Sterling or steel cable info?

Does anyone happen to know of a source for fine ( 1.0 mm or so)
sterling or stainless cable wire? There is a sterling one listed
in the Rio catalogue (p.6) - but only one size. I’d like to be
able to buy it in longer lengths.

Also, if anyone has any suggestions for capping the ends or
working with the cable in general I’d be much obliged for any

  1. any other options besides soldering? The ends look like crimped
    tubing in the Rio picture, but I am not sure. I figure the
    sterling would probably kink after soldering from becoming

  2. I’ve never soldered stainless - any special suggestions?

Any info on this would be greatly appreciated.

T. Carson
Maryland, USA

T. carson for stainless steel cable in various sizes ( they
measure in thousands instead of millimeters so do your conversion
before you call) try Zassco inc. 8131 Lockheed St. Houston, tx.
77061 713-649-1711. they supply aircraft wire rope and cable.
to solder use silver solder and black flux made for soldering
stainless. you can find it at your local welding supply. it is a
higher temp flux and helps to keep the stainless from oxidizing.
luck. Frank, Houston, tx.


Hi – can’t help you out with the sterling cable (but if you find
a source, I’d be interested as well). However, you can get
stainless cable down to about 1/16" (approx 1.5mm) at most marine
supply outlets, or by mail from West Marine, Defender, or Boat U.S.
I have the West catalog handy, and they list 1/16 7X19 stainless
wire rope at $.35 per foot. For smaller than that, fishing tackle
suppliers stock braided stainless leader wire in a variety of
sizes. Bead stringers suppliers also carry some small-diameter

I’ve had good success soldering stainless cable using either paste
or Battern’s fluxes and silver solder. You need to degrease the
cable first; I use either acetone or a canned spray degreaser
that’s mostly dry-cleaning fluid, whichever is closest to hand.
For terminations, a piece of silver or gold tube capped with sheet
at one end looks nice on heavy wire. For small-diameter wire, you
can loop the ends and crimp a small piece of tube over the doubled
section with pliers.


Chromis Designs
Annapolis, Maryland

 I've never soldered stainless - any special suggestions? >> 

What do you normally solder??? If it’s copper, sterling is very
similar. If it’s brass, sterling melts at lower temps than brass
or nickel-silver. Sterling and gold have relatively similar melting

A crimped tubing end can be embellished with end caps and
decorated with fancy wires etc. One end of the stainless cable
might be looped and bound with wire and the other end made into a
long loop, bound, and then forced into a very narrow loop and bent
nto a hook form. I’m not sure what you mean by cable…twisted

Marilyn Smith, Midwest America

Greetings T. Carson-

We were involved in cable bracelets a few years back when everyone
was trying to figure out how to work with it and were selling them
to a Japanese home shopping club type of thing.
A good place to source this cable and the most reasonably priced
way to get it is go to an aircraft supplier as it is used to
operate the controls in aircraft. Even a small airport will have a
supplier for this around close by. It works best to silver solder
being sure to catch all of the strands as the cable will unravel if
you don’t. I did do some with epoxy, but discontinued as I found
myself replacing too many customer’s lost bracelets from the caps
coming off. There is a black flux at the welding supplies that
works well for this, the cable being difficult to solder. I have
also used the white paste flux for this. The secret is not to heat
the stainless too fast as it will conduct heat faster than silver
or gold, and if you heat the stainless to where it is even slightly
red hot, it will never stick. You should have luck by heating the
cap first or at least direct the flame toward it and not on the
cable. Visualize it like this- the cable is made up of very thin
strands and these small wires heat very quickly. Based on the
metallurgist info, we also tried gold solder-silver solder works
better for me. Also, I came up with a cap design that utilized a
screw to hold against the cable. You might try that angle, it is
the best way to do this without solder. I was getting $4.00/joint
to solder this cable in '92. E mail me off list if you like.
Regards- Ricky Low Houston, Texas USA Texas Coast of the Gulf of
Mexico Northern Hemisphere- Earth signing off… did i spell
everything right?