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Probe rod - any alternatives?

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Probe rod - any alternatives?

Postby nitram » Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:40 pm

Is there any easy alternative to going to all that bother in getting a probe made up by a tradesman. What do others use? Would an old golf club minus the clubhead suffice
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Re: Probe rod - any alternatives?

Postby Koala » Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:13 pm

Yes golf club sounds like a good idea to me

does not have to be fancy.



Most scrap metal merchants will sell you a length of steel for a couple pounds. Bend over the handle end and put something bright on it. Last thing you want to do it head but the sharp end and easier to find if you leave it stuck in the ground


Not that we were safety conscious when were were kids LOL
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Re: Probe rod - any alternatives?

Postby Fusion » Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:29 pm

Probes are usually about 1/8th inch diameter spring steel (3mm - 4mm?), and the steel tube handle (eg. old mountain-bike handlebar, 22.2mm diameter) is brazed or silver-soldered onto the end. Not welded, as that ruins the heat-treated spring steel. Some better probes have tungsten carbide tips fitted on them, but I guess that's a luxury.
Google will find you several home-build probe instructions. So have a go at making one.
Last edited by Fusion on Thu Dec 29, 2016 12:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Probe rod - any alternatives?

Postby andy fraggle » Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:39 pm

How about a ski pole, just remove the flat plate and your ready to go. will be very durable and lightweight.

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Re: Probe rod - any alternatives?

Postby syzygy » Tue Jun 09, 2015 4:03 pm

What does one do with these probes?
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Re: Probe rod - any alternatives?

Postby Fusion » Tue Jun 09, 2015 4:22 pm

Shove it in the ground and listen for a distinctive noise that a lump of glass makes. Then dig a hole as deep as the probe was. In essence.
Last edited by Fusion on Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Probe rod - any alternatives?

Postby syzygy » Tue Jun 09, 2015 4:40 pm

Fusion wrote:Shove it in the ground and listen for a distinctive noise that a lump of glass makes. Then dig a hole as deep asthe probe was. In essence.

Bit too technical for me. x;
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Re: Probe rod - any alternatives?

Postby Fusion » Fri Jun 12, 2015 7:25 pm

I've just had a browse through my engineering materials stock (ie. junk in the garage) and found some lengths of spring steel - then I remembered where they came from. Bicycle tyres have two spring-steel hoops on each side, the beads. These are made from a single length of wire, about 1.6mm diameter, with one welded joint. The total hoop length is about 1.9 metres for a mountain-bike tyre. They are probably a bit thin for probes over 2 or 3 feet, but presumably motorbike tyres, and car tyres, could have thicker gauge bead wire. Obviously the length would be less, maybe 1.2 metre. But they may use multiple strands of thinner wire in car tyres - I've since dismembered a couple of other bike tyres to find they used triple/quadruple loops of thinner wire.

When I cut them, I removed all the tyre fabric/rubber first, so I could find the weld on the hoop, and cut next to that. I had to use a "Dremel" type tool with a carbide stone, some chunky wire-cutters I tried hardly made a mark. The internet tells me this type of wire has tensile strengths typically 1700 - 2000 MPa. For comparison, "12.9" grade steel bolts are 1200 MPa.

And on the bicycle theme, a bike wheel spoke would be OK for a short probe. They're not spring steel, but they are strong and moderately springy. Diameter is normally 2.0mm, road bike lengths are about 290mm. A decent bike shop will charge 25p for a single stainless steel spoke.
Last edited by Fusion on Thu Dec 29, 2016 12:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Probe rod - any alternatives?

Postby Martin B » Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:57 pm

Fusion wrote:Probes are usually about 1/8th inch diameter spring steel (3mm - 4mm?), and the steel tube handle (old mountain-bike handlebar?) is brazed or silver-soldered onto the end. Not welded, as that ruins the spring steel. Some have tungsten carbide tips fitted on them, but I guess that's a luxury.
So have a go at home-building one.


Mobile radio antenna rods are a couple of mm thick and springy steel. These come in typical lengths of about 30" (for CB antennas), and can be picked up at most truckstops or ham radio shops (not that theres many of those anymore!). I use an antenna rod Araldited into a wooden file handle. ::g
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Re: Probe rod - any alternatives?

Postby Fishwick » Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:23 pm

Thanks Martin B.
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Re: Probe rod - any alternatives?

Postby Dave The Slave » Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:49 pm

If you fish, how about a rod rest ?
Good Luck ::g
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Re: Probe rod - any alternatives?

Postby targets » Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:01 pm

I made one up using 6 feet of half inch steel rod from a metals dealer and a fork handle on the other end...I had to put a small pin through the rod and handle to keep it in place..other end is pointed by filing it
' hammys how i love ya, how i love ya my dear old hammys '
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Re: Probe rod - any alternatives?

Postby amphora » Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:32 pm

Made one myselve.
It is so simple (if you can weld, or no someone who can).

Here you'll find a simple drawing of the construction.
Specialy made for you. Good luck with it. ::g

viewtopic.php?f=42&t=90248
Excusses if i my choise for the right Englisch word fails.
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Re: Probe rod - any alternatives?

Postby Dakaras » Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:28 pm

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