • #4
        It would be best to use something with a little spring. Piano wire can be bent a little and will spring back, whereas coat hanger material will stay bent. There is the factor of availability, there is still a hobby shop near me and my local hardware store carries everything that K&S makes. Other people probably have to order piano wire.

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        • #5
          In 1965, I was a paperboy, and the bundles of newspapers came to my pickup point tied with wire. It was useless wire, cheap junk meant to snap with just a little stress. I saved some and built a 1/24th drag rail job and attached a Challenger motor/drive. It was garbage, but it was the first scratchbuild I ever tried.

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          • #6
            I think there's something positive about building stuff from whatever is at hand. Years ago many of us had to do with what was laying around or freely available. It such a project works out it's a blessing, if not no big deal.

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            • #7
              The only reason I ask is local shops are closed. But I have coat hangers! I can sand the coating off, no biggie.
              Scott
              Why doesn't my car run like that?

              Scott

              Comment


              • chrisguyw
                chrisguyw commented
                Editing a comment
                Again, for performance and durability reasons, there are far better materials to use, but, if it is built well, it will go around just fine !!

                Build on..!!!......and show some pics.

                Cheers

                PS and all coatings etc. must be removed...it must be squeaky clean to get a good join.

            • #8
              Yes! My son Luis (LVJ) made one years ago that we won a bunch of races with. I'll try to find the pictures. The trick part was that he rounded the nose, and attached the guide on a slider allowing some side to side float.
              Smith Scale Speedway - 1/32 Oval Racing

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              • #9
                Novelty, creativity, and innovation go hand in hand. Trying out an idea leads to new techniques. I was having a hard time getting solder to stick on a steel chassis I was modifying so I switched things up and went with JB Weld. That car currently has the fastest qualifying time on my oval.

                I remember when every car at the Indy 500 was a roadster, then these goofballs came along who decided to put the engine behind the driver. Some people are just born to color outside the lines.

                Comment


                • Bill from NH
                  Bill from NH commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I haven't soldered stainless very often, but when I have, I've used my Ungar, a proper flux, & 4% silver solder. I've always found the stainless I have more difficult to drill a hole through than to solder. I still remember the time I made a key tag & it took a diamond bit to drill a 1/8" hole.

                • slothead
                  slothead commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Chris - the chassis I was modifying was a steel Parma chassis that was being narrowed and lengthened. I guess the reason I couldn't get the solder to work was because I didn't have all the right stuff Bill mentioned. My mancave is in our 150+ year old barn and because it's so old I don't allow fire in or near it, so no torch. I was using a Radio Shack solering gun and generic solder. I was able to drill some holes in the chassis for the JB Weld to grab onto and it's worked out fine.

                  For awhile JB Weld was my version of duct tape. But don't forget the astronauts on Apollo 13 used duct tape to make air filters so their air supply would last long enough for them to get back to Earth.

                • Bill from NH
                  Bill from NH commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Some steel Parma chassis are nickel plated, a few, like the Flex Kar (Flexi 1) have a zinc plating. The nickel plating can be soldered, the zinc has to be removed to bare metal before soldering. In both cases, when soldering steel, use an acid flux, then clean everything real good so it doesn't rust. Soldering ordinary steel doesn't require using the silver solder I mentioned above, 60/40 is okay. Silver solder is usually stronger, but it isn't always necessary.

              • #10
                Originally posted by slothead View Post
                Some people are just born to color outside the lines.
                I like that ……..... a lot

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                • #11
                  Just to confirm something, I just came back from the local Ace Hardware to me and it does NOT have piano wire. But they do stock K&S brass products!
                  1/2 win!
                  Scott
                  Why doesn't my car run like that?

                  Scott

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Not all Ace stores stock the same products. The store closest to me has 1' racks of brass, a 2nd for stainless, & a 3' rack for piano wire. I recently discovered a 2nd hardware store 12 mi from the first is now Ace too. I'll have to stop in to see what they carry. To overcome my own piano wire shortages, years ago, I bought 3' tubes of .047, .055, & .063.

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