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.
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.
If you buy the wire from a bonsai supplier, do you still need to anneal it or has that already been done?
No, it doesn't, but annealing your own wire is like making your own bread for sandwiches
why do you guys anneal the copper wire?