Silver wire?

Stormwater

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I keep seeing folks using silver wire, often people from hotter locations. Anyone know what it is, and cost comparison to other wire in the United States? Looks like it would be good option for prebonsai.
Thanks!
 

canoeguide

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I keep seeing folks using silver wire, often people from hotter locations. Anyone know what it is, and cost comparison to other wire in the United States? Looks like it would be good option for prebonsai.
Thanks!
I've noticed this a lot also, and it looks to be un-anodized aluminum wire. It may be that it is simply more difficult or more expensive to source anodized black/brown aluminum wire in those locations. It usually seems that there is only one size wire on the entire tree, often doubled or tripled where a larger size would be needed.
 
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Actual silver has very adverse effects on plants and microbes.
Alu wire is cheap and easy to get, but it's not very strong. I use it for smaller branches but still stick with copper on heavy wiring.
 

MrWunderful

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It may galvanized steel wire. I get it for free so I use it sometimes, along with “bailing” wire. Both unsuitable for actual branch wiring.

OOK 50143 16 Gauge - 200 ft Galvanized Steel Wire, 1 Pack https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001EX57ZK/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_RTEgEbJ332KE7

it isnt annealed so it doesnt mold like you will be used to. I only use it for guy wires, or to anchor pots to bench. I dont care for it for root anchoring personally. It is cheaper.

a lot of tge aluminum that places like american bonsai sell is silver, just painted for aesthetics.
 

sorce

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That stuff is used to ward off Weresquirrels.
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That shit is too shiny to use here, the junkers'll scrap it.

Sorce
 

Adair M

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What you’re seeing as “silver wire” is aluminum wire. It used to be all “silver” colored, now it’s available with black or copper colored coatings.

The coatings wear off in a couple months, and then they too appear “silver”.

Aluminum is less expensive than copper, and is softer which makes it easier for some people to use. It’s less effective since it’s softer and doesn’t work harden Luke copper. Work hardening means the wire is stiffer (stronger) after it’s bent. Therefore a thinner piece of copper wire will hold better than a thicker aluminum wire. That’s why you often see more wraps of aluminum wire on bonsai than you would see if copper was used. It’s not strong enough to do the job with one wire, so a second is placed for more strength. And, beginners often use aluminum, and are not as good at judging what size wire is needed to do the job, and find they need to add more wire.

Copper is generally used by professionals. Instead of being a bright silver, it ages into a dull brown color which often tends to nearly invisible in the tree. Thinner wire can be used, so it’s less visible. Properly annealed, it’s easy to apply, and doing so work hardens it so it holds its position.
 

Stormwater

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Thanks, I get it. Copper is cool, works well, looks badass and can be easily recycled. I’ve got a virtually zero bonsai budget. So as I said, was thinking for pre bonsai. I basically use guy wires at this point (zip ties , old wire , cord). Perhaps identifying this wire is good for practice.
I appreciate the comments, keep on learning to bend!
 

sorce

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zero bonsai budget.
I found an old rusty pair of wire cutters that cleaned up nicer than Jack on the Titanic. $0.

What type of Stovetop?

Gas anneals copper wire pretty easy on the stove, and a good session shouldn't add too much to the bill.

Dumpster dive your local cable company.

My At&t people ALWAYS leave the intertwined yellow and black copper that is perfect for fine wiring Junipers without even annealing it.

When you add I all up, including effectiveness of the wire, you spend less $ and energy finding and using copper than using anything else. If your final goal is having excellent trees you can display in training.

Too....
Any other wire you'll find doesn't come in the range of sizes amd strengths as copper or proper aluminum.
So you get used to it for what it is good for...
But then fuck up all your other branches you have to use a different type of wire on, or vice versa.

Like at a basketball arcade game, where 4 balls are one weight and the 5th is different, you're likely to miss the 5th. Then also the one after the fifth.

Dumpster Dive. I got a crate full of copper and counting.

Sorce
 

Stormwater

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I found an old rusty pair of wire cutters that cleaned up nicer than Jack on the Titanic. $0.

What type of Stovetop?

Gas anneals copper wire pretty easy on the stove, and a good session shouldn't add too much to the bill.

Dumpster dive your local cable company.

My At&t people ALWAYS leave the intertwined yellow and black copper that is perfect for fine wiring Junipers without even annealing it.

When you add I all up, including effectiveness of the wire, you spend less $ and energy finding and using copper than using anything else. If your final goal is having excellent trees you can display in training.

Too....
Any other wire you'll find doesn't come in the range of sizes amd strengths as copper or proper aluminum.
So you get used to it for what it is good for...
But then fuck up all your other branches you have to use a different type of wire on, or vice versa.

Like at a basketball arcade game, where 4 balls are one weight and the 5th is different, you're likely to miss the 5th. Then also the one after the fifth.

Dumpster Dive. I got a crate full of copper and counting.

Sorce
I get it, and not to sound like I’m making excuses, but I’m not at a time in my life where I’ve got the time to find wire and strip it. I’d say in a couple of years I’ll be able to though.

it’s funny you mention the wire cutters. Found mine in the gutter. After I added some duct tape grips, work like a charm!
 

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