nuts & bolts
and Soldered Cable Fittings
MIKE CUSHWAY, EAA 581898
At fly-ins, how many times have you seen aircraft with genuine wire-wrapped cable treatments and thought about how vintage appropriate they were?
You may have said, “I wish I could do that.” But then you
shied away because you heard that it involves a lot of work.
I did, too, until recently.
But I wanted those wrapped and soldered cables the plans
call for on my Pietenpol Air Camper. I started researching
the techniques and found that information was scarce,
even on the Internet. Knowing that Andrew King, a noted
antiquer, was a pro at these fittings, I contacted him and
got some great pointers. I could see that if I wanted to be
successful at this, I had to jump in.
Remembering back to my gunsmithing days, I recalled
an excellent solder/flux combo that Brownells sells (www.
Brownells.com): Hi-Force 44 and #4 Comet flux. I bought a
pound of solder and a bottle of flux. At about $50, it’s not
inexpensive, but it’s the best stuff out there. It’s a 96 percent
tin/4 percent silver matrix that flows at 475°F and is rated at
28,000 psi tensile strength. From the local hardware store,
I bought some 22-gauge (1/32-inch) galvanized steel wire
that comes in small 100-foot rolls for a few bucks.