Black Rebar Tie
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Joined: June 12, 2014
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Black Rebar Tie
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Posted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 5:16 pm
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Hello!

I'm new and began working with 14 gauge galvanized steel. I'd like to work with another material for a while and have some questions.

So, I bought quite a bit of black rebar tie (18g) that I'd like to use for riveted mail. (Side question: is this okay to use for a 6-1 non-flattened non-riveted pattern, or is that just all in all a bad idea? Such a piece wouldn't be for battle, just for costume.)

On to more important questions:

1) How do I get the gunk off the rebar tie, and should this be done before coiling, after coiling, or after cutting the rings?

2) After this cleaning process, will the tie still be black (black armor is cool), or is the black color simply the coating?

3) Does this material contain toxic chemicals of which I should be aware before any kind of heating or cutting? After reading that galvanized steel is coated in zinc and can be very toxic in dust / vapor form, I'm concerned about approaching different metals in terms of what to do and what not to do.

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated! I do intend to coil and cut my rings, but the safety concerns that come with galvanized steel have left me extremely wary of moving on to new and more interesting things.

Thanks you!

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Posted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:34 pm
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Rebar tie wire is very soft, the coating could be expoy, PVC or mill scale from forming the wire.

If its mill scale a simple acid bath should take care of it. PVC or Epoxy might burn off. either way fumes should be avoided and care should be taken to neutralize any acid before disposal.

Once striped the black coating will be gone leaving you with either a slightly rusty surface or bare steel that will rust when given a chance.

Metal oxides and dust are not a good idea to breath in general but the Zink from galvy has particular known dangers and it easily avoided or limited.
if you cutting wire by hand with snips its a non issue if you wash up after.


If you like the black look there are a number of patina options available.
high end art supply company's like sculpt nouveau as well as home made options.

I have used oil and heat much like you would to season a cast iron skillet with decent results. The best thing about this option is I can reapply the coating at will or strip it down with acid or heat and try something else.


I have striped wire both before an after construction/coiling for the most part it depends on how messy it ends up being. bits of varnish all over makes me want to strip it off before coiling and cutting to limit the mess to one general area.

Joined: March 27, 2002
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Posted on Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:37 pm
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Zinc vapor is not VERY toxic, but it is noxious. A huge dose of it killed a smith who already had enphysema, true. More typical is that it will give you a blinding headache and maybe a twitch. You can process a dose of it out of you in a few days. But it's nasty, and you should take precautions if you're making galvanized hot.

Use some galvy for your 6-1 butted, because tie wire is dead soft and even in 6-1 weave would come apart pretty easily.

You can strip gunk away with a soak in Simple Green poured into a tub. Scouring at it with a green scrubbie will help. A greenie will also knock off rust on the wire. You'll get powdered rust all over you and everything if you use it dry, and produce a smaller mess of rusty sludge if you use it wet.

It's not coated in anything that makes toxic vapor from heating it. I'm surprised, in fact, that your wire is a) as thin as 18ga in the first place, as all the black tie wire I've ever seen was 16 gauge. Is there something on the roll that says its diameter? 16ga is .063; and b) that there's some kind of gunk on the tie wire, which is supposed to be friendly enough with cement that it sticks to it.


'The Minstrel Boy to the War is gone...'

Joined: June 12, 2014
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Posted on Tue Jun 17, 2014 12:27 am
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Konstantin the Red wrote:
I'm surprised, in fact, that your wire is a) as thin as 18ga in the first place, as all the black tie wire I've ever seen was 16 gauge. Is there something on the roll that says its diameter? 16ga is .063; and b) that there's some kind of gunk on the tie wire, which is supposed to be friendly enough with cement that it sticks to it.


You are correct, sir. I checked the rebar tie, and it is in fact 16ga. Also, the "gunk" is not like a heavy sludge. It's just stuff that rubs off on my hands upon skin contact.


Anyways, thank you guys so much for your prompt responses! They are extremely helpful. Smile

Oh, I do have one more question. I bought some 16ga gal steel to do a 6-1 pattern (it was all they had at the store at the time as I'd depleted Home Depot's supply of 14ga lol). Would the 16ga be preferable to 14ga? I can do whatever ID is necessary, but I was hoping to do something like 3/8" ID with 16ga or perhaps something a little larger. I'm assuming 3/8" with 14ga wouldn't work out too well.

Thanks again Smile

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Posted on Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:28 am
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I see you're on the verge of learning all there is to know about link Aspect Ratio, or AR. It's a ten-dollar phrase for a fifty-cent idea, simply the measured wire diameter dividing the link's inner diameter. AR both directly tells you what weaves are possible in a given link size and wire thickness, and how dense or how loose the weave might be.

3/8" ID is far too large for sturdy links from 16 gauge if they are only butted. If you learn riveting, no problem! 5/16" ID is better in butted links, and 1/4" is actually good. Also feels very nice and smooth; fine-grained.

14ga wire, .080", actually can go E6-1 in 3/8", because its AR is sufficiently large. SCA fighting mail is often 14gaSWG@3/8", in E4-1 weave. It's of a considerably coarser texture than the 16gaSWG@1/4" above.


'The Minstrel Boy to the War is gone...'

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Posted on Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:33 am
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While I'm at it, shop around on wire. Hardware places charge enough to break your budget for not much wire. You want to get it from a place that keeps wire in bulk and sells it by the pound, such as a lumberyard or a fence-building supplies place. Any price around a dollar a pound of wire is a good one. Of course, you get more linear feet of wire per pound in a slimmer gauge, hence more links in a pound.


'The Minstrel Boy to the War is gone...'

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Posted on Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:39 am
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Roger that! That's all good stuff to know! Thanks again. Your responses have been most helpful, and I will certainly start shopping around for better deals. Smile

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Posted on Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:36 am
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For galvy about the best prices are usually found at farm, feed stores, and agracultural supply shops like agway, tractor supply company, and country max.
These shops sell wire by length not weight. Both small utility spools or longer 1/4 and 1/2 mile spools.
Sometimes the sizing is odd like 17 1/2 gauge.
Measuring wire and being able to calculate AR helps in these situations.

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Posted on Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:53 pm
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I just have to tell on myself. When I first saw this thread, I thought, "How is ANYONE going to make a tie out of rebar?"

I mean, we have mega-mail made from a garage door spring, so it wouldn't surprise me if someone tried maille from rebar. But a tie? Bit heavy, what?

My mind works in very strange directions when I first wake up.

Or any other time, for that matter.


All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

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Posted on Tue Jun 17, 2014 5:41 pm
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Gryphon47 wrote:
I just have to tell on myself. When I first saw this thread, I thought, "How is ANYONE going to make a tie out of rebar?"

I mean, we have mega-mail made from a garage door spring, so it wouldn't surprise me if someone tried maille from rebar. But a tie? Bit heavy, what?

My mind works in very strange directions when I first wake up.

Or any other time, for that matter.


I think they mean the wire used to tie rebars together, witch is like your average every day wire, but not galvanized or stainless.

--------------------------------------------------

As for the Zinc fumes, you better be in a good ventilated place, preferably outdoors, and wear a good mask with FUMES filter.

Prices are cheaper when you get more wire. Get a spool of 1/4 or 1/4 mile.

I think that if you use stainless wire you can blue it and make it black.

Joined: May 29, 2013
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Posted on Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:31 pm
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Spartan1388 wrote:
Gryphon47 wrote:
I just have to tell on myself. When I first saw this thread, I thought, "How is ANYONE going to make a tie out of rebar?"

I mean, we have mega-mail made from a garage door spring, so it wouldn't surprise me if someone tried maille from rebar. But a tie? Bit heavy, what?

My mind works in very strange directions when I first wake up.

Or any other time, for that matter.


I think they mean the wire used to tie rebars together, witch is like your average every day wire, but not galvanized or stainless.

--------------------------------------------------

As for the Zinc fumes, you better be in a good ventilated place, preferably outdoors, and wear a good mask with FUMES filter.

Prices are cheaper when you get more wire. Get a spool of 1/4 or 1/4 mile.

I think that if you use stainless wire you can blue it and make it black.
Oh, I figured that out as soon as I opened the thread yesterday. But I still thought it was funny that my first thought was of a tie made of rebar rings. Oh, and my wife agrees with me about my mind working in strange directions....... at any time, not just when I first wake up.


All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

Joined: May 20, 2014
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Location: Athens, GR

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Posted on Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:32 pm
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Gryphon47 wrote:
Spartan1388 wrote:
Gryphon47 wrote:
I just have to tell on myself. When I first saw this thread, I thought, "How is ANYONE going to make a tie out of rebar?"

I mean, we have mega-mail made from a garage door spring, so it wouldn't surprise me if someone tried maille from rebar. But a tie? Bit heavy, what?

My mind works in very strange directions when I first wake up.

Or any other time, for that matter.


I think they mean the wire used to tie rebars together, witch is like your average every day wire, but not galvanized or stainless.

--------------------------------------------------

As for the Zinc fumes, you better be in a good ventilated place, preferably outdoors, and wear a good mask with FUMES filter.

Prices are cheaper when you get more wire. Get a spool of 1/4 or 1/4 mile.

I think that if you use stainless wire you can blue it and make it black.
Oh, I figured that out as soon as I opened the thread yesterday. But I still thought it was funny that my first thought was of a tie made of rebar rings. Oh, and my wife agrees with me about my mind working in strange directions....... at any time, not just when I first wake up.


When I first opened the thread I though that the OP was talking about making maille out of rebar. You know, 1/2 inch rebar... Coif LoL Like the "PanzerMaille" from the thread you mentioned.

Personally I would like to see some "Ned Kelly Maille" that can stop bullets.

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Posted on Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:48 am
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Since it hasn't been mentioned, if you don't strip the "gunk", in time the wire will rust a bit. From my projects, it appears to only be a slight rust that eventually dulls into a dirty orange coloration. Your color will vary depending on how much you handle it. After much handling, or tumbling which I still haven't tried, the surface color ceases to rub-off.

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