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Can I use 3/8 Wire rope instead of barbed wire for Earthbag construction?

 
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I plan on building a 12' diameter Corbeled Dome and was wondering if I can substitute 3/8" galvanized air craft cable for barbed wire? I have a readily available supply of Wire rope, and all the tools and connections to deal with it. With the connections (wire rope clips) it will be considerably bulkier than barbed wire, but also orders of magnitude stronger. I guess my primary concerns is tamping the bags onto this bulkier substitute will possibly tear the bags (the hardware used to connect the cables are golf ball size and have some sharp surfaces). Is the "lay" of the cable (its got a twist to it) enough to grip and hold the poly bags? (I have caught my hair/gotee on the strands of cable many times) Or will I need to add a piece of hardware to the cable for each bag? Im guessing this is an acceptable material, lastly would I need to have two rows or will one suffice? Thanks!
-Mark
 
pollinator
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Barbs are the important part. One spool of barbed wire goes a long ways. I would buy the wire just to save the time.

Aircraft cable would be great for bond beam like layers and reinforcement
 
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You cannot and should not.

The purpose of barbed wire in earthbag construction is to act as a mechanical mortar to hold the bags together and give the walls tensile strength. The barbs hold the bags in place. Once you have placed a bag on barbed wire, it is harder than hell to get it untangled. That's what gives the walls a lot of its strength. Those bags are slippery and are prone to fall if not mortared in place with the barbs. Trust me, I know.

Save yourself the headache and spend 50 or 100 bucks and get a couple rolls of the good stuff so your building doesn't fall down in your sleep.
 
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I was in India and barbed wire was difficult to source, so I used a cheap 2' - 3' rebar through every sack sometimes two for corners going through three or four courses below.

Best to leave it a day for hammering in the rebar as more firm.

I'm not suggesting that you use rebar, just informing you of my construction without barbed wire.

My construction was a straight wall rectangle earth bag construction.

Good luck.
 
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