Attaching elwire to sheet metal

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Attaching elwire to sheet metal

Postby Rusted Iron » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:29 pm

Im looking for tips on how to attach elwire to metal on an MV. I'd like to create clean sharp lines.

I want to outline the claws and teeth of the Rat in light. Some of the sheet metal is very thin and some is quite thick and is a pain to drill through. The thin stuff, I can maybe drill out and tie down with wire. My concern is that the tie-wire may abrade the plastic coating of the elwire and damage the innards. I have a bag full of small clips, for wiring, but they are metal and will interrupt the flow of light, giving a dot/dash effect. They will also look lousy on the teeth.

Any suggestions? Thanks.

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Re: Attaching elwire to sheet metal

Postby junglesmacks » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:36 pm

2 part clear epoxy?
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Re: Attaching elwire to sheet metal

Postby moltensteelman » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:16 pm

This year we used clear vinyl fish tank tubing (my girlfreinds idea) and 3m body molding tape (my idea). The tubing gives the el wire a larger and shiny look. The double stick body molding tape works really well for adhering it to almost any surface and follows curves well. We used 1/32nd inch thick tape 1/2" wide and cut it to 1/4" wide strips. If you can find it in 1/4" rolls it would work better. The tape is almost as expensive as the el wire, but it works well.
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Re: Attaching elwire to sheet metal

Postby gyre » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:12 pm

I've used plastic wire clips for wire on metal, but they aren't clear.
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Re: Attaching elwire to sheet metal

Postby Just_Joe » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:49 pm

Rusted Iron wrote:Im looking for tips on how to attach elwire to metal on an MV. I'd like to create clean sharp lines.

I have EL wire outlining a 4' high pair of Penguins. They're made of 1/4" steel and had 6 years of patina (rust) on them when I GLUED EL wire to them at BM in 2010 with GOOP. I placed a drop of GOOP every 8" or so, set the wire into it, and taped it down with masking tape until it dry. Since then, the penguins have been in my yard, exposed to the Nevada sun and the EL wire is still well attached.
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Re: Attaching elwire to sheet metal

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:57 pm

GO GO Goop!!!!!! 8)
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Re: Attaching elwire to sheet metal

Postby gyre » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:04 pm

There is that clear version of goop.
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Re: Attaching elwire to sheet metal

Postby Rusted Iron » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:32 pm

I will try the goop. Thanks.
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Re: Attaching elwire to sheet metal

Postby SnowBlind » Thu Jun 14, 2012 12:56 am

Rusted Iron wrote:My concern is that the tie-wire may abrade the plastic coating of the elwire and damage the innards. I have a bag full of small clips, for wiring, but they are metal and will interrupt the flow of light, giving a dot/dash effect. They will also look lousy on the teeth.


If you are drilling holes, you could use fishing line instead of wire to tie it down. It shouldn't be abrasive, and it's clear, so any interruptions in the light will be minimal.

(Also works well if you are sewing ewire onto clothing)
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Re: Attaching elwire to sheet metal

Postby robotland » Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:27 am

As observed, GOOP is the Fritz Schnitzel for EL projects...but I'll vouch for the fishline method too- Three square knots keeps it from untying. UV light rapidly degrades fishline, zipstrips and other plasticky things, so put your knots where shade is maximal and check for MOOP. Although it costs more than the Household GOOP (usually), the Outdoor or RV GOOP supposedly has a UV stabilizer in it. I have yet to see a pronounced difference.

...got to use MOOP and GOOP in the same post! My work here is done.

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Re: Attaching elwire to sheet metal

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:05 am

GOOP THE MOOP!!!!!!! 8)
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Re: Attaching elwire to sheet metal

Postby some seeing eye » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:58 am

You might look at clear silicone calk. Easy to lay down a small bead and it is commonly used in vehicles. Cheap.
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Re: Attaching elwire to sheet metal

Postby gyre » Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:12 am

Corrosive to metal, so test it.
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Re: Attaching elwire to sheet metal

Postby Drawingablank » Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:59 pm

If you are willing to drill holes there are quite a few suitable styles of cable tie mount that should work. I am partial to the push mount style (they resemble a circuit board stand off). The adhesive type mounts fail quickly in sun / heat.

Google "cable tie mount" and look at the images - there are many possibilities. They even make cable ties with a built in push mount.
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Re: Attaching elwire to sheet metal

Postby BBadger » Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:25 pm

Could you zip-tie/wire over some foam sheathing? It would also provide some friction to keep things taut.
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Re: Attaching elwire to sheet metal

Postby Rusted Iron » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:08 pm

I think i'll try goop for the bulk of the the wire and tie it down at the beginning, middle and ends, for extra security. Less holes to drill and less time with my hands inside the Rat getting sheet metal cuts.

I've used fishing line for other projects and i have a hard time getting the knots tight enough. I've gone so far as to use an old suture set to do instrument ties. Wimpy fingers.
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Re: Attaching elwire to sheet metal

Postby gyre » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:33 pm

If you need serious metal adhesives, I recommend Schnee-morehead.

They have a polyurethane made for vehicle vibration.
I'll be using it to glue aluminum to steel and wood.
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Re: Attaching elwire to sheet metal

Postby Sail Man » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:04 pm

FIGJAM wrote:GO GO Goop!!!!!! 8)


Yes, where is Robotland?!?

The Cybernetic Organism does like his goop.. :lol: He has been known to grace us with his admiration's and experiences with the sacred substance :mrgreen:
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Re: Attaching elwire to sheet metal

Postby gyre » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:39 pm

Wasn't there a goop thread?
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