Newbie request: Common wire sizes and mandrel/ID sizes?
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Joined: October 26, 2009
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Location: Adelaide, Australia

Newbie request: Common wire sizes and mandrel/ID sizes?
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Posted on Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:18 pm
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As someone who is very new at this, and also as someone who isn't terribly flush with cash, I'm thinking of starting out by making my own rings to use.

Problem is, that I don't really know what to get in terms of wire sizes (metric), and mandrels/rods for making coils.

Generally, I'll be starting off using the tutorials from cgmaille.com and making various weaves presented there, and then might start a few small projects using better materials, however that's later on down the road.

So, to boil it all down - what are good common metric sizes for wire thickness and internal diameter/rods for making coils?

What do you folks tend to prefer working in?

Joined: March 27, 2002
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Posted on Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:14 am
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Mandrels: 6.35mm, 8mm, 9mm should do nicely to start. Metal round stock, nothing wooden. Eventually you'll fill in with 7mm, 7.5mm, 8.5mm and 10mm, as and when you desire.

Wire, anywhere from 1.2mm to 2mm, again as desired. 2mm is pretty hefty wire. You may wish to split the difference and work in 1.5/1.6mm first.


'The Minstrel Boy to the War is gone...'

Joined: December 22, 2007
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Posted on Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:15 am
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Scruffy, are you planning on making armor, jewelry, both?


"I am a leaf on the wind." ~ Wash
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Joined: October 26, 2009
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Location: Adelaide, Australia

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Posted on Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:33 am
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lorraine wrote:
Scruffy, are you planning on making armor, jewelry, both?


To start off with, just various weaves and chains to practice technique. Long term goals would include jewelry, but also furnishings (coasters, curtains). Armor is not out of the question, but much further down the list.

A scale armor sleeved shirt would be sorta cool though, if only as a display.

Joined: December 22, 2007
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Posted on Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:51 pm
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Then I would suggest 18awg (1.02mm) wire. And mandrels from about 2.5mm up to say 7.0mm. Knitting needles are good to start out with. They are easy to find and inexpensive. In the long run, at least for me, they tend to get bent, crushed, generally misshapen, because they are made of aluminum. Maybe I am just too hard on my mandrels... Rolling Eyes Anyway, that will give a wide range of weaves to play around with.

The nice thing about using 18awg is that if you have the AR of a weave, then the mandrel size will be pretty much the the same number. For instance a good AR for Byzantine is 3.5. Wind some 18awg around a 3.5mm mandrel and you have some great rings to make Byzantine with. Ta da! And Phong (CGMaille) is really good about giving you an AR for the weaves in his tutorials. HP 3-1 AR~3.9. Use a 4mm mandrel and you'll be fine. Smile

Have fun Scruffy!


"I am a leaf on the wind." ~ Wash
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Joined: April 15, 2002
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Posted on Thu Oct 29, 2009 8:54 pm
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In terms of mandrels, just get a set.

In terms of rings, don't make 'em until you know what you need. That's one of the big points of making your own rings, no useless inventory.

If you want a cheap yet comprehensive set of mandrels, head down to your discount crappy-tools store (Canada has Princess Auto, US has Harbor Freight, I dunno what Aus has), and pick up a set of transfer punches. They usually come in sets of 27 or so. You should be able to find a set of cheap ones for $5-$20. They're about 4" long.



Take a hacksaw or jewelry saw and cut a little slot in the end of them, to stick the wire so it holds.

Then, buy a little vice, or use a drill and powerwind.

There's not really common jewelry wire. Everyone buys what they enjoy making.

Joined: October 26, 2009
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Location: Adelaide, Australia

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Posted on Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:17 pm
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Many thanks for the advice all, have bought some bits, and am making my first weave - probably a basic Euro 4-1 to start with

Joined: June 22, 2006
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Posted on Sun Nov 01, 2009 8:21 am
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I have also bought the transfer punch set. It's awesome, considering it was $10.

I dislike how short they are but it's worth it.


And shepherds we shall be, for Thee, my Lord, for Thee. Power hath descended forth from Thy hand, that our feet may swiftly carry out Thy command. So we shall flow a river forth to Thee, and teeming with souls shall it ever be.

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