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Type of wire to use for chainmaille?

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  • Type of wire to use for chainmaille?

    Hi,
    iv recently got back into chainmaille and cutting my own jump rings but I'm not sure about the correct wire to buy . Iv heard that half hard wire is used for sterling silver , does copper, brass and bronze have a half hard version ? Do I need to use a certain type / strength of copper and brass or bronze ?

    Iv bought some brass and copper from Wires. Co.uk but it doesnt go into much detail about the wire. Will this wire be the correct type ?

    Thanks
    Its pretty AND it sparkles !!! me want

    my jewellery http://www.folksy.com/shops/Stranded

  • #2
    A lot depends on the wire gauge and AR you're working with. As a general rule of thumb, half hard is better for gauges smaller than 1mm. At 1mm it's more about what the AR is - anything below 3.5 is fine in dead soft, but larger ARs are better in half hard. Gauges of 1.2mm and above are usually fine in dead soft - though very large ARs may still need half hard for stability.

    Bronze is very hard in its regular form (and will murder your saw blades - I tend to use platinum king blades to cut it). Brass is pretty similar in hardness to sterling, but copper can be very soft - especially in lower gauges and/or larger ring sizes in terms of AR.

    As long as you've gone for bare (uncoated) wires from wires.co.uk, it should be fine - their wire is generally of very high quality.
    george
    www.mizgeorge.co.uk
    www.etsy.com/shop/mizgeorge
    www.flickr.com/mizgeorge

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    • #3
      Thanks for the reply , do you know where I can get copper etc in half hard ( for those big jump rings ) . When you say brass is similar to sterling does that mean it needs to be half hard ? Sorry I'm finding the metal type a bit confusing
      Its pretty AND it sparkles !!! me want

      my jewellery http://www.folksy.com/shops/Stranded

      Comment


      • #4
        You won't generally see half hard copper - and even the stuff advertised (usually in the US) as such is still pretty soft. Really, you need to either draw it down, or work harden (pulling and twisting are the usual methods). The real answer is usually to avoid using large AR copper rings in small wire gauges.

        My comment about brass meant that it behaves in a fairly similar way to sterling. You can get away with 'standard' variety wire. Do bear in mind though that regular brass tends to have a slighly greenish tinge, and ages badly. Look for red or jewellers brass, which is much more like gold in appearance and keeps its colour better.
        george
        www.mizgeorge.co.uk
        www.etsy.com/shop/mizgeorge
        www.flickr.com/mizgeorge

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the help , now I better find some jewellers brass as I think I've got standard brass . Thanks
          Its pretty AND it sparkles !!! me want

          my jewellery http://www.folksy.com/shops/Stranded

          Comment


          • #6
            If you don't find it elsewhere, try alchemy and ice, who I seem to recall keep it in stock.
            george
            www.mizgeorge.co.uk
            www.etsy.com/shop/mizgeorge
            www.flickr.com/mizgeorge

            Comment

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