- Copper cable can be recycled, but finding a recycler nearby who deals with it may be difficult. Luckily, Earth911.org provides a recycler locater search box.
- Use old RG58 Ethernet cables with BNC ends as speaker cables, with BNC jacks in wall plates as needed. This type of cable is designed to carry radio frequency signals, and works even better at lower audio frequencies where impedance is negligible. It's easy to use, way cheaper (if you've got it already) than doing what this guy recommends. The sound is the same.
- Old twisted-pair (Cat-3 or Cat-5) Ethernet cable works great as a source for color-coded twist ties. Leave the vinyl jacket on until use, then strip off as much as you need. Or you can cut it all up and stand it in a jar.
- Rope: braid a strand of copper cable with two strands of other cord, of either synthetic or natural fibers. This makes a rope that is stronger than the individual cords and that will never rust.
- Rope 2: Braid twisted sets of copper wire with strands of cotton or synthetic string of similar thickness, again making a rope. Use as many individual strands as you want, up to a practical limit. You can make the twisted sets of copper wire by attaching one end of a set of wires to an electric drill and the other to something fixed in place. Twist one set of wires clockwise, the other counterclockwise. This can be done in stages without cutting the wires. Twist each section the same amount and as tightly as desired, but avoid knotting. Braid the three (or more) pieces of cable or cord together, taking care to balance the twisting directions (so the resulting cable will tend to kink less).
- Romex makes a nice pipe hanger for plumbing work, since it's flexible but stays in shape. The individual strands (solid wire only) also make excellent heavy-duty twist ties.
- PVC-coated copper makes a pretty, multicolored flame when it burns on a campfire. The smoke is toxic, of course, and so not really good for the air, but still, it's pretty.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
What To Do With Old Wire and Cables
This is about copper cable, such as old 2-,4-,or even 50-pair telephone cable, cat-3 or cat-5 Ethernet cable, non-metallic electrical cables (Romex®), or anything similar. Whether you choose to reuse or recycle it, the stuff is getting too expensive just to throw away. This page describes how to use it for audio speaker wire, make rope from it, or even how to use it for some really environmentally awful fun.