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Wire Wrapping Question
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Wire Wrapping Question 8 years, 7 months ago #84

  • djdeb
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Struggling to find the right gauge wire has been my biggest problem since I have been doing wire wrapping projects. What is your favorite gauge?
Also is it just me or does silver wire bend and work more easier than gold?
Last question any work with coated wire? any tips about clean ends on these?
Presently I do not work with sterling silver, as I would be paronoid with making mistakes with such an expensive wire. Look forward to all tips, comments!! Thanks in advance!

Re: Wire Wrapping Question 8 years, 7 months ago #85

djdeb wrote:
What is your favorite gauge?


Personal preference plays a large role in that question. I think at least for me Gauge is a question of what you plan to do with the wire, how easy it should be manipulated, and what the shape of the wire is.

I actually have a bit of a different view on this since my background is in physics and electronics. So I've dealt with wire gauges from that aspect for many years. So when I moved into jewelry design I got a whole different view of it.

I like 16 gauge for the backbone of larger pieces. At that size it tends to be very stiff unless you get the very soft version. But on the other hand, especially as square it tends to make very brilliantly glittering edges. 18 gauge is also very useful for the backbone of a larger piece.

Now when it comes to wraps, such as the bands to keep other wires together, I prefer 20-22 gauge. And generally for that I use also square or half-found wires. Mainly so that it lays flat against the object when you're wrapping it.

The smaller gauges (20-22) I tend to get in semi-hard just to prevent them from denting, marring, or distorting while working with them. Larger gauges (16-18) I tend to get the softer versions because the semi-hard or hard versions are almost impossible to deal with. Unless you plan to do work with a hammer and an anvil or some form of mandrill.

Also is it just me or does silver wire bend and work more easier than gold?


I the only thing I can say about the difference in gold/silver is that since they're all somewhat compounds (and not 100% pure) the softness rating for the silver products are probably slightly higher than the gold, because gold as a pure element is much softer.

Last question any work with coated wire? any tips about clean ends on these?
Presently I do not work with sterling silver, as I would be paronoid with making mistakes with such an expensive wire. Look forward to all tips, comments!! Thanks in advance!


I have not worked with coated wire that much. At least when designing jewelry. But I would think that would depend on the coating. If its coated with soft plastic, you may want to consider a small amount of indirect heat to soften the coating enough to pull it over the cut end. A more brittle coating, I think the best recommendation is to just get a GREAT pair of flush cutters and use the flat side of it facing the wire.

And using wire other than sterling, is a great thing. I use wire which is largely aluminum or tin for some projects. Its VERY cost effective and great for getting your skills honed. The primary drawback is that you don't have the selection of hardness ratings, so its not a real representation of how the silver piece will come out.
The following user(s) said Thank You: djdeb

Re: Wire Wrapping Question 8 years, 7 months ago #87

Struggling to find the right gauge wire has been my biggest problem since I have been doing wire wrapping projects. What is your favorite gauge?

I prefer 20 gauge hands down. I will use 16 or 18 only when a project requires it (like for a bracelet)

I also use the thinner gauges for wrapping specific projects, like for the top of a teardrop pendant, herring bones, branch style etc.


Also is it just me or does silver wire bend and work more easier than gold?
I don't have much experience with silver and gold but from my small experience, I would say so--I'm curious of this answer myself.

Last question any work with coated wire? any tips about clean ends on these?



I work with coated wire a lot. My best advise would be to give yourself a little extra than you need when working with it so that you can snip off the ending that will tend to come unwrapping while handling it, and be very careful reworking a part of it as that will make the coating scrape off and show the base metal too.

Last Edit: 8 years, 7 months ago by jewelrybyjaime. Reason: spelling error
The following user(s) said Thank You: CrystalCross, djdeb

Re: Wire Wrapping Question 8 years, 7 months ago #89

  • djdeb
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Thanks Crystal and Jaime For all the tips and thoughts! I SOOOOO APPRECIATE it!! Makes me want to work with different sizes and styles even more!!
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