Good and Bad News, folks!

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Posts 20
on Oct 26, 2009 3:50 PM

Hello, everyone! I do apologize for the long absence that yall have experienced with me.  However, I do have some good and some bad news, and as a result i am looking for some wire gauge guides?  You see, I have made myself a Pride bracelet (I'm gay), and I am somewhat successful with it except for one thing: It broke on me!  My partner took a look at it and said that I was using too thin of wire.  What other materials are there that are strong and doesn't wear and tear and break easy?  Does  anyone have any ideas of how to find a wire gauge guide so I can avoid this time-consuming, cost-inaffective, and heart breaking experience in the future?  PLEASE HELP?!? 




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Posts 26
MaryH@172 wrote
on Oct 26, 2009 7:20 PM

 Hey nu2,

I found my favorite wire tools at Rio Grande.  It's a jewelry supply company.  They carry all kinds of wire & wire working tools.


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Beadiecat wrote
on Oct 27, 2009 2:03 AM

Awww, I'm sorry that happened.  It is so discouraging!  But no worries, we will help you fix it up!

Is it possible that you can post a picture of the bracelet so that we can see what method you used to make it?  Then we can give you better advice on what type of wire/stringing material to use.  If you can't post a picture, try to describe it the best you can.



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My RebelMouse page and Etsy shop

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Kokopelli wrote
on Oct 27, 2009 3:15 AM


oh no, I hate when such things happen! You invested time and it broke. And I agree that it would help to have a pic of the bracelet, so we can help.

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Cat_P wrote
on Oct 27, 2009 5:52 AM

 I agree with the others, it would help to know exactly what you did with the wire before anyone can tell you what gauge to use.

Did you braid the wire, make wire wrapped links.....

If you have a picture or better description of what you did to make it, we can all help further. We would all love to see anyway!

A heavier gauge wire probably won't break on you unless it's over worked and becomes brittle.

I did find a guide the other day online for wire gauges and their best uses- let me see if I can find it again for you. Otherwise with more info I'm sure the bunch of us here can help you :)

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LinaG2 wrote
on Oct 27, 2009 8:59 AM

 Yes, please post a picture...wire work is one of my favorites to do but without looking at it, it would be a bit hard?  What gauge did you use?  I think I have a chart that has gauge sizes.

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SCB1 wrote
on Oct 27, 2009 4:37 PM

Hey Nu2this, Welcome to the forum where many are happy to help others. Try this article:

Hope this will shed some light on your wire problem.

Happy Beading!!


Small-town USA. 




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Posts 20
on Oct 30, 2009 10:21 AM

I cannot post a picture yet b/c my camera is out of town (supposed to be here this weekend, I think!).  Anyway...........................Here are the steps that I used to make the bracelet (please forgive me, for I don't know my mm measurements for the beads but they are small).  But right now (sorry) I am unable to think about the steps (they're simple) due to being groggy with a cold!

So, why am I responding? R-E-S-P-E-C-T! That's what I want to give to all of you!  How do you braid wire?  I have never even heard of it being done until I saw it posted here!  It was a simple,single strand of wire; I do rememeber this much!

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Posts 20
on Oct 31, 2009 3:16 PM

 I am going to try and take a picture as requested of me sometime within the next week, since I DID get my camera back today...Thanks for all of your patience!



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Posts 9
on Dec 18, 2009 1:59 PM

I know this is a long comment, but I think it will be helpful for all metal workers.  Don't be afraid to expand your skills; jump into this nice warm pool.

Re wire gague: Hardware store wire gagues have always worked for me to determine the gague of wire I failed to mark. They are usually circular in shape and surrounded by labeled slots of varing sizes. You simply pass your selected wire through the slots, find the slot that fits it perfectly and Voila!  You have just identified your gague of wire. I like hardware store gagues because they're usually cheap and quickly accessible. They're usually cheap enough that if you're in a hurry, and can't find your gague, you can quickly replace it without waiting on shipping time.  Keep in mind that it is the slot that the wire fits through that determines its gague, not the hole at the base of the slot.

Re wire breaking: Wire gague is not a true predictor of whether the wire will break, as all wire can become brittle if it's worked too much. Search the topic "wire, work hardening" for details as to how and why this occurs. Wire is sold in different tempers. I'm sure you've seen wire advertised as "dead soft (DS)" or "half-hard (HH)". These terms refer to the degree of softness the wire is annealed to when purchased.  However, using dead soft wire is still no guarantee that it won't become brittle with use--in other words, the wire may be dead soft when you begin your project but will still become brittle or hard with use. (see above).

So both the gague and the temper of the wire must be considered in product selection. The GOOD news is that there is a simple way to restore softness and flexibility to wire as it begins to become harder while you''re working it. This technique is called annealing, which is not as threatening as it looks at first glance. Annealling refers to slowly heating the metal (wire or sheet) with a torch until you can barely see it glow red in a darkened room. Then the metal is quenched (cooled by dunking in water) and pickled (placed in a solution, usually acidic) to remove the fire-scale (tarnish and discoloration that results from being torched). Now the softness of your metal will be restored and can continue to be worked.  If after continued working, it starts to work-harden again, just anneal it again and continue working.

Annealing is much easier than it looks, can save money and futility to anyone working in metal.  It doesn't require a fortune to invest in equipment in supplies and is a great introduction to becoming comfortable using a torch. It can truly expand the scope of your comfort level and exploration into metalwork.  next think you know, you'll be buying large diameter wire to keep on hand and reducig the gague of it to suit the needs of your project. The term to search for that money-saving skill is "Drawing wire, or using a draw plate".

Bon Chance, ignore the word "can't", and Laissez les Bon Temps Roulle!


p.s. I applaud your pride and in so am proud of you also.


Bon Chance et Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulle!

(Good luck and Let the Good Times Roll!)

Not Ranked
Posts 9
on Dec 18, 2009 2:56 PM

Hey, Sue.

I guess I could have saved me writing and others reading a long post by following this link. Good job at coming up with the perfect link for this question!

Bon Chance et Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulle!

(Good luck and Let the Good Times Roll!)

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