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Silver Wire and Findings
We have a large selection of pewter jewelry components by TierraCast. Find plated finishes silver, copper and gold as well as black, brass oxide , antique pewter and rhodium. Find decorative beads, charms, clasps, rings and links, pins, a variety of leather products, and earwires, pins, jump rings and more...
JEWELRY WIRE FAQ's
Wire Gauge Diameters
- 16 Gauge - 1.29mm
- 18 Gauge - 1.02mm
- 20 Gauge - 0.81mm
- 22 Gauge - 0.64mm
- 24 Gauge - 0.51mm
- 26 Gauge - 0.41mm
- 28 Gauge - 0.32mm
What is Wire Gauge?
Jewelry wire is most commonly measured for thickness or diameter using the American Wire Gauge system (AWG).
American Wire Gauge is the accepted system for determining the sizes of round wire in Canada and United States. There are other wire gauge systems used by different industries (Steel and Music wire).
Some basics of the AWG system include:
- Wire diameters decrease in size as the gauge increases.
- A 20 gauge wire is much thicker than 28 gauge wire. If you think of gauge size as how many wires you can stick in the same size hole. A lot more 28 gauge wires would be required to fill the same size hole as if you used 20 gauge wires.
- Wire gauges increases/decreases by 6 for every doubling of diameter
- Each gauge is approx 1.1229 larger than the successive lower gauge.
- You know that 24 Gauge wire is 0.51mm multiply 1.1229 and you get 23 Gauge or 0.57mm again multiply by 1.1229 and you get 0.64mm or 22 Gauge wire.
- AWG has been used since 1857.
16 - 20 Gauge wires are currently the heaviest gauges wire that we carry. This wire can be used for creating the frame for your project, create jump rings, or wire art involving hammer work. Because of the thickness, this wire can be a little tough to work with. If you are stringing beads make sure the thread hole on the bead is large enough to allow the wire through.
22-24 Gauge wires are most common for wire wrapping and general wire work as they are thin enough to fit through most bead thread holes and yet strong enough to provide a good hold. Our head and eye pins are mostly 24 gauge. Again use the table above for the wire diameter and make sure the wire suits your needs.
26-28 Gauges are thread-like and are used on fine or delicate beads or smaller project like wrapping beads onto earwires. These gauges are also commonly used for basket weaving and lace work.
Wire Art Basics
There are many uses and methods of working with wire and as many books written on the subject. Books are very useful for beginning jewelry makers or craftspeople but you can't beat watching a wire artist in action. However, all you need is a few basic wraps and a couple of special effects using a jig or hammer and you can make jewelry of any type.
Common tools that can be used for wire work include:
Chain nose pliers & wire cutters will also be required for basic wire work. Try to get tools that fit your hand and in some cases protective coverings over the metal jaws to prevent scarring of the wire. There are many other tools that are designed exclusively for wire work. We will be getting a page for jewelry tools set up soon. In the meantime, let us know if you would like to see a flyer of the tools we have available.
WIRE JIGS - good ones are Beadalon Thing-A-Ma-Jig and can be found with wire bending kits. These jigs can produce wonderful designs and you may also want to combine bending with hammering to produce amazing pieces.
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Tel: 1 (250) 571-4366 (9:00AM - 5:00PM PST) What is this in my time zone?
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