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How to SOLDER BOOKLET

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COPPER WIRE

for craft, jewelry & sculpture

 This bare, solid copper wire is of high quality for craft work and is solderable. It is easily worked & bendable by hand. 
  
   The satin finish of this raw copper wire will buff up to a bright finish or can be given an antiqued green or blue patina. More about Patina
 
 
 
  
FINE CRAFT METAL FOR 28 YEARS
 
 
 
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  Updated Dec. 14, 2016

 

More information about

COPPER CRAFT WIRE

 

See our Copper wire Sample sets ROUND - SQUARE   &   HALF ROUND wire  

 

Online catalog Solid copper wire for Craft, Armatures, Jewelry, Wire Wrapping & Sculptures

  This soft copper craft wire is easily worked & bendable by hand. This solid wire is especially high quality for craft work.
 
   This craft copper wire is solderable- making it ideal for craft wire, art wire and sculpture wire.
 
   This high quality raw copper wire comes in a satin finish which buffs up to a bright finish. See our Quick Polishing jewelry cloth  
Our solid metal wire is not plated to make it look shiny temporarily as plating is usually very thin and wears off over time. Also plated wire does not solder as well and often permanently discolors in the process. In addition plated metal mars easily and is hard to polish back to what it was without wearing it off.
 
  The higher the gauge number the thinner the wire. Thicker wire is more stiff than thinner wire.
 
The Gauge pictures may not appear correctly on some computer screens due to different screen resolutions and page size settings. We urge ordering a sample to see exact thickness and to get a feel of a wire. Nothing beats hands on experience . More about Gauge thickness & charts
 
 
    Order samples to see what works best. Refresh browser before ordering to see what's new!
Each spool or coil is individual. CAUTION: Raw craft wire may have sharp ends.
 
CAUTION Some people have skin sensitivity or allergies to various metals: Copper, Brass, Aluminum, Nickel (Silver , stainless and gold too) when in direct contact with skin. We suggest a test if not sure. Only pure gold has very little incidents of skin allergies as far as we know.
Back to COPPER WIRE CATALOG
 
Different metals have different properties we suggest ordering samples to see what works best.
 
Soft wire: This wire is the softest in the metal choice it is easy to bend and work.
Our soft aluminum wire is the softest. More about Aluminum Wire
 
HOWEVER: Our SOFT copper, brass & nickel wire is a bit stiffer than aluminum. This is due to the natural properties of these metals. There is no way around it if you want these real metals.
More about Brass & Bronze wire    More about NICKEL wire
 
We do not offer fake wire: Wire that is coated to look like another because they do not last and often get marred when working with. In addition they are not strong wire and cannot be soldered.
 
You can paint our aluminum wire to look like brass or copper after making something from it  to have a very soft wire that looks like something else. Automotive paint departments often have all these choices.

Our creations using this copper wire:

 
THE THICKER A WIRE IS THE HARDER IT IS TO BEND
 
Medium Stiff wire: is made to bend (but less easily) and hold its shape better.
Wire can be work hardened by bending back and forth or by hammering it to make it flatter and stiffer. It will also be more springy.
 
Metal can also be hardened by heating to glowing red hot and dousing in ice water repeatedly.
 
Bending wire:All our wire can be bent by hand - within reason. A thick 6 gauge wire will not bend around a 1/4 inch rod. It also depends on the users hand strength.This is why we urge ordering samples to see what works for you.
 
Once a wire is bent it becomes more hard and will be more difficult to bend again. A metal can be softened when working with it by annealing it: Heating it with a torch to glowing red hot and allowing it to cool slowly.
 
Wire that is easy to bend and then magically holds its shape:
It cannot be both ways these are opposites; some effort is required for this result. Yet this is the most commonly asked question of us.
 
While when a wire is bent it becomes more hard and will be more difficult to bend again, Soft wire will remain relatively soft.
 
Metal can also be hardened by heating to glowing red hot and dousing in ice water repeatedly. Wire can be work hardened by bending back and forth or by hammering it to make it flatter and stiffer. It will also be more springy.
 
We suggest trying our medium stiff wires. Medium stiff wire will be harder to bend and will hold its shape better.
 
THE THICKER A WIRE IS THE HARDER IT IS TO BEND
 
Again we urge ordering samples or small amounts to get hands on experience and to see if it will work for an intended project. This is how we taught ourselves over the last 30 years. There is no way in words that this can be related, not by e mail and not by phone conversations.

We no longer accept returns of wire if a sample has not been ordered first.
 
RAW METAL DEFINITIONS & TERMS
 
Bulk Metal :   Our cut to length bulk metals for the crafts person provides what is needed at a good value. Our cuts are generously long & approximately square. Metal by the running foot or yard is shipped in one length whenever possible. We use this metal to craft our own creations.
 
Grades:  These solid metals are of an especially pure high grade for fine craft work. All of It is solderable. It is not to be used for electrical work.
               New Craft Metal has a bright rolled satin finish. It may have some very slight manufacturing ripples, scratches & color variations.                
 
              Reclaimed -Recycled metal: This unused older metal has scratches, finger prints, ripples and/or dents. Some is shiny and and some has patina from age. It is all very usable at a good price. We use this metal in our own creations.
 
Gauges or Thickness: The lower the gauge number the thicker the metal. For example 6 gauge is the thickest copper wire we carry; 26 gauge copper wire is the thinnest. See below for gauge charts.
 
Hardness: Basically how easy it is to bend or work:
             Medium Soft is pliable yet holds up for folding and hammering. Thicker metal bends less easily than thin.
             Medium Hard is stiff, bends less easily and holds is shape better in larger pieces
 
 
FINISH: Our raw/bare metals can be buffed up after a piece is completed.  More information on METAL CRAFT HOW-TO : Cleaning, cutting, forming, soldering & finishing
 
PATINA: All the metals we offer are raw with no wax or varnish and will gain an aged patina over time. Patina solutions (available at most hardware stores) can be used to speed the aging process. More about Patina
 
CAUTION :HANDLE WITH CARE , Raw metals have sharp edges. Rolls and coils are tightly wound and may spring open. They are not for use by children .
 
Our metals are sold only for craft work; and they are not tested nor certified safe for electrical nor electronic uses, nor home construction nor internal consumption, and they are not certified for food service. (Yes folks some actually ask if they can eat this craft metal!)
 
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Old prices from old versions of our web site will not be honored.

 
Gauge Thickness chart & Information
 
 
Gauge Is thickness. The higher the gauge number the thinner the metal.
 
The chart below shows approximate gauge thickness for metal to give a relative idea of different gauges. It is in American Standard Gauge of Average wire gauge thickness.
 
 Gauge -Thickness  Dimension inches thick  Dimension millimeters thick

  NOTES

 2

 

.258 inch or
slightly over 1/4 inch thick

  6.54 mm
  VERY HEAVY THICK WIRE .For large sculptures & armatures- cuts best with a bolt cutter or saw.

 4

 
.204 inch

 5.189 mm
 THICK WIRE .For large sculptures & armatures- cuts best with a bolt cutter or saw.

 6

 

 .162 inch

 4.1mm
 THICK WIRE .For large sculptures & armatures- cuts best with a bolt cutter or saw.

 8

  .128 a little over 1/8 inch

3.26 mm
 

 9

   .114 inch

   2.91 mm
 

  10

 

.102 inch

  2.6 mm
 

  12

 
.081 inch 50

 2 mm thick
 About as thick as a standard wire coat hanger

 14

 

 .064 inch

a bit thicker than 1/16 inch
1.6 mm
 This and thicker is Considered PLATE METAL in sheet metal. as in "copper plate"

  16

 .051 inch

 1.30 mm
 

  18

 .04 inch

 1 mm
 A bit thicker than a standard paper clip in wire. Heavy PLATE METAL in sheet metal. as in "copper plate"

  20

.032 inch

.80mm
About the thickness of a standard paper clip.

  22

 . 025

 .65mm
 

  23

Photo shows Approximate thickness: 23 gauge

  .023 or 23 Mil

  .576 mm

 

Standard heavy weight Sheet metal for larger craft work, roofing and range hoods etc. In copper sheet it is 1 pound per square foot approximately.

For sheet metal it cuts with a tin snips or saw

  24

  .020 or 20 Mil

 .5 mm -half a millimeter

Heavy weight Sheet metal.

For sheet metal it cuts with a tin snips or saw

A medium fine wire for craft.

  26

  .016

 .40 mm
 

  30

 .010 also known as 10 mil
as it is 10/1000
inch thick

  .25 mm 1/4 mm
 Medium weight sheet - cuts with a scissors. twice as thick as 36 gauge below, But a very thin wire- not very strong

  36

 .005 also known as 5 mil
as it is 5/1000 inch thick

  .125 mm 1/8 mm

 Heavy FOIL: Standard Embossing & tooling & foil. Cuts with a scissors.

7 times thicker than houshold aluminum foil.

  38

 .004 approximately

  .101 mm

  Medium weight foil slightly lighter than above

Extremely thin wire

   45-50

 .0014

.0007
    thin foil- Household"tin" Aluminum foil- called
very thin foil -
standard aluminum kitchen foil "tin foil"
 
The Gauge thickness lines may not appear correctly on some computer screens due to different screen resolutions and page size settings.
 
Adjust your screen or estimate If this does not appear as one inch.
 
 
Or see the inch dimensions in the chart above on this page and compare with a ruler.
 
 
 
 
 
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Old prices from old versions of our web site will not be honored.
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How to SOLDER BOOKLET

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