Straightening lead rod/basic wedges

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Speedster
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Straightening lead rod/basic wedges

Post by Speedster » Mon Dec 25, 2017 6:15 am

We provide 3/8" lead rod at our workshops that is only handled by specific adults. The rod is not straight and it can be straightened fairly quickly in a vice. I use a 5" vice but I suspect any size vice would work. Each rod is about 5" long and the ends are filed quickly to remove a high spot after the rod is straightened. Our scouts are mostly Tigers, and now Lions, along with Girl Scouts who are just starting out. We provide 5 car designs for them to look at. Even though the designs are all different they a still basic wedges. The lead rod and basic wedge allows us to get a competitive Center of Gravity in any of the sample cars. We will cut any design as long as it can be done quickly. Instruction, tools and product are also supplied for wheel bore prep and lubing with graphite. A concentricity gauge is supplied to get rid of the worst wheel.
I'm happy to report our District rules have been changed this year to enable the scouts to tune their cars to run straight or build rail riders. A BIG "THANK YOU" to Jaci, Jason and Jim.
Best wishes for all your upcoming races,
Speedster



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Vitamin K
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Re: Straightening lead rod/basic wedges

Post by Vitamin K » Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:26 pm

I was considering taking a thick block of wood (maybe 4x4?), drilling a 3/8' bore down the center and then cutting the block in half. Then, to straighten a section of wire, I could lay it in the half-channel in one of half of the block, place the other block on top and whack it a few times with a rubber mallet.

Workable, do you think?



Speedster
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Re: Straightening lead rod/basic wedges

Post by Speedster » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:28 am

The 5" rods are bent in many directions and won't lay in a groove that was drilled straight. The lead is soft so you will want to be gentle with it. With the vice you can see what is happening. I get the worst bend out first, back the vice off 1/2 turn, turn the rod, squeeze, back the vice off 1/2 turn, turn the rod, squeeze, etc. It goes very quickly and takes very little physical energy.
We now have Girl Scouts at our workshops so we'll be going through 100 rods this year. There are 2 other Packs that buy rods from us so we're able to save them the cost of shipping. I have lots of time so I straighten the rods for them. We buy our rods from Hodges Hobby House because of the price.
VK, I admire your energy. Give it a try and let us know how it works.



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whodathunkit
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Straightening lead rod/basic wedges

Post by whodathunkit » Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:40 am

Speedster,
Is the 3/8 " rod coming to you in a coil?

Might try looking at the 3/8 copper tube
Straightening tool By Kwix U.K. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4OVREFfoAAA

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Last edited by whodathunkit on Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:40 am, edited 1 time in total.


What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

Speedster
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Re: Straightening lead rod/basic wedges

Post by Speedster » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:58 pm

The rods come in 5" pieces.
That is a clever tool. I can see it would save a lot of time for someone who would need it everyday. I wish them well.



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whodathunkit
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Re: Straightening lead rod/basic wedges

Post by whodathunkit » Sat Dec 30, 2017 7:58 am

Speedster wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:28 am
The 5" rods are bent in many directions We buy our rods from Hodges Hobby House because of the price.
Okay Speedster!
When i asked if the 5" rods were coming to you in a coil form .. they would be bent in many directions as you describe.
I see where your getting the lead rods from.. how ever it was your description of bent in many directions that made my think you were getting
the rods in a coil form as seen when buying lead rods from this company.
https://www.rotometals.com/lead-wire-fo ... -diameter/

Best of luck Speedster.


What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

Speedster
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Re: Straightening lead rod/basic wedges

Post by Speedster » Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:42 am

Whoda, thanks for trying to help me.
I can get the same amount of wire from Hodges for $4.35 and it comes somewhat straight. Also, I don't pay any sales tax from Hodges. How Hodges sells it so inexpensive I do not know but I'm stocking up on it.
If a wedge car is cut correctly the car will end up with a 1" CG using 3 holes drilled with a 25/64" drill bit. If a wedge car is not cut slim enough the CG gets worse and something different needs to be done to get a more aggressive CG. This is all covered in the 9AM Presentation. We do not have time to "fine tune" any car and that is made clear at the very beginning. Our workshops are focused on speed but it is also made clear the car belongs to the scout and he/she can have whatever they choose. All shapes of tungsten are displayed and the teams can leave the workshop at anytime. We have a table set up with 10 variable speed, battery powered drills, plenty of Novus 2, and pipe cleaners to polish the bores. We also have them check their wheels on a Concentricity gauge to find the worst wheel that will be used for the raised wheel. I offer Troy Thorne's 2013 book For Sale to save them shipping.
So Far, So Good. We haven't had a complaint yet.



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