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
Best answer: 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

Response by poster: 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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