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AFCA Forums > Antique Fan Collectors Association > Pre-1950 (Antique) > Type of steel rod or wire for cages?

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Type of steel rod or wire for cages?  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Fri Nov 8th, 2019 12:52 am
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Todd Adornato
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I’ve had the worst luck trying my hand at brazing broken cage wires back into place, so I wheeled out my MIG welder, and had much better success with two different cages using very low output voltage and feed settings.  The welds are pretty compact and neat, and once filed and painted, aren’t noticeable unless you look up close. 
So now I’m going to try and replace the thinner fore/aft wires that are broken off in several places on a 12” Emerson cage.  I measured the thickness on the remaining wires, and it’s approximately 0.108”.  

What type of rod or wire do you folks use to replace such wire?  From where - McMaster Carr?



(wondering if anyone is going to say, “coat hanger wire”)

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 Posted: Fri Nov 8th, 2019 01:25 am
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Chris A. Campbell
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For most economical way of replacing part of a cage I would just buy 1/8” steel rod, cut length needed. Place one end in drill and let it turn while knocking diameter down slightly with a file.
You can get 1/8” easy and picking up at Home Depot is a few bucks.

Last edited on Fri Nov 8th, 2019 01:27 am by Chris A. Campbell

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 Posted: Fri Nov 8th, 2019 01:34 am
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Todd Adornato
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Chris, I assume you’re talking about the hot-rolled low-carbon steel rods?

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 Posted: Fri Nov 8th, 2019 01:48 am
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Chris A. Campbell
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Todd Adornato wrote: Chris, I assume you’re talking about the hot-rolled low-carbon steel rods?

When I did it was what ever the $3 steel rod is at Home Depot. Needed around 16”, and knocked diameter down with oiled sandpaper about 120 grit. 

Looking back wish had filed to go faster and keep fingers from cramping up. It didn't take too long but did blend well, brazed on and after painting I cant tell which s-wire was replaced for a 10” Emerson cage.


What you are looking for would be 7/64” and can be found however postage on 36” lengths may not be worth costs of cage. Assuming a 27666 cage? If so a more common 29646 cage may work too.



Last edited on Fri Nov 8th, 2019 02:30 am by Chris A. Campbell

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 Posted: Fri Nov 8th, 2019 02:51 am
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Todd Adornato
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I’m already ordering some other stuff from McMaster, so I just added some 0.110” steel rod. Yes, it’s for the 27666 cage - I was discouraged by my attempts at brazing, hence my search for a replacement. Now that I’ve discovered I can do a much better job with the MIG welder, I’m going to try fixing the cage.

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 Posted: Fri Nov 8th, 2019 02:36 pm
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Dan Robillard
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George Durbin is a master at repairing cages! I attended his seminar at the Fan Fair in Madison two years ago and it's the only technique I use now. very simple using silver solder. He may have the video from that seminar.

Last edited on Fri Nov 8th, 2019 02:37 pm by Dan Robillard

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 Posted: Fri Nov 8th, 2019 02:42 pm
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Todd Adornato
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Thanks for the tip, Dan. I was trying silver solder and a MAPP torch, but despite getting the two wires cherry red, I just couldn’t get the solder to flow properly, or the weld to hold. Then I looked at my MIG welder, and thought, “Why not give it a try?” After I got it set up properly, it took about half a second to get a nice, strong weld with just a little bead. Works for me!

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