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Bend Surgical Needles To Make Scale Model Lamps

Things you should know about bending surgical needles.

There are two methods discussed here.  Both use the same jig arrangement.   That is fully described in the video and this first discussion.  The second method is to simply anneal the needle and then bend it around the mandrill.

How To Bend Surgical Needles

  1. Make jig from steel bar and bolt.
  2. Insert jig into vise.
  3. Insert needle into jig.
  4. Heat needle and bend to desired shape.
  5. Remove plastic end from needle.

In the video below I show you how to bend surgical needles to be used to make scale model lamps. For example, these HO scale streetlamps that use micro SMD LEDs as the lighting source.

This technique can be used also to bend brass tube or wire.

The steel used in surgical needles makes them very hard to bend without causing kinks in the bend. Kinks will make it impossible for you to slide the wires from the LED through the tube. So, you cannot have kinks at all.

To bend them I make a simple jig made of a bolt and steel strap.

I saw and file a notch in the bolt that is deep enough for the surgical needle to fit just below the surface of the bolt.

Then I file a flat surface on bolt that is on the opposite side of the notch.

That allows me to quickly align the notch on the face of the steel strap.

The strap and bolt are put into a vice.

The vice I use I have on a special woodblock so that I can move it around on my modeling benchtop. This is much more convenient than having to work on the vice that is in a fixed position.

I insert the surgical needle into the cavity between the steel plate and bolt. The plastic base remains in place. It acts as heat shield that makes it easy to handle a hot needle. I remove that plastic after shaping is finished.

Then I use a small torch to heat the needle and slowly bend it to the shape I want.

In this case I am only making a partial bend. This is what the finished product looks like.

At the end of the video you can see the results when I make a full 180° bend.

In the later video I will show you how I use these to make HO scale streetlamps.

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