After looking several days for a place to buy a 3" by 30" piece of black pipe with an end-cap to drive some wooden stakes to hold some wire tubes that I planned to make, I finally had to change plans. Yesterday, I put my hog rings to use and made four 10" by 36" columes of 1/2" hardware cloth. Today, I used some rebar stakes from my trapping days to hold the wire tubes until I make better arrangements. One of the grapes I was wanting to protect got eaten back a couple weeks ago, but it's already put on new leaves. For now, at least, they should be safe.
What I learned from the experience is that large sizes of black iron pipe aren't easy commodities to come by anymore. I checked several places that used to carry a small stock and discovered that they don't stock anything over 2" anymore. Of course the REALLY good places to buy any hardware items now exist only in my memory. The old store-keepers have died off and most folks these days hire contractors to do their plumbing, so the newer stores don't stock the larger sizes. By the time I re-adjusted my thinking and figured out where to get my pipe, I had decided to wait until another time to spend the money. I'm still looking for work,after all. © 2013