Wire clasps -- What metal/gauge?
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Joined: June 22, 2009
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Location: Austin

Wire clasps -- What metal/gauge?
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Posted on Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:57 am
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I've made a variety of handmade, secure clasps, using 14 gauge (I think awg) galvy, 16 swg stainless, 16 awg copper (the wire type wasn't specified) and several other variants, and none of them have come out to be what I really want for a clasp, which is for it to be small, secure, and most of all, strong, because the clasp is the point that sustains the most stress. If anyone could point me in the direction of a tutorial for clasp making (I've already seen the one at Derakon's library) and a good metal/gauge to use, that be super. Coif Cool Smiley

Joined: June 22, 2009
Posts: 109
Submissions: 24
Location: Austin

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Posted on Fri Jan 22, 2010 4:59 am
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Also, 16 swg stainless (from TRL) was UNIMAGINABLE. I could bend it, but with my (relatively) small roundnose pliers, it was very difficult. Mad . Anyways, a good tutorial, metal & gauge would be super.

Joined: July 17, 2009
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Location: Palm Springs, CA

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Posted on Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:04 am
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Stainless is definitely hard to work with, but it can be done. Necklace and hook clasp shown is 16 swg 1/4 hard stainless 304 from TRL:

Sorry for the over-exposed photo. Stainless isn't quite that bright and shiny. Actually it has a blue-gray steel color to it, and is definitely not white like it looks here.

Anyway, if you want to work with the heavy stuff, I would recommend you read this thread about pliers:
http://www.mailleartisans.org/board/viewtopic.php?t=14734

Particularly my post regarding compound pliers like these:


You can do 16 gauge stainless, but you must get the right pliers. Full size (8 inch) electrician linesman pliers with teeth will do, but you won't really enjoy stainless until you get more leverage with the compound pliers.

Even with these gigantic pliers you will wear the teeth off them eventually. However, the finished product in stainless steel is impressive, and well worth the work in my opinion. Cutters Coif Cool Smiley



Joined: July 17, 2009
Posts: 392
Submissions: 20
Location: Palm Springs, CA

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Posted on Fri Jan 22, 2010 6:15 am
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Oh, to answer your question more directly, I use a simple wire bending jig with pins to make hook clasps like this http://www.micromark.com/ECONOMICAL-STRIP-AND-WIRE-BENDING-JIG,7070.html Don't have a tutorial for it, I just look - then do.



Joined: June 22, 2007
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Location: Hampshire, IL

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Posted on Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:19 am
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Hello,

If we could see some examples of the ones you have already made that would be more helpful. Kodiak makes a nice clasp, it has been very secure for me so far.

I like to make just a hook clasp, sometimes a swan clasp, in the same gauge or up to two gauges thicker than the gauge used for the main piece. 14 gauge is a beast, last night I made a hook out of silver plate just messing around, it was tough.

Lorraine has recently made some nice toggles as have others on here.

Have you searched through the articles?

Joined: February 24, 2010
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Posted on Thu May 27, 2010 2:25 pm
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largest i've used for a clasp is 0.064" bronze, and the equivalent in twisted wire of 0.032" bronze and stainless

and @Pfeiffer

THOSE THE SAME PLIERS I USE! Very Happy

and i use the diagonal cutters of that series

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