What options are available for mini-tensile architecture?
December 25, 2007 9:54 PM   Subscribe

What kind of fixtures/joinery/wire is available for small-scale tensile structures? (i.e. project size ranging from an object/structure the size of a tent down to a model).

I'm looking for wires, fasteners, connectors, you name it. I've been digging around a bit and would love some additional input. I have a general interest in this kind of assembly and would like to start experimenting with models and working towards small structures & installations (probably relying on cabling strung between walls).
posted by serial_consign to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Small Parts, Inc., McMaster-Carr, and Winifred M. Berg Co. have lots and lots of stuff that's helpful for creating small structures and mechanisms.
posted by jet_silver at 10:01 PM on December 25, 2007 [1 favorite]

Small crimps seem to be a popular way to join wire at almost any size.

It's surprisingly easy to put threads onto steel wire with a die, too, and then you can just use a nut.
posted by hattifattener at 11:00 PM on December 25, 2007

I love using little aluminum ferrule sets from Home Depot. They crimp in place with pliers. They are cheap, clean and strong. They work for 1/16th inch stranded wire and look very professional. They are cheap ($1), but any one store might only have five packs in stock.
posted by cockeyed at 1:12 PM on December 26, 2007

Hey folks, thanks for the recommendations! I'm down with bargain basement purchasing power (i.e. Home Depot components) but I'm wondering what is out there on the more medium-high end. Regardless, these are some great leads to get started. Many thanks!
posted by serial_consign at 7:44 PM on December 26, 2007

Take a look at some bead stores, they sell thin stainless cable.
If there's a West Marine or similar boating store near you, they may have all sorts of light rigging supplies- some boats are small and fragile, and don't require Golden-Gate-bridge-like componentry.
posted by wzcx at 2:21 PM on December 27, 2007

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