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Old 21-12-2009, 10:28   #1
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To Re-Use SS Wire or Not

To reuse or not
I am going to remove the mast on a 42 foot Maple leaf about 25 years old. I am expecting to change the standing rigging wire as it is not possible to inspect under swaged fittings. I have (2) 70 foot ¼”back stays and( 4) shorter ¼” fore and aft intermediate mast supports . If I inspect the 2 back stays and find no defect in the wire would it be prudent to cut the swaged fittings off and reuse wire at shorter sections of the mast support? I plan on having top fittings with swaged fittings and use swagless fitting on the bottom (Suncor) I expect to have the rigger make all the wires about 6” too long and cut to measure when I install the mast . By the way I expect to cut about 10 SS wires ranging from ¼” ,5/16” and 3/8” dia. and I hope it is ok to use cut off wheel on portable hand held grinder.
Any advice appreciated
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Old 21-12-2009, 10:55   #2
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No, stainless steel suffers a fatigue problem. It may not be detectable by a visual inspection. This is a big part of the reason why SS rigging needs replacement. You have no idea of the fatigue experence of the rigging, nor how close it is to the end of it's life.

Standing rigging is one of those things you never want to let go.
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Old 21-12-2009, 11:01   #3
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I agree the cost of the wire is a small part of the overall project. Most wire manufactures recommend replacing every 10-15 years max. Bite the bullet do it right and enjoy sailing without worry

Good Luck
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Old 21-12-2009, 11:35   #4
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Thanks guys
What is your opinion on using an electrical cut off wheel to cut the SS wire to length. I would prefer not to have to use Hack saw.
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Old 21-12-2009, 11:38   #5
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Cut-off wheels work fine and usually make a cleaner cut than the hacksaw. tape the area of wire you want to cut, and cut in the middle of the tape, that'll keep the strands from unlaying.
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Old 21-12-2009, 11:39   #6
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I have used a Dremal tool with a cut off wheel when I did not have cutters handy, it works well but a bit slow. Forget the hack saw you will damage the wire and it will drive you nuts in the process lol.

Good luck
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Old 21-12-2009, 14:34   #7
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ss wire and turnbuckle

I have a similar question. I am replacing the standing rigging on a 7 ton masthead sloop with a split backstay and two lower shrouds. I will be using 5/16" 1X19 316 ss wire and swagless fittings (eyes, toggles). My question is this: the fittings are stronger than the wire, and the working load of the wire is 2200 lbs, but the working load of the 1/2" toggle/toggle turnbuckle which will join the wire and its fittings to the chainplate is 2060 lbs. I was always under the impression that the wire was supposed to be the weakest link and the first to break in a rigging combination, but in this case, it would be the turnbuckle that goes first. Have I been mistaken? Is it normal that the turnbuckle would go first? Does this matter, or do I need to figure out a way to fit a stronger turnbuckle to the chainplate?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 21-12-2009, 14:46   #8
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For what it is worth, I have been using a 12V battery operated grinder with a cut-off wheel to cut various stainles wire rigging; both 1 x 19 and 7 x 19, mostly around the 1/4" diameter... it goes through the wire very easily and makes a pretty clean cut.
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Old 21-12-2009, 14:54   #9
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There would not be a problem with downgrading the used stainless steel wire to lighter use, non-critical applications.
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Old 21-12-2009, 14:55   #10
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Hmm... I was going to suggest just to use bolt cutters for cutting the wire. I found them to be simple, easy, quick, didn't damage the end of the wire and they are always on board.

But perhaps there is something I am not aware off and perhaps there is some reason they shouldn't be used ?????
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Old 21-12-2009, 15:33   #11
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Large wire cutters I was thinking as opposed to bolt cutters. Wire cutters tend to slice as opposed to compressing and possibly distorting the lay or the individual strands. Bolt cutters still work though.

Safe method:



Dangerous method:




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Old 21-12-2009, 16:39   #12
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Hmm... I was going to suggest just to use bolt cutters for cutting the wire. I found them to be simple, easy, quick, didn't damage the end of the wire and they are always on board.

But perhaps there is something I am not aware off and perhaps there is some reason they shouldn't be used ?????
Go grab your bolt cutters and a piece of 3/8" 1 x 19 s.s. wire... cut through the latter, using the former. Report back, please.
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Old 21-12-2009, 17:42   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Littlebit View Post
I have a similar question. I am replacing the standing rigging on a 7 ton masthead sloop with a split backstay and two lower shrouds. I will be using 5/16" 1X19 316 ss wire and swagless fittings (eyes, toggles). My question is this: the fittings are stronger than the wire, and the working load of the wire is 2200 lbs, but the working load of the 1/2" toggle/toggle turnbuckle which will join the wire and its fittings to the chainplate is 2060 lbs. I was always under the impression that the wire was supposed to be the weakest link and the first to break in a rigging combination, but in this case, it would be the turnbuckle that goes first. Have I been mistaken? Is it normal that the turnbuckle would go first? Does this matter, or do I need to figure out a way to fit a stronger turnbuckle to the chainplate?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
WLL can be figured in different ways, either way 150lbs is negligable (sp) when you look at the normal loads vs. break.
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Old 21-12-2009, 17:49   #14
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Back in my rigging shop days I could cut up to 7/16" 1x19 in one shot, with good wire cutters. But it takes practice and a good hard surface to brace the cutter handles on underneath you. I used all my weight (only 140lbs) and a very swift snap to "surprise" the wire...
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Old 21-12-2009, 18:38   #15
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Back in my rigging shop days I could cut up to 7/16" 1x19 in one shot, with good wire cutters. But it takes practice and a good hard surface to brace the cutter handles on underneath you. I used all my weight (only 140lbs) and a very swift snap to "surprise" the wire...
Yeah, but it is my experience that most people tend to carry
a) Bolt cutters as opposed to wire cutters
b) Bolt cutters of the no-name brand, shoddy chinese manufacturer type
c) Bolt cutters that are smaller than they ought to be for cutting the diameters in question
d) Bolt cutters that are thrown into a locker and forgotten about, for years, without maintenance / protection / lurication

but they still still expect these cutters to slice 3/8 s.s. wire like a knife through butter. Hah, says I
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