What gauge to use for woven pieces?
Question: I have a [woven] bracelet design I've been working on. I've chosen 16 gauge for the support. It will be about 3/8 in. wide. I'm unsure what gauge to use for the weaving. I've thought about going as high as 22 or 21 ga. ... the bracelet needs to be sturdy. Do you have any advice on wire ga. and how to harden it afterwards, if neccessary? Not sure if something with a weave like this should go in a tumbler.
I think 21ga is WAY too thick. As a rule of thumb, to make the weave look really nice is use 10 numbers up or down. If you are using 16ga for support, then use at least a 26 ga for the weave. You can use even thinner, but nothing thicker than that, or it will look very coarse. (Unless coarse is the look you are going for. ) I normally use 18ga or 20ga, woven with 28ga.
As for hardening the woven wire, the only way to do it is to through it in the tumbler for a couple of hours. Don't even try to touch it, or you'll ruin the weave. It will be just fine in the tumbler, the only problem is that some of the pellets might get stuck, so use caution when removing them so the wires don't get crooked.