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: http://www.eloomanation.com/looms.php - 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).