Daily Wire Tip Feb. 8: Binding Wire to Wrapping Wire

By on February 8, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
February 08, 2010


What is the rule of thumb for binding wire to wrapping wire?
I.E. 21 gauge wrap  ___gauge binding.


Everyone has his or her favorite wire combinations, so I will answer with my personal opinion. When using 12 to 14g square as a base, use 16g ½ rd ½ Hard; 16g to 19g square as a base = 18g ½ rd ½ H; 20g to 22g square = 20g ½ rd 1/2H; 22g to 24g square = 21g ½ rd ½ H.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar


    February 8, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    I use what ever I think will look good. If I am using 21ga square for the bones of the project, I could use 21ga 1/2 round, if the stone is substantial. However I will use 22ga 1/2 rnd if I want a more delicate, finer look. If the stone is small I will use 22ga square with 24ga 1/2 round. Since I tumble almost everything, I use dead soft square wire for the bones so that I have more control over the design. Naturally the 1/2 round is half hard. If a project requires more strength, then I will use heavier wire – square and 1/2 round. Use what ever you think the project requires. Light and delicate stones need lighter wire. Larger, heavier stones need heavier wire.

  2. avatar


    February 8, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    I just wondered if this is something that people who have done wire wrapping for quite awile know about. Being a VERY new beginner, I don’t know what binding wire to wire wrapping even means…

  3. avatar

    David Gunny Bates

    February 8, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Thanks for the tip. I use 18 & 20 Ga om most every thing, but its good to know about to larger sizes.

    Thanhs again

  4. avatar

    Alex Netherton

    February 9, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Belinda, the binding wire is the wire you wrap around a bundle of wires to hold it together. This web site is called wire sculpture, but a lot of the people are wire wrappers, meaning they do not use solder or glue, but use wire wrapping to hold a design together.

    If you look on the website here, you will probably find a number of tutorials perfect for beginners, and Dale Cougar Armstrong has a wonderful book out (I have it!!!), and you can get it here:http://wire-sculpture.com/how-to-make-wire-jewelry/Wirework_An_Illustrated_Guide_to_the_Art_of_Wire_Wrapping_Dale_Cougar_Armstrong-6128-0.html

    I highly recommend this book, as it is good for beginner to advanced, and has some fine designs in it.

    I most often use the same gauge (square) wire for wrapping as the gauge I am using making the design, unless I am using half round, in which case I just use 18 ga. I have only recently been using half round, and haven’t decided yet whether I like it or not.

  5. avatar


    February 9, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    Coupling the right size of half-round wire is important as is the number of wraps you use to lock in your wires with. You are relying on those wrap wraps to hold everything in place and not to work loose over time. Putting a half round wrap in 24 gauge around 22 gauge square will eventually become compromised and not hold up. As Dale stated, using 20 gauge half round is better.