Utility poles

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by MasonJar, Feb 10, 2003.

  1. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Built a couple of utility / telegraph poles over the weekend. I am very pleased with the way they turned out, but I need your help to finish them off.

    What would you suggest to use for the insulators? The crossarms are scale 3x4 (approx.) so whatever it is, it'll have to be small...!

    Also, do you tend to string the poles with "wire" or leave it off? If yes, what do you recommend (I am assuming some sort of thread or fine wire...)?


  2. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

  3. billk

    billk Active Member

    For insulators, how about beads? You didn't say what scale, but they come pretty small and in lots of colors.

    For wiring (if you must - think about letting the mind fill in the details) how about some sort of stretchy thread? They must use something like that when making a rock singer's britches! Take a trip to a fabric store and see what's available. It would have enough "give" so that when you snag it the chance of damage is reduced.
  4. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    Hi Andrew, When I get bored and just want to sit and do something I'll build telegraph poles...These are HO...30ft old time poles. I use clear "seed beads" from the craft store for insulators. The poles are 1/8" dowels.

    String or thread is ok for lines but they trend to collect dust...I don't have any strung right now but also at the craft store I found some very small monofilament line that they use to string those seed beads.... it sorta has a slight greenish cast to it like copper wire and is very strong. I'd say its about the equivlent of 2 or 3 # fishing line.

    Hope this helped :)

    Attached Files:

  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Thanks for the input guys.

    cid - that stuff looks good - sort of what billk was suggesting I think.

    billk - see cid's link, plus I was already wondering if fine elastic or maybe spandex thread (if there is such a thing) would be good to string wires with.

    Vic - mine are based on 1/8" dowels too (HO Scale ~ 12-14" diameter). Mine are from www.leevalley.com .

    Thanks for bead suggestion too. I figured that would be the way to go, but they have to be so tiny. Where's that magnifier I asked for....!?!

  6. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I'll post this pic, the lines don't show well, but they are there.
    I turned plastic rod for the insulators, and used surgical silk for the wires. The silk was then wetted with a water white glue mix, which allowed a natural catenary(sag), and when the glue dried, the catenary stayed in the lines, and they were sealed so cleaning off the dust was easier.
    While the lines were still wet, I used an Xacto handle to help form the catenary in the wires.

    Attached Files:

    • pole.jpg
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  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Pictures at last

    Here is how my utility poles turned out. Pictured with a few scrub pad trees in "the drying rack". Still need to add the bracing to the poles. Beads were 1000 for 1.50 at a craft store.


    Attached Files:

  8. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Pete, I must have missed this thread, that photo is excellant! The transformer, the stirrup steps or whatever they're called, the insulators and general composition of the scene are outstanding.
  9. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    Thanks for the comments. The composition of the scene was pure luck! I really had nothing to do with that, it just happened to turn out that way.

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