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Cheap and easy to Find

  1. Aug 7, 2005 #1
    I'm looking for some wire that I can purchase in a nearby store.
    I want it mostly cheap, flexible (it's for fabrication), easy to take care of (doesn't oxidize) and if possible, light.

    I thank anybody that can help me the slightest since I've been looking a while through internet without answers.
    By the way, yes, I have thought that simply asking the store's seller would be easyer but for a few reasons, I prefer be informed before going in there.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 7, 2005 #2
    You haven't really given much information here for what type of wire you are looking for. You say that it's for fabrication,… are you looking for just plain naked wire (not insulated)?

    If that's the case my first suggestion would be to go to a farm supply store and buy some electric fence wire. You can buy large reels of it very cheap in different gauges. Sometimes different manufactures make different types of fencing wire too. I'm not sure how well it solders if you need to solder it, but fencing wire usually doesn't oxidize very much. There are different makes so that can vary depending on the manufacturer.

    Other kinds of naked wire can be purchased from automotive stores. Sometimes it's called "tie wire" and is very flexible for easy bending, but not springy so it stays in the shape that you bend it. Again, there are different manufactures and probably different types of wire that you can get.

    Depending on what you are fabricating, and what gauge you need you might also just try an electrician's store. You can buy naked copper wire which solders easily, but will oxidize. Or aluminum wire which won't solder and will also oxide. Although sometimes you can get either of these with some type of clear coating that will prevent the oxidation.

    Another alternative is to get naked wire, build whatever it is you are building, and then spray the finished product with a clear polyurethane to prevent oxidation.

    Then there is also the idea of just buying a reel of welding rod for a MIG welder. They have different types of wire too.

    All of my suggestions have been for non-insulated wire. I have no clue what you are doing with it so I'll stop here.

    I might also mention that you can buy wire braded cables too from many different places if you are looking for something very flexible. A marine outlet would sell flexible cabling that won't oxidize. I have a sailboat that uses thin flexible cables to rig the mast. I think they are stainless steel.

    Now you have me curious about what you are fabricating. :biggrin:
  4. Aug 7, 2005 #3
    Right to the point: I am looking for a chainmail.
    However, I have no experience, I ain't used at working metal and don't want to buy it as it's pretty expensive (it takes more time than talent, I'd say) so I have decided to make it myself.
    I got information on how to fabric it but I really don't feel comfortable with the initial product they use; they suggest galvanized steel. It's a bit of curiosity and perferctionism. I want everything that I can handle to be perfect as concerning the content of the wire. When shopping this wire, I want to be sure I know what they are talking about and what I should ask for.

    How will I work on the initial product ? The task to get an armor from a wire (major transformation, indeed :tongue: ) is to enroll the wire (around a bar) like a spring and then cut it to have rings out of it. The rest consist of "sewing" the armor piece by piece. Luckily, I have all the other tools I require for the process.

    Mainly, all I want is a cheap cost. After all, I am using it as a costume, not for fighting ! Therefore, that's why I don't want to spend too much. Lastly, if you have price numbers as comparison, it would help me.

    Thanks for your attention NeutronStar
  5. Aug 7, 2005 #4
    That's an interesting project. I just looked up some sites on making chainmail, I found many with a simple Google search. Ironically none of the owes I found mentioned wires sources or what type of wire to use.

    Personally I think I would use spring wire for that project. I would contact an industrial supply and see if I could buy a roll of spring wire in a suitable gauge. That would probably make some really high-quality chainmail. It would be harder to cut into rings though. Personally I think I would saw the coiled wire into rings using a Dremel saw while the wire coil was still on the form. Then just slide off all the finished rings. That would be more efficient than trying to cut each one off with wire cutters by hand. I think it would make cleaner cuts too.

    You're not kidding about the tedium involved in making the chainmail though. And you'll have to deburr each and every ring to make it comfortable. Good luck! Although if you saw them off with a Dremel wheel they might be pretty clean-cut.
  6. Aug 7, 2005 #5
    I was just thinking too, you might be able to find some cheap screen door springs at some kind of discount hardware store or maybe even on the Internet. Then you won't need to wind they wire at all. Just cut the existing spring into rings.

    The trick is to find a very long skinny cheap spring. Buy a ton of them, then give up living for about a year while you construct your costume. :rolleyes:

    Or you can just buy some chainmail already made,...



    http://www.varmouries.com/vcat_mail.html" [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  7. Aug 7, 2005 #6
    Anyone else has something to add ?
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