Making Flexible Brake Ducts and Hoses

Every time I saw one of those duct hoses molded in plastic, with a big ugly mold seam down the middle, I was wondering if there was a way to make these hoses look decent. On one of my recent projects, I ran into a problem where I actually needed a hose that was flexible, long enough, and looked like the real thing…

After searching online, and not finding what I was looking for, I came up with a relatively easy way to replicate these hoses using very simple materials that are very cheap and easy to find. To make your own hoses you will need the following tools and materials:

Modeling knife, scissors, a metal tube of a suitable diameter, or something similar, flexible wire (I used beading wire from craft store) and some Teflon tape used to seal pipe joints.



The process is rather simple. Take the tubing of a suitable diameter (make it a bit smaller than the hose you need), and wind some wire on the tubing. You can use different color wires to accent the hoses (you’ll see later).




Make sure the wire is wound evenly. Then using both hands, lightly pull at each side to stretch the wire spring apart. Stop when the size of the gaps between the coils is appropriate for the hose you are making.




Then take your Teflon tape...



...and carefully wrap that wire with the tape...



...all the way to the very end. You may glue the end of the tape to itself with some superglue, but the tape is very thin and sticks to itself, so this might not be necessary.



Cut the tape with your hobby knife as shown on the picture...



...and remove the hose from the piping – voila! The perfect flexible hose is ready!



You can paint the hose if you want but it is tricky, since nothing really sticks to Teflon – remember?

I used some etching metal primer to make paint to adhere to the tape, and although it was not sticking really good, it was durable once dry. Another way to paint it would be to spray some diluted Elmers white glue, let it dry, and them paint as usual.



Finally, here is a picture of the hose on the model – looks really good and realistic!



Copyright 2010 Alex Kustov. No copying or reproduction in any shape or form without written permission of the author.