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[TCML] Ballast Inductor

Hello all,I aquired some decent old inductor cores Unfortunatly each is rated for 120uH.  I popped the coils off one, but discovered that the laminations under the coils had several gaps purposfully built-in.This may work to my advantage. But that remains to be seen at this time as the gapping is pretty substantial close to an inch of the whole magnetic loop. Hopefully in the coming, weeks I will take some meaaurments and see what kind of permeability the core actually have. I could remove the gaps, but it's gonna be alot of work. 
Ignoring core logistics for the time being. What im more concerned with at the moment is the wire choice.
Is like to start with at least 50A but perhaps design for a bit more. Which is going to necessitate some pretty beefy wire.
With the understanding that coiled wire has different thermal properties than just a length of wire. Derating is somewhat necessary. I'm not quite sure how much derating is necessary though. 
I wish to avoid using standard plastic coated wire from the local hardware store. As I think the Insulation coating will take up too much space, particularly if I am using #6 or #4 wire. Which may prevent me from acquiring the number of turns I need. Other coilers experiance on the interwebs  had led me to believe that working with anything below #9. Is very difficult without proper equipment.So, 
Is using 2 parallel strands of #8 or #9 magnet wire an acceptable solution to achieve an acceptable current capability. 
Or should I just skip wire all together and order copper strip with a decent cross sectional area,  making several pancake style coils, stacking them in series on the core.
Or should i just skip the core altogether and just put a spool of #4 onto some pvc. I mean I have nice cores. I think I'd like to use them. But do I really want to use them. Lol
Any advice is appreciated. 
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