fine (entomological or insect) pins

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andrewnummelin
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fine (entomological or insect) pins

Postby andrewnummelin » Mon Jul 15, 2019 2:57 pm

Many decades ago I bought some entomological pins and I've now run out of one size. I've tried UK specialist suppliers and searched Amazon and Ebay without success, one specialist also checked with their suppliers and could also not find any.
What I'm after is what was sold as No. 20 pins that are very useful for fixing things together, like working wagon brakes, and for securing things like lamp irons to plastic models.
The photo shows from top to bottom
No. 14 pin, 0.4mm diameter (I still have many of these)
No. 20 pin, 0.25mm diameter (my last one - these are what I need)
0.25mm headless pin (made by Minucie - bought because I didn't look closely enough at the illustration on line).
pins.jpg

Fine pins, usually much longer, with glass or plastic heads, or even large lumps of brass are not too difficult to find, nor are "flat" head pins thicker than 0.4mm. But has anyone any idea where I can get pins like the No. 20 illustrated.
Regards,

Andrew Nummelin

FCA
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Re: fine (entomological or insect) pins

Postby FCA » Tue Jul 16, 2019 11:38 am


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David B
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Re: fine (entomological or insect) pins

Postby David B » Tue Jul 16, 2019 12:48 pm

Do you need the heads, Andrew? If not, the why not use brass or nickel silver wire?

Alan Turner
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Re: fine (entomological or insect) pins

Postby Alan Turner » Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:00 pm

I think the problem is that the original formed head has been replaced with an epoxy bead head on all entomological pins.

regards

Alan

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LesGros
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Re: fine (entomological or insect) pins

Postby LesGros » Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:11 pm

Jewelers' suppliers such as Cookson Gold supply formed head pins in various wire sizes and materials; worth a look.

Another option is to take a leaf out of the jewelery crafters' book; hold selected wire in grips and, after heating the end with a flame, use a small hammer to form the head.
LesG

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grovenor-2685
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Re: fine (entomological or insect) pins

Postby grovenor-2685 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 3:33 pm

Try looking for Lace pins. Examples here but does not seem to be much choice of size.

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PeteT
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Re: fine (entomological or insect) pins

Postby PeteT » Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:02 pm

If the head is important but not the point, then domehead rivets could be the answer - that said, Eileens only go down to 0.4mm shank on these too!

https://eileensemporium.com/index.php?o ... thway=1113

andrewnummelin
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Re: fine (entomological or insect) pins

Postby andrewnummelin » Thu Jul 18, 2019 7:47 pm

Thanks to all for the interesting and useful suggestions.

Wire or headless pins can indeed be used in many circumstances, it's just that a pin is often easier to use:
- there's a point making it easier than plain wire to insert into a hole
- the point makes it easier to push a pin through things (plastic if the pin is heated by a soldering iron or just pressure into soft wood)
- the head makes it easier to hold vulnerable things onto a surface if a relatively weak glued joint is the other option (lamp iron or footboard support onto plastic or wood for example)
- moving joints are easier to make.

Forming a head on a piece of wire (or headless pin) is possible but I feel is not easy. A tiny bit of solder is the first thing I thought of but it's very difficult to get a uniform blob and shaping one is something I'm not sure I could do. Also liable to fail if soldering the other end of the pin.
I am intrigued by the suggestion of heating and then forming a head - I would have thought that fine wire would cool too fast to make this feasible in a domestic environment. I have difficulty in picturing how this could be done by hand.

I've also used pins to simulate bolt heads but there are cosmetic alternatives if joint strength is not important.
Regards,

Andrew Nummelin

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kelly
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Re: fine (entomological or insect) pins

Postby kelly » Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:16 am

andrewnummelin wrote:Thanks to all for the interesting and useful suggestions.

Wire or headless pins can indeed be used in many circumstances, it's just that a pin is often easier to use:
- there's a point making it easier than plain wire to insert into a hole
- the point makes it easier to push a pin through things (plastic if the pin is heated by a soldering iron or just pressure into soft wood)
- the head makes it easier to hold vulnerable things onto a surface if a relatively weak glued joint is the other option (lamp iron or footboard support onto plastic or wood for example)
- moving joints are easier to make.

Forming a head on a piece of wire (or headless pin) is possible but I feel is not easy. A tiny bit of solder is the first thing I thought of but it's very difficult to get a uniform blob and shaping one is something I'm not sure I could do. Also liable to fail if soldering the other end of the pin.
I am intrigued by the suggestion of heating and then forming a head - I would have thought that fine wire would cool too fast to make this feasible in a domestic environment. I have difficulty in picturing how this could be done by hand.

I've also used pins to simulate bolt heads but there are cosmetic alternatives if joint strength is not important.


To make your own heads to pins, you'd heat the wire with a blow torch until it becomes red hot and it will start to ball, then quench. Then you can shape it if desired, but it shouldn't be needed. A fairly basic jewellery technique to some extent.
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KalKat
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Re: fine (entomological or insect) pins

Postby KalKat » Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:07 pm


andrewnummelin
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Re: fine (entomological or insect) pins

Postby andrewnummelin » Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:23 am

KalKat wrote:How about these people? https://www.watdon.co.uk/acatalog/insec ... ories.html



Emma

Unfortunately smallest metal headed pins are, I think, 0.4mm.
Regards,

Andrew Nummelin

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LesGros
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Re: fine (entomological or insect) pins

Postby LesGros » Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:28 am

andrewnummelin wrote:
Unfortunately smallest metal headed pins are, I think, 0.4mm.


Good Morning Andrew,
I you scroll down about halfway you will find a table of sizes. in Watdon Own Make.

AA is 0.004 inches (aka 4thou.) multiply by 2.54 for the diameter in mm . ie 0.004 * 2.54 = 0.01216 mm

Decide on the size you want in mm then divide by 2.54 to give you the size in inches.
LesG

The man who never made a mistake
never made anything useful

charleswrigley
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Re: fine (entomological or insect) pins

Postby charleswrigley » Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:51 am

Sorry to be a bore Les but you are a factor of 10 out with your sums. There are 25.4mm to the inch therefore your 4 thou pins work out at 0.1216mm.

Charlie

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grovenor-2685
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Re: fine (entomological or insect) pins

Postby grovenor-2685 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:44 am

LesGros wrote:andrewnummelin wrote:
Unfortunately smallest metal headed pins are, I think, 0.4mm.


Good Morning Andrew,
I you scroll down about halfway you will find a table of sizes. in Watdon Own Make.

AA is 0.004 inches (aka 4thou.) multiply by 2.54 for the diameter in mm . ie 0.004 * 2.54 = 0.01216 mm

Decide on the size you want in mm then divide by 2.54 to give you the size in inches.

Trouble is that those are 'headless' and Andrew specifically wants heads.
Rgds

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LesGros
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Re: fine (entomological or insect) pins

Postby LesGros » Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:40 am

grovenor wrote:

Trouble is that those are 'headless' and Andrew specifically wants heads.


Ah... back to head forming then.
:(
LesG

The man who never made a mistake
never made anything useful


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