What type of wire to use
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Joined: January 21, 2011
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What type of wire to use
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Posted on Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:02 pm
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Being relatively new to maille, I have tried a copper wire (too soft) and sterling (too expensive). Does anyone have any recommendations to use for wire to make my jump rings for chain maille? Thank you in advance for any and all suggestions. I appreciate your help.

kyrie87 Coif Smiley

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Posted on Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:01 pm
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It really depend what you are going to be making out of the jumprings. Copper is strong enough at a low AR but at higher ones, you will need a stronger metal. If you could give us an idea of what you plan to make, then we could provide some better answers.



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jump rings
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Posted on Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:37 pm
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i agree. we need to know what your making in order to give good advice. stainless steel looks really nice and is less expensive, but it's hard to bend. titanium and niobium are great for jewelry because they are hypoallergenic. they are not shiny though. it depends on the look you are trying to create too. stainless has a biker look. titanium and niobium are earthy. all metals have different properties that are suited better for each project. brass may be an option too.

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Posted on Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:03 pm
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Never forget to mention Aluminium, that is a relatively hard material if an ER-5000 class alloy like 5554, 5183, 5087 or similar (available as welding wire in different diameters) is used - but don't even think about using the cheap soft Al fence wire that has imho damaged the reputation of Aluminium, and avoid ER-4000 class stuff that is also too soft. These proposed ones are AlMg alloys that behave mechanically and even optically very similar to Sterling, the material is just much lighter and less expensive.

So it's a fine, imho near to optimal training material. But if maille has to be sold, there are surely other materials that allow to earn more net profit.

-ZiLi-


Maille Code V2.0 T7.1 R5.6 Ep Fper MAl Ws$ Cpbsw$ G0.3-6.4 I1.0-30.0 N28.25 Ps Dacdejst Xagtw S08 Hip

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Posted on Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:31 pm
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Aluminium is really a good material, only downsize is, that it somewt´hat feels like plastic (my opinion) but for training really good... I wouldn't suggest it for making armour, because it has just the wrong look (if you don't want to make a really shiney fantasy-chainmaille).

I mostly work with Stainless, Brass, Copper and Sterling. My all-time favourit is Stainless, because it doesn't change color, nearly everyone can wear it without problems, it's cheap, looks good AND is really affordable. Only problem; Cutting it good is in the higher sizes really hard... and you would eventually need pre-cut rings or an saw-equipment to make 'professional'-jewellry out of it.
Some peaople also like to use bronze, but personally, I've never tried it.

At the end; I can confirm what the others said, Copper can be a strong material. Also, It depends on the weave. For example; Full Persian 6-1 needs a relativly high AR; but soft metals can make a strong enough chain, on the other hand, you can make shaggy-loops (which can needs a small AR) but the chain wouldn't be strong with a soft material...
In the end... it's really not so easy if we don't know what you're aiming for.

Joined: January 21, 2011
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Posted on Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:34 am
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I will be making jewelry. Bracelets, earrings.

Joined: March 14, 2010
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Posted on Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:16 am
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if you don't care about it being made out of anything fancy id use Galvanised Steel

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Posted on Thu Jun 23, 2011 3:48 am
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if you are learning for jewelry, i'd suggest looking into aluminum to start.

look into why some kinds rub off black on skin and some do not.


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Posted on Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:00 am
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If you do start with aluminum, you can make long chains for wallets and keys. But don't use AA for that, it scratches easily.
As a substitute for sterling, you could use bronze if copper is not to your liking.


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Posted on Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:33 pm
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Yeah they are right don't us AA for anything like wallet chains (found out the hard way.) but BA is a great starter metal and starts getting your hands stronger if you don't normally do things like this. I also really like Stainless steel depending on the gauge you can make jewelry and armor from it. Ofcourse the armor is only costume quality and the jewelry sells really fast and for a good profit.

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Posted on Fri Jul 08, 2011 6:49 pm
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kaeru wrote:
If you do start with aluminum, you can make long chains for wallets and keys. But don't use AA for that, it scratches easily.
As a substitute for sterling, you could use bronze if copper is not to your liking.


X2, I had some machine cut bronze rings from TRL that I didn't know what to do with, I didn't want to make jewelry with them because I didn't like the kerf so one day I sat down with them and started a 3 in 3 to replace the stainless chain on my wallet... looks really good and has held up well. It almost has a gold look to it and. I've had several other bikers comment on it so I think I'll make a few for my favorite tattoo studio to see if there is any interest...

Bronze is pretty cheap and easy to work with, I work a lot with copper too and love the way it reacts to me. If you're getting your copper from house wiring (Romex) try another source. The copper used for wiring is really soft and while it will work a half hard or hard temper will be easier to work with.

Joined: March 14, 2012
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Posted on Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:53 pm
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kyrie87 wrote:
I will be making jewelry. Bracelets, earrings.


The other big question - are you intending to sell it for profit, or are you just making stuff for yourself/friends?

I'm quite new, but I've been using bronze rings from theringlord.com, they seem to be a good balance between strength, workability, and corrosion-resistance. For anything touching the skin, you'll probably want to stay away from Galvanized or mild-steels, as they will rust/corrode.

I might suggest using a cheaper material to practice with - i.e. aluminum. That way you can get a good feel for different weaves and designs, then bust-out the expensive stuff when you want to make the final versions. It depends on how serious you want to be.

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