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Old 05-18-2013, 07:49 AM   #1
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Default What can I do to fix these tomato cages?

Take a look at the photo. I know.... I know.... using the cable ties was a "girl" fix. Duct tape didn't work so this was the best I could come up with. There's got to be a better way. I've got a solder gun I used for making stained glass panels many moons ago. Could I use that to solder the pieces of wire together that keep coming apart? It's been a while since I used a solder gun but I'm thinking it's like riding a bicycyle.... once you do it the right way.... you don't forget.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:10 AM   #2
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ummm, are the cable ties working? They're probably stronger than the tack weld it came with!
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:39 AM   #3
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They are working but.... cable ties aren't cheap and I don't have enough left to fix all the tomato cages where what you call tack welds came apart. Isn't there some way to just glob on some sort of an adhesive that will last longer than the cable ties? The cable ties will work for 1 season.... maybe 2 before they get brittle and fall off and.... they're sliding up and down and not staying put.
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Old 05-18-2013, 02:35 PM   #4
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I would think a glob of adhesive might not last that long either.

Don't buy those big tie wraps...Shop around and you should be able to Find a thin short tie wrap or use scrap copper wire

Some one could weld those tomato cages but that won't last either

Forget soldering that's lead they use in stained glass work and you're not likely to get enough heat to get it to stick and lead won't take the flex of tomato cages.

Might want to try those J hooks from the fence supplier and twist them so they won't jab you when you're harvesting.
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Old 05-18-2013, 02:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sprucetree View Post
Might want to try those J hooks from the fence supplier and twist them so they won't jab you when you're harvesting.
ahhhh, that might work. And you get a lot for a couple of bucks, if I remember right.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by biigblueyes View Post
ahhhh, that might work. And you get a lot for a couple of bucks, if I remember right.
She beat me to it, I think that is the most economic, and long term repair.
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:27 PM   #7
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pawprint if you had 'hog ring pliers & staples' like used in upholstery

why couldn't you try 1/2" wide strips of aluminum foil, simply wrap your joints~~~just another idea of 'a million ways to do it'.

If you want a 'less girly repair, look at Harbor Freight, or Sears for "flux coated brazing rods", braze is really a soft brass which melts much like solder, but flux coated braze lets the braze flow to steel wire, (much like soldering uses flux) But a plain old electric soldering gun won't get hot enough.

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Old 05-19-2013, 01:26 PM   #8
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Woven wire fence.
It is expensive, but there is a lot of old discarded rusty fences out there on farms - thrown down somewhere - that still have a lot of use left as in tomatoe cages. But it takes special wire plyers (30 dollars) - we have two sets - had three - I have to wonder who decided green was a good color to put on a handle of a tool for outdoors????

You might put up sign at the farm store - "wanted discarded woven wire fence. " or ask around.

That looks like a frail tomato cage to me. It looks like something for pepper plants. Which if you are like me -- you still want it fixed since you did spend money for it.

Wildwatcher if a soldering gun would not melt the brass- what would? A tig welder.
I am thinking about buying my son a tig and/or arch welder. I don't know which way to go with it though.
Should I let him wire up our metal building for a 200 volt plug/30 amp plug; or go for a generator. With a generator we could take the welder to machinery that needs fixing.
My son might could do all the wiring, but darn - the electric company still has to put in the box and that would be 300 dollars.
Of course the generator would be what 400 - to 1000 dollars.
Maybe I will just remain frozen and do nothing. I like that idea best of all.
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Old 05-19-2013, 06:41 PM   #9
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pawprint not sure you should ask me Liquidambar about which welder...

...remember I'm the guy that suggested fixing tomato cages with aluminum foil

Awww that would make a useful gift to a young man, although once all the things get fixed, a welder doesn't get used a whole lot, but it is great to have it, when you need it. I would only use an electric arc welder, sometimes called a stick welder, ya they are kind of 'old timey' but they are simple and fairly easy to find used. Yes, you gotta have a 220 volt A/C line to make it work, so you gotta bring the work to the shop. (wouldn't work if your building steel fencing in the field for example)

But, some of the younger men swear by their migs & tigs and if they are really serious about welding they have the portable kind on their truck or trailer. Those get pretty expensive, but they are supposed to be easier to use. I've never used one of those 'gas shielded' welders, or the flux core wire feed welders.(but I always wanted to give one a try, just for fun)

I don't want to be responsible for what you choose for the gift, an maybe you don't want to be either--I know this might sound weird but, a man's tools ought be selected by the man. But that doesn't mean you couldn't still give him a fun gift! How about this for example: "Surprize! hand him a card and say...this amount for you, and you buy the welder & supplies with it, and get it done in a week or so."

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Old 05-19-2013, 09:29 PM   #10
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Oh brazing, I see - you take one of those torches and put a finish on it like chrome --oh and brass.

My son said there is no way that that tomato cage can be welded, with a stick weld but you could with a tig weld it. There is also acetylene torch thing too ,

He can't make up his mind what he wants. But I do appreciate you talking to me about it; Wildwatcher.

I would let him pick it out, but he can't make up his mind either.
Go mobile or stuck at the building, but he would start with the regular stick welder that he knows and get good at that first.

So it looks like Equil will just have to solder it - again.
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