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wire wrapping

Posted by kathy daley  
kathy daley February 08, 2008 03:47PM
was wondering if anyone could tell me where to buy wire for wrapping cabs? what kind of wire/gauge is best?
I am just getting started with this and would appreciate any advice.
Julie Conway February 08, 2008 04:01PM
Fire Mountain Gems ( has really good prices on quality silver wire which is what I wrap all of mine with. Their catalog is free to request and once on the list you get it every couple of months.

I choose the gauge I use based on how big the cab is and what I'm planning on doing to it specifically. Sometimes I use a variety especially if I'm doing an intricate wire design across the front of it.

Hope that helps you some :)

Ray Hill February 08, 2008 08:41PM
if you check out Lehigh Minerals website, and email Yolanda, she is well connected re resources and at least every second rock shop seems to have supplies for this end of the it should be relatively easy

When it first came to North America, all the best quality wire was English sourced
kathy daley February 10, 2008 09:36PM
Thank you for your help.
I tried my first piece of wire wrapping, its hard to keep the wires straight.
any tips on how to keep them all together?
bought wire from fire mountain gem. some cabs to. thanks again
Rick Swartzwelder March 07, 2008 10:37PM
Try for cabs. has stones and free patterns. Another good one is there is a free tutorial on wrapping cab or faceted stones for free there. The templates are great for forming the frames before you set the stone. (Why do it the hard way?)

When you ask about keeping the wires straight, if you mean before you bind them, lay them out like a ribbon, side by side, and use thin masking tape on each end. That will hold them until you put the 1/2 round bindings on them.

Happy wrapping
Kim Mcintosh April 25, 2008 02:21AM
Kathy---the art to keeping your wires together...painters tape. Works wonders and it doesn't leave a residue on your wire. Take a small piece on each end of your wires before you start the banding. It will hold them tight. As to the question on what gauge wire to use. We use 22 guage square wire in dead soft for the frame. Then we use 21 or 22 guage half round dead soft or half hard (doesn't matter to us.) for the banding wires. We purchase this from Rio Grande. If you have any other questions I would be happy to help you in any way I can.
Kim McIntosh
sherry May 10, 2008 04:43PM
Tim Jokela Jr July 13, 2008 08:32PM
I'd strongly suggest contacting a local rock shop or club and seeing if there's a course available. Won't cost much and I'd bet you'd learn a ton of little tricks that make all the difference.
Anonymous User January 24, 2009 05:18PM
I say just do it. The skill comes. Use a cheap craft wire to get your technique down. I found the best place and best price is
G & S The are right from the source, metals refiners. They also have Argentium silver. Which is the best. Half the price per foot of some other well known retailers.
I like 21 gauge for larger stones, and 24 gauge for more delicate stones.
Books are good too, but best advice is just do it.
Good Luck, Sherril
open | download - chrysazutitefish.jpg (249.9 KB)
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Adam Kelly January 25, 2009 01:54AM
Kathy, check out
If nothing else it serves as inspiration.
I have a few friends on there, and they love to share usefull tips.
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