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Thread: small smooth steel pins - help finding source?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    The Gorge Area, Oregon

    small smooth steel pins - help finding source?

    I've been tasked with another project and it requires a largish number of small steel pins (around 100+ for the first set and then that much again maybe a few times over if the first one works because well.. yeah others will want one and multiple sizes ). The pins need to be plumb smooth and round on the shaft and one end (beveled is fine, small heads like a brad or cut edges are not, the other end is buried and can be whatever). The size I need is in the 1 to 1.5" long (around 1.25" would be perfect) and .031 (1/32") to .046 (3/64") or 17-20 gauge in diameter. The pins will be placed 1/8" apart and you need to be able to get a needle between them so imho 1/16 is probably just a smidge to big. The commercial example I measured had pins that were 0.044" in diameter and stuck up about 7/8" with around 1/4" buried in the holding material (plastic in their case.. will of course be wood in mine). They do need to be reasonably stiff since they'll be under a smidge of tension but mostly only near the base

    I've found some dowel pins in the 1/32 size but can't seem to find any that are long enough (really thought I had something with dowel pins, they'd be perfect if it wasn't for the available dimensions issue).

    I can get straight spring steel or stainless wire in the right diameter but would really prefer to not have to hand grind all of those pins!! This project will be tedious enough without adding that..

    If any of you have ideas on what to look for - maybe a nail type I've overlooked, some other industrial pin usage, would definitely appreciate ideas.

    Worst case I might try 1/16 and see how it works - I can get those for around $10/100 so I'll mostly just be out a few hours of time.

    In case anyone is deathly curious about the project its one of these: - I did follow the link to the rogerstark page but have been informed that no nails are bad because they have heads which both makes removal of the project hard and also they would mostly need some smoothing anyway and the spacing is also somewhat finer than he used for his (I'm looking at 90ish pins on a 4"x4" loom).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    McMaster & Carr.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    Hmm at $100 of pins for the project ($10 per 10 * 10 packs) that's a bit outside the projects budget. I'm not really willing to spend as much on just the pins that a commercially built model would cost. Oddly some of the just slightly to short ones are in the $10 per 100.

    McMaster had about the same selection that I could find.

    We have found some 18 gauge "head pins" that are used for beading that look promising.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    East Freeetown, Massachusetts
    Maybe a Swiss Screw machine house can make 500 or 1,000 for you.

    Seems to me they should be around .50 each

    Sharp and pointy at one end and with a head at the other end.

    I could make that all day long at work - at .50 in the swiss machines we have.

    Problem is - I don't think they would let me.

    If they charge you a setup charge - it may not be worth it.

    It's worth asking though.

    If you GOTTA get down to .10 each - I dunno.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    Quote Originally Posted by Leo Voisine View Post
    Sharp and pointy at one end and with a head at the other end.
    They really only need work on one end which just needs to be smooth. Don't need them headed or even sharp since the layout will need to be pre-drilled for alignment anyway. If it was only a couple dozen I'd just hand grind and polish them.. but at the several hundred volume that falls apart pretty quick time wise.

    If you GOTTA get down to .10 each - I dunno.[/QUOTE]

    Yeah, that's why I'm trying to find something cheap in bulk

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Knife pins are close, about $.25 each, but only 1" long...

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

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