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What do I do with all this cable? Answered

So my dad often brings home scrap wood and the sort from his job but recently he has been doing something or other with stainless steel cable, cutting it up for whatever.

Anyway, I now find myself with at least 50 pieces of this high quality stainless steel cable that is just thinner than what I have to tie out my dog. I'm not sure what size it is, but I counted around 20 strands on one of the frayed cuts. It all averages about 4-5 feet, but it ranges from a few 1 foot sections to quite a few ~6 feet sections. 

I would love to find a way to put this all to use in a clever way, but who knows how long it might be before I think of something myself?
My first instinct: Ask Instructables! If you have any ideas at all, please leave a comment as to what I might do with this. I'm going to ask my friends as well but I bet some of the more experienced people here might have some good suggestions. 
Something I would like to know is what is the best way to link these together, if I want something longer? 

Any suggestions welcome, thanks. 


1. Hydrogen gas generator.

2. Attach magnet on a piece of cable and use it as pickup wand for stuff dropped
in hard to reach places.

3. Drain clean out snake.

i love cable ties as i often change my mind (yep its a girl thing) and you can redo it into something different

crimp connectors will link pieces together. (or 1 end looped back on itself)

you could cable tie it into a trellis or shapes and hang on the fence for
decoration or plants to grow up

IF the wires are thin enough, you could use them, after unwinding, as resistance wires....

you can make a tie for your dog by wrapping 3-4 cables and twisting them one by one over one another and then at the ends adding more 3-4 wires on corners.

The cables are spun so unspin them and use the stainless wires to make fish, crab, or crawdad traps.

Do this by weaving the wires into a mesh for the outside of the traps.

Being stainless they won’t rust like steel while in the water.

Are the cables from making garage door parts?

They look like the leftover bits a friend of mine would get from making the counter balance for garage doors.


I'm not much of a fishing person myself, but I like the idea! I do have a friend that loves to fish and crab, however, so maybe I could make a crab pot for him.

So my dad is a carpenter and he has been building the railings for the porch on this house and the homeowners wanted cable enough to spend $3,000 on all of it, and these are all the cut-offs and scraps.

If you do make a crab pot or a fish trap post a pic I would like to see how it came out.

If you unwind the strands, you'll have these crimped wires that you can easily braid, twist, weave into forms and sculptures. Realistic or abstract.

Of course, leaving the strands together you can still create forms. It's just a little harder to work with and secure pieces to each other.

Soldering, welding, brazing or just tying the ends together can attach the wires, obviously, but you can also unwind a portion of the strands at the cut ends and inter-weave them. Depending on how much effort you put into that, it can be almost invisible and very strong.

If you are making some sort of sculpture with them, I'd suggest pulling apart the strands on the shortest length and using those strands to tie the wires together if and where required. It'll only take an inch or two of wire per tie.

If you do an image web search for "braided wire sculptures" or "woven wire sculptures" or "crimped wire sculptures" you'll get lots of results for the type of thing I was suggesting to do with the strands. If you search for something like "wire art" or "steel sculpture" you'll get results geared more for the larger, thicker wire.

I have heard and seen pictures of wire sculptures, mostly trees and I think they're pretty cool, but this is quite a different kind of wire. It bends, but it doesn't like to bend so it goes back to bring mostly straight, and this is the same for the individual strands. I have worked with craft wire and tie-wire, but this cable wire is just totally different and I don't think it would work for a sculpture, by itself at least.

As for attaching the ends, I like the idea of braiding or weaving them together, I have no idea if I could get that to work but it's worth a shot.

Not a fan of the trees myself...kind of...boring? I guess might be the word. I was thinking more of the "wire mesh" type of forms. Since that would lend itself to the strands better. With the unwound strands, the kinks would hold the wires in place in a braiding/weaving sort of technique.

For tying the wires together, if it is too rigid and springy to use, you could pick up some softer steel wire to use just for that. Most spools and rolls of wire for fencing and such are fairly easy to work. You can always find galvanized and usually stainless at the Home Improvement stores. I figure you know all this.

As an aside, just FYI, many springy wires will spring back until you go past a certain point, then they'll stay tightly wound or bent. If you bend them tightly enough, make the turn in the metal sharp enough, it'll just hold fast. So, again, IF you would like to go at a sculpture where that's required, give it a shot and see if it works. It's really weird how different it can behave once you get the bend tight enough, by tight, I mean the curve is small, not that it is pushed against something with force.

maybe use it to make a track for a kinetic ball machine

Braid it into something...I don't know what, but maybe you could make something cool out of it. Or use it to hang stuff from ceilings. OR...kind of a far fetched idea...MAYBE you could make a hammock out of that using hot glue? I don't know...