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#26 MSwiss

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 01:04 PM

At 8-10 times the price of K&S, it better be really good.


Mike Swiss
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
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#27 Eddie Fleming

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 01:50 PM

That price at Component Supply is for 18 inch lengths. That helps a little but it is still expensive. 


Eddie Fleming

#28 Tim Neja

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 02:26 PM

Music wire at Grainge – 15/36" lengths at $20.20.  Not too bad a price; last stuff I got was very straight. They've got all the sizes as well, similar pricing.


She's real fine, my 409!!!

#29 MSwiss

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 02:42 PM

Tim,

 

What sizes did you buy?

 

PS: I just looked at it. What worries me is that they use K&S stock numbers, and in a few cases, refer to it as K&S.

 

So the question is, did you just get fairly old stock when it was good?


Mike Swiss
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

17B West Ogden Ave Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516


#30 Half Fast

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 06:52 PM

Bill. have you ordered any of their music wire? If so, how was its quality?

 

I have not ordered from Component supply, but I have bought piano wire form McMaster-Carr. They have interesting "in between" sizes, I bought some .059" and .051". Good quality.

 

Cheers,


Bill Botjer

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#31 JimF

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 01:33 AM

IMO and IME and YMMV... etc. Most wire vendors are K&S or Malin resellers. Most all seem to be resellers of the same products. The company known as "Small Parts, inc." sold wire that was of superior quality for straightness and avail in many non-std sizes. They have been absorbed by Amazon and most all of their amazingly good products are now gone and replaced by the generic K&S or Malin stuff.

 

Still... you have to wonder, where did they (Small Parts, Inc.) supply their stuff from? It had to come from somewhere and certainly wasn't Mars or Venus (well... maybe Mars). Straight wire and flat and square brass should be out there because it was in the past.

 

For sure, we all now know that K&S cannot reliably supply straight wire or flat and square brass strips. Nor do they care to. They seem to be oblivious that there is any problem, yet those of us that rely on their stuff have been repeatedly disappointed by their quality.

 

Oh!!!! that was sort of a rant... uhhhh... right?

 

Just for myself... this is a huge loss of respect for a company that was formerly an anchor for the hobby industry.


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#32 Bill from NH

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 06:58 AM

When I first bought K&S piano wire during 1970, it didn't matter where I bought it or whether it was .032', .047', .055', or .0625', all cost just a nickel per foot.


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#33 Gene/ZR1

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 07:18 AM

Gibbswire.com
Round
Flat
Square
All sizes, shapes, coatings

Bulk quantity
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#34 Bill from NH

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 07:50 AM

Thanks for the link, Gene. A quick look at their website provides an almost endless choice of different music wire. Have you worked with some of their wire?


Bill Fernald
 

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#35 MSwiss

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 06:43 PM

For sure, we all now know that K&S cannot reliably supply straight wire or flat and square brass strips.

 

Just curious, Jim, what is your issue with the brass strips?

I just checked with the guy who I got $60-$75 worth and he said it was fine.


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Mike Swiss
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

17B West Ogden Ave Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516


#36 JimF

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 07:25 PM

Actually, I probably got a little carried away with my venting... :crazy:  The brass is no worse than it ever was. However, the K&S strips are bowed in cross section and the wider the strip, the worse it is. You have one side concave and one side convex. This is especially true of the 1/16" thick stuff. It's usable and I can live with it but it is still irritating. The brass I bought from SPI (them again) was much more square and flat.
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#37 MSwiss

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 08:19 PM

Yes, at the start of Retro, I bought a bunch of precut 3/4" wide, .062" pieces I would send to Eddy MacDonald, for nosepieces to build RTR chassis, so I know all about concave / convex.
 
But with what it was used for, it being concave really didn't have any real world impact.

Mike Swiss
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

17B West Ogden Ave Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516


#38 Dave Crevie

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 10:58 AM

Well, I'm really missing Al's Hobby Shop in my hometown. They not only carried K&S, but also Special Shapes stock. And
had all the K&S wire, in steel, brass and copper, and most of the brass strip stock, including angles and channels, in 36" lengths.
In the last few years that they were open, they often were OOS on some of the sizes of brass strip in the long lengths. Tim said
K&S was backing off on the bulk quantities, and concentrating on pre-packaged material. Al's was my sole supplier for brass
wire, strip, and sheet for my scratch-built model railroad locomotives.
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#39 JimF

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 11:56 AM

I have an ACE hardware in my small town that has a rack carries some strips but no wire. Unfortunately they only re-stock once in a blue moon so availability is spotty. Fast Track Hobbies was my other main source and he carries quite a bit of brass and wire but he only buys from one dist and he has mentioned that dist has had thin availability lately. He was told by that dist that K&S was backing somewhat away from the smaller hobby distributors and concentrating on supplying their larger customers. I do not know how true that is.
 
I contacted Component Supply late last month exchanging several emails with their sales manager. She was reluctant to disclose their source but eventually confirmed that they buy from K&S and others. I don't know who the others are, but looking at their wire list, they carry all the same sizes as K&S and in 3' lengths like K&S. From that, I'd surmise that their straight wire is K&S. The other sources that I've searched (like Gibbs) all seem to only sell coils or be K&S resellers.
 
Stainless was mentioned above and I have not tried it although it is certainly out there. IAC I (think) that stainless would not be a legal material for Retro and there is the soldering issue as well.
 
I suppose that some of these industrial suppliers would straighten wire given a large enough order but what standard of "straight" they might use would be a burning question. I've been searching around for a better quality wire for some months now with no success at all. It seems to me that K&S is it and even their availability to the hobby industry seems an open question.
Jim Fowler

#40 MSwiss

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 12:47 PM

I don't believe for a moment that they are phasing out of the smaller hobby distributors.

If you look at ERI's website, you will see under new slot car companies, that along with myself, K & S Metals is listed.

I've been with them a little over a year, so why would they take on ERI as a customer if they were getting out of that business?

Like I said in post #24, I'm 98% sure it's just a case of some places not making the effort to order.
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Mike Swiss
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

17B West Ogden Ave Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516


#41 Dave Crevie

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 01:58 PM

I agree with you. Mike. The hobby industry, including the small shops, are a huge chunk of K&S's business. Big companies are not buying their supplies from K&S, they are buying from industrial supply companies. I know that for a fact, as I was in that industry for almost fifty years. If we needed anything like that we got it from Castle or McMaster-Carr. Even K&S's wholesale price was too high for our needs.
 
When you take a serious look at it, keeping a stock of all the different sizes and types of K&S material is a huge investment. I fear the slot tracks just don't want to have that much cash tied up in inventory.

#42 JimF

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 02:59 PM

Like I said in post #24, I'm 98% sure it's just a case of some places not making the effort to order.

 

Probably the case and FWIW the dist that made that claim to my track owner was not ERI.


Jim Fowler

#43 MSwiss

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 03:38 PM

ERI has every K&S item they stock, in stock (albeit, not as extensive as the other major dist.)
 
K&S Products at ERI

Mike Swiss
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

17B West Ogden Ave Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516


#44 Tex

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 05:16 PM

I have an ACE hardware in my small town that has a rack carries some strips but no wire. Unfortunately they only re-stock once in a blue moon so availability is spotty.

 
Sounds like my local store also, Jim. My local hardware store was an Ace store until a year or so ago, now's it's a Tru-Value(?) or Do-It-Best(?) or something. I digress... it's the same store run by the same people and they provide excellent service when you walk in the door. They have a K&S display rack also, as you described mostly brass tubing and sheet, some solid brass rod also (I think). Knowing this was a K&S rack, I asked if they could order some piano wire (this was while store was still Ace). They had me sit down beside them at a computer to find it in their system and then to order it. They did. We did. I got my wire. Thank goodness I don't have to go through that now (local track has piano wire).


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#45 JimF

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 05:51 PM

That's a darned good idea. I could easily buy a tube each of the sizes that I use a lot of (.047" and .039") I have a fair bit to chew through but I know my local would order it for me, too. Like your store, they are really quite good.

 

Actually though, when I run through what I have, I'll probably just order the plated from Mike. If his comes from K&S it can't be any worse than what I have at the moment and who knows, it might be better.


Jim Fowler

#46 Tom Thumb Hobbies

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 10:14 PM

The biggest problem currently with K&S is that their biggest distributor to the hobby industry was Hobbico who is now out of business. Horizon Hobby, who purchased most of the assets of Hobbico, never distributed K&S and I was told doesn’t plan to because of low margins. Hence most LHS have no one to buy K&S from except direct which is not really a good option.
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#47 MSwiss

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 11:07 PM

I get a regular discount from my two slot distributors, so I'm thinking the margin can't be too awful.

IMO, the stupid part of carrying K&S is the 3 foot piano wire.

I wouldn't reorder it as much as I should, because I would feel bad making the distributor pack up a 3 foot long box, for one $7 or $8 net, package of wire.

Mike McM,

Are there any applications in the general hobby world for a piece of wire longer than a foot?


Mike Swiss
IRRA® Components Committee Chairman
Five-time USRA National Champion (two G7, one G27, two G7 Senior)
Two-time G7 World Champion (1988, 1990), eight G7 main appearances
Eight-time G7 King track single lap world record holder

17B West Ogden Ave Westmont, IL 60559, (708) 203-8003, mikeswiss86@hotmail.com (also my PayPal address)

Note: Send all USPS packages and mail to: 5858 Chase Ave., Downers Grove, IL 60516


#48 Mr. M

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Posted 27 October 2018 - 07:09 AM

R/C plane control surface connections to servos.


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#49 Tom Thumb Hobbies

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Posted 27 October 2018 - 07:24 AM

Pushrods in airplanes. Sometimes boats. I sell a ton of K&S to prototype shops in the area as well as the four or five magic trick manufacturers in central OH. Who knew?

 

I have no idea what distributors consider low margins. Part of the increase in cost to retail shops is shipping. When I place a $3K order for General Hobby trinkets adding K&S was no issue. But now the added weight and bulk of 3 foot wire bundles adds $$ to the shipping cost.


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#50 Steve Deiters

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Posted 27 October 2018 - 09:20 AM

Tom Thumb Hobbies: 

 

Shipping costs can be brutal especially for package delivery. Most people don't understand that. I think the general public has an "Amazon/Amazon Prime" perception of it.  Order it and shipping is "free." It's not.

 

I have noticed since the ascendancy of Amazon cost for the shipper who walks up to the counter have soared. Large shippers like Amazon get huge discounts. I have one catalog customer that I ship their orders using their account. At this time they used FedEx Ground. They now use UPS. I found out by chance that their discount from list price was about 83% from retail. The counter person, with eyebrows raised, told me that was far greater than they received as an employee.

 

High shipping costs... how does it impact us as racers? It makes it tougher for raceways and hobby shops to make a sustainable profit. The net result can be we don't have a place to buy stuff and/or race. Think about that...







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