Bonsai Wires

namnhi

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All,

Am just curious as where you buy your bonsai wires?

Thanks,
NamNhi
 

Mike423

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There was a seller on eBay who had a reasonable auction and I think they resisted some if you are currently looking for some, all different sizes 500gram roles starting off at $10. Not bad considering what a 100gram role goes for.
 

PaulH

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I buy my wire from Jim Gremel. He's got the best copper wire i've used.
 

mcpesq817

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I buy my copper wire from Julian Adams of Adams Bonsai and have been very happy with it. Aluminum I buy from Dallas Bonsai, which has the best prices I've been able to find.
 

GerhardG

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Hardware store:D

It was a revelation recently when I followed the advice I'd seen so many times: bundle up few sheets of newspaper, plonk the wire ontop and set the lot on fire:cool:

Feel like an idiot, never bothered before:eek:
 

namnhi

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GerhardG,

I better not since TX has been so dry. Would hate to be the guy that start the fire.

Thanks all.
NN
 

Gene Deci

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I have a life-time free supply from scraps I get from an electrician friend. I do have to aneal it but it is not hard to do that. My point is that bonsai wire does not have to be something special from a bonsai supplier- which is usually more expensive than is necessary.
 

rockm

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"My point is that bonsai wire does not have to be something special from a bonsai supplier- which is usually more expensive than is necessary.

No, it doesn't, but annealing your own wire is like making your own bread for sandwiches. Stripping insulation of 30 feet of wire and Bar-B-queing it isn't my idea of an interesting afternoon:D

Also "Usually more expensive than necessary" is a charged sentence that implies gouging or unfairness on the supplier's part. If you order from reputable bonsai dealers, you're likely getting a decent price. I buy mine from Julian Adams. I got rolls of more than 20 feet for about $10 or so (not including shipping, since I met him in person). Julian has been doing bonsai wire for a very very long time and supplies it to the National Arboretum. He, and I'd bet, a lot of bonsai sellers (with some exceptions) offer extremely fair pricing.

Given the price of copper these days, wire in general is expensive, so anything you buy isn't going to be as cheap as it used to be.
 

Jessf

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why do you guys anneal the copper wire? And why not use plastic coated or zinc coated steel wire?
 

Dav4

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why do you guys anneal the copper wire? And why not use plastic coated or zinc coated steel wire?

Annealling makes the wire workable/bendable...otherwise the wire is too rigid to be used easily or safely. Personally, I would think using plastic coated wire would be ungainly to use, as well as quite unnattractive. Seeing as the wire on some of my conifers remains there for 2 plus years, I'll gladly pay more for copper or aluminum wire that's made specifically for bonsai use.
 

Jessf

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Annealling makes the wire workable/bendable...otherwise the wire is too rigid to be used easily or safely. Personally, I would think using plastic coated wire would be ungainly to use, as well as quite unnattractive. Seeing as the wire on some of my conifers remains there for 2 plus years, I'll gladly pay more for copper or aluminum wire that's made specifically for bonsai use.

makes sense. There are no bonsai supply stores in my area so shipping it would be required. I've looked at alternatives and I know pure steel is a bad idea as it will "kill some trees" however I've never seen a list of which trees it will kill. I can get 25' of the zinc or plastic coated stuff for cheap at home depot.
 

Gene Deci

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You are right Rockm, stripping insulation would not be worth it. I get bare wire.

By "Usually more expensive than necessary" I was not implying "gouging or unfairness on the supplier's part". They need to make a fair profit or they could not stay in business. My intent was to suggest that wire can often be obtained at a lower cost. If you use a lot, that is a consideration.

Jessf, annealing makes it much easier to work with is all. I do not think insulation on a wire would do any harm but it would look bad.
 

Jessf

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You are right Rockm, stripping insulation would not be worth it. I get bare wire.

By "Usually more expensive than necessary" I was not implying "gouging or unfairness on the supplier's part". They need to make a fair profit or they could not stay in business. My intent was to suggest that wire can often be obtained at a lower cost. If you use a lot, that is a consideration.

Jessf, annealing makes it much easier to work with is all. I do not think insulation on a wire would do any harm but it would look bad.

I guess it might also depend on if you're wiring a detailed tree or just doing some down and dirty initial shaping. If you want to wire for show then you want something discrete and coloured to suit so it goes largely unseen. I just think it's unnecessary to go to great lengths and expense to always use bare copper or aluminium.
 

Gene Deci

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I guess it might also depend on if you're wiring a detailed tree or just doing some down and dirty initial shaping. If you want to wire for show then you want something discrete and coloured to suit so it goes largely unseen. I just think it's unnecessary to go to great lengths and expense to always use bare copper or aluminium.

I expect there are few if any who have not done some "down and dirty' just as you suggest.
 

rosieface

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If you buy the wire from a bonsai supplier, do you still need to anneal it or has that already been done?
 

Gene Deci

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If you buy the wire from a bonsai supplier, do you still need to anneal it or has that already been done?

Copper wire should be annealed when you buy it. Aluminum wire is not - it is soft and workable anyway which is why some prefer it, but it also takes a larger wire to do the job
 
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GerhardG

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No, it doesn't, but annealing your own wire is like making your own bread for sandwiches

I have to respectfully disagree:D

I won't strip insulation either, good way to pick up a few cuts.

Even my 3rd world hardware stores sell multi-strand copper wire by the meter, the type used for ground wiring.

The worst part of annealing your own copper wire is cleaning the burnt newspaper 5 minutes after the WHOLE process started.
That's only if you didn't pop the lot is some handy Weber BBQ.....:D
 

FrankP999

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why do you guys anneal the copper wire?

Annealed copper, as stated. is more pliable and easy to work with. The wire actually will harden up after you wire a tree. Annealing aligns the copper atoms/molucules. When you bend the wire as you put it on a tree, this alignment is disturbed and this makes the wire stiffen up.

If you re-use copper, you can re-nneal it to make it pliable again.

I buy copper from Julian Adams and aluminum from the Monastery Bonsai Monks since I live nearby.http://www.bonsaimonk.com/index.html
 

sammiboii

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I buy my copper wire from Julian Adams and so does my club. I haven't bought aluminum wire yet but I've heard good things about Dallas Bonsai.
 
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