Where's the best place to get high strand count Welders Cable for Trees?

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by TommyT, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. TommyT

    TommyT New Member

    Anyone know a good place to get high strand count 4 or 6 gauge Welders Cable cheap to make trees. This is the kind cable that has hundreds of stands. Maybe even stuff that is no longer suitable or safe for welding.

  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Welding supply? I don't think I have ever seen this stuff at the big depot-type stores.

  3. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Nor have I, but I've never looked either. I've seen and used high strand count wire before, but not in that gauge. Besides, in N scale, 16 gauge would be fat enough for a tree trunk.

    You might go to an auto body shop and see if they have some they'd sell to you. BTW, how do they use that in welding anyway? That's not the wire they use to feed to make a weld is it? For some reason, I've always thought that stuff was solid.
  4. Pete

    Pete Member

    Hi Don
    He's referring to the cables used mainly for an electric welder; you're thinking of the electrode (or rod) that is consumed during the welding process.

    Tommy, another source might be some old lamp cords - they use a lot of fine strands as well. Although the welding cable would provide a larger supply of wire for a given length...

  5. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    OK, that's what I thought it had to be. My mind was on gas as opposed to electric welding.:D I guess without a high strand count, these cables would be rather stiff to work with.

    I've got some test cable, I think it's about 20 ga, and around 35 strand, way too fine for making trees, even at N scale. Jim Currie made me a really nice ocotillo out of stranded wire.:thumb:Even seven strand would work for that.
  6. zedob

    zedob Member

    Try a welding shop. I bet they have a few feet hanging on a wall collecting dust. OSHA regulations require welding leads to be in good shape. Forklifts and dropped metal usually whittle down a lead's length over a period of time and eventually get shelved. Find a smaller or medium sized shop because most will save everything in the hopes of being able to use it again. Re-use is not usually the case and therefore the precious junk collects dust.:D If you show the foreman what you are planning on doing and offer him a few dollars he'll probably offload a mile of the stuff on you.
  7. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    if you have a salvage yard in your area check with them also if there are welding shopes in area see if they would sell you some cable as most large shops buy it in 500 ft rolls.i got about a 10 ft hunk from shop where i work that got the jacket burned. another source of strands not as fine as welding cable is SOWA type cable if you want to just make arbor's #4 battery cable is i belive .025 strands welding cable is .010 SOWA is .015 to .017.
    Don the trees i gave you are made from welding cable as so the ocotillo's
  8. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    That's fairly stiff wire for that diameter. I was thinking that #18 awg 7 strand would have heavier gauge strands, but I looked it up and there is no difference. 18/7 uses 26 ga strands at about .020. #4 awg has 259 strands of 26 ga. I've got plenty of #18/7 and even some #16/7.:thumb:

    Oh yeah, I noticed on the wire table there is a #4 with 1666 strands of #36. That's a bunch, but way too fine to work with.:D
  9. ironmule2004

    ironmule2004 New Member

    I buy mine at a local welding supply store. It is fairly cheap(like a dollar or so a foot) and they sell it to me by the foot. I actually buy this stuff to make battery cables as well as using it for welding leads. I wouldn't bother with the lamp cord. This stuff is much easier to strip. I have been messing around with it and have been able to make some decent looking southern pine and oak trees. IronMule
  10. jkinosh

    jkinosh Member

    This sounds like an interesting way to make some scenery, Would love to see some picture sof finished or maybe even a How-To.

  11. zedob

    zedob Member

    Come to think of it, my uncle had an apartment in N.O. and I remember that he had a tree sculpture that was made the same way, except, instead of using fine wire it was made out of a piece of 2" dia wire rope. Same technique, but probably a heck of alot harder to work with.
  12. LR&BRR

    LR&BRR Member

    a source you are overlooking is call some of the welding shops near you and ask if they have any cables that they have to replace and then ask to gladly take them off their hands.
  13. Jodam

    Jodam Member

    Auto jumper cables of the 200Amp type should do what you want also, could easily shorten the one in the wifes car. If ever found out do a schultz (I kno nuthin) probably pick them up at a wrecking yard for next to nothing.
    Cheers, Damien

Share This Page