Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Top Tips Tuesday ~~ Working with Wire ~~ Wire Gauges and When to use them!

Now Blogtoberfest 2013 is over I will be continuing with my Top Tips Tuesday spot.  

There will be a mixture of tutorials, information of jewellery making techniques and Top Tips!

I do hope this will be a very helpful resource for the beginner of jewellery making or maybe even for the intermediate jeweller. 

Working with Wire ~~ Part 2
Here is my table of wire gauges' information of when to use them and what to use them for!

Wire Gauge
What and When to use it
0.2mm (32g) or 0.3mm  (28g)
Very Fine wire, suitable for Crochet or Knitting with wire
0.4mm  (26g)
Mainly used for wrapping, coiling and weaving, all metals
0.5mm (24g) & 0.6mm (22g)
Used in wrapping or coiling, great for twisting in Tiara making. 
0.5mm in colour coated wire is great as decoration in weaving and coiling sometimes comes in 0.56mm
0.7mm  (21g)
Tends to come in the colour coated wire mainly.
Not always strong enough on its own and can still be a bit weak if used as a base wire for coiling or wrapping.
0.8mm (20g)
Very versatile. Good for making earwires, can be used as a base wire if wrapped/coiled in earrings or rings. This size is used in headpins and eyepins but has been stiffened, so will be great for making your own headpins, must be hammered to strengthen it.  
Will pass through most bead holes (pearls would have difficulty as they have very small holes)
1.00mm (18g)
Versatile like 0.8mm, similar uses too.  Good base wire can be used on its own without being wrapped/coiling but will need to be hammered to strengthen it.
Possibly will not pass through smaller holes in beads.
1.2mm or 1.25mm (16g)
Good as a base wire for most jewellery items ~ rings, bangles/bracelets, pendants, necklaces, brooches/fibulas/scarf rings, etc.
Can be wrapped with larger wires such as 0.6mm as well as smaller wires, would  be strong.  Can be more difficult to work with as stiffer but can be an asset but tougher on your fingers.
1.5mm (15g) or 1.6mm (14g)
Good base wire for larger jewellery items ~ such as bangles/bracelets, wire necklaces, brooches/scarf ring base/fibulas.  No wrapping necessary. Can be hammered but if finding difficult to do so may need annealing first to soften the wire so will make it malleable while working, then hammer to strengthen and stiffen again once finished manipulating wire.
2mm (12g)
Very large and stiff wire, will need annealing first before manipulating.  Self supporting,  good for bangles or bracelets maybe neckpieces ~ hammer to add decoration or manipulate it.

I do have more tips on the boil but please do leave any comments of things you would like to see me cover!  I do love to get comments so please do say hello!
See you next time.

E x

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