Where Can I Buy Mild Steel Wire?
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Where Can I Buy Mild Steel Wire?
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Posted on Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:29 pm
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Hi, I'm wondering where is a good place to buy non-galvanized mild steel wire. I've recently finished a 1/4 mile roll of galvanized wire, and would prefer not to go though the hassle of removing the zinc again if possible.

Thanks!

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Posted on Thu Jun 27, 2019 1:47 am
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Go to a welding-supplies store, and get "mild steel welder wire" for Metal Inert Gas electric welders. Ask for a wire diameter; they don't do gauge with this technology. The wire itself will come hardened and must be at least crudely annealed. They make this wire hardened by workhardening the bejayzus out of it so it goes through the welding gun all springy, not inclined to jam up but to feed smoothly into the arc. This wire isn't going to tolerate being sharply bent -- 90 degrees will snap it. So it wants a softening -- or being careful how tight a radius it gets bent to. The stuff will take a curve, just not an angle.

Anyway, this plain ole plain ole steel wire (1018 low carbon steel is typical) works as welding rod, only automatic. It comes in like 5- and 10-pound reels to load into your welder, and you can realize a bulk-discount price break somewhere around 50 pounds of wire purchased.

Any metal that can be welded at all can have its welder wire, if teamed with a flow of "shielding gas" like argon to exclude reactive oxygen from the weldment: stainless weld wire, aluminum, titanium, and I suppose copper and bronze maybe. The steels can have the welder wire's carbon content tailored to a fairish match, like if you use 1040 wire on 1050 medium-carbon spring steel, it'll weld okay.

Welder shield gases vary: CO2 will do for a lot of steels, mixed CO2 and Ar for metals that oxidize too easily at heat, and pure Ar for the really reactive ones like titanium, which without Ar to shield is just impossible. All pretty clever.

There's another nongalvanized wire out there, and that's black annealed tie wire, a/k/a baling wire. 3-lb rolls at the hardware store. This is invariably 16ga SWG/.063" wire, soft as lead, and really most suitable for the heavier sort of RIVETED mail links, as typical riveted mail link wire runs about .050" diameter; the .063" stuff amounts to double mail in regular 1/4 to 5/16 inch link ID, but lightens well going on 3/8". Extremely easy to find at any hardware place, not as cheap in bulk at retail pricing as welder wire. If anybody sells it in ten-pound rolls, I'd be pretty interested, armor guy that I am.


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Posted on Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:31 am
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I'll see if I can find any of that, thanks!

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Posted on Fri Jul 05, 2019 2:59 am
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On the net I'm also finding, now that I bother, 18 gauge annealed steel wire suitable for making riveted-link mail, variously dubbed "mechanics'" wire, "tie wire" or sometimes "baling (often misspelt bailing) wire" which all seems to be the same stuff, very soft and easy to work and finer than the .063" black-annealed I can find anywhere. Only minus is it's hard to find anything bigger than 50 feet of it in blister-card packs. Gets pricey. I'm looking for wire in bulk.

What I should prefer to hunt down is 18ga/.048" open reel or big box, 5 lb or greater. For a fairly big hauberk mailshirt I'd want a supply of about five of these, maybe as many as six. 5lb reels of 18ga seem fairly possible here and there. A haburgeon could go as lean as four such reels.

Annnnd four times the man-hours weaving and riveting the stuff. Bragging rights in a big way, though! "I got the size right and the weight right!"

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Posted on Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:43 pm
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You may try rebar tie wire from a building supply.
residential suppliers will have smaller spools while Industrial suppliers will have much larger options.

Sometimes you can find wire on Ebay or the like er70
the sizing is a little off but .045 is only a little smaller than the .048 your looking for more often than not its copper coated but the bare wire can be found as well.

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