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14K Wire Wrap


#1

I was recently asked to do some 14K gold wire wrap for a friend
of mine. My past experience with wire wrap has been strictly
gold-filled and sterling wire. I have heard that there is a
difference in hardness between solid 14K wire and gold-filled
wire, and that quarter-hard 14K may be more rigid (or less) than
quarter-hard gold filled. Do any of you wrappers out there have
recommendations regarding the hardness of 14K that is best for
wrapping?

Lee Einer


#2

Lee mos wire wrapping is done in gold filled or sterling at half
hard (#2) if you go to 14k naturally your alloy is totally
different and so becomes the temper yoou might stick with #1
hardness. But no matter how you temper it 14k is much harder to
handle then gold filled.

Preston j. Reuther


#3

For every wirewrapper out there, you will probably get a unique
list of suggestions. That apparently isn’t stopping me from
adding mine. 14k wire is easier to break than half-hard 14/20
gold filled. I call it more brittle, but I’m sure metalsmiths
out there can explain the real reason it works differently. If
you are used to working with half-hard gold filled wire, just go
a bit more gently and you should be okay. The old basics apply.
Know your design (you might want to make it in gold-filled for
practice if it isn’t a design you are used to), never twist on a
bend, don’t overtwist (repeat, don’t overtwist), bend once (you
won’t be able to “work” the wire like you can with gold filled),
and most of all enjoy the feel of working with real gold! Go for
it!

Compliments of Rio Grande catalog, here’s their hardness guide

Approximate Ultimate Tensile Strength (psi)

14K Yellow Gold Yellow Gold-Filled (12/20, 14/20) Sterling
Common Term Browne&Sharpe Hardness

69,000                    40,000
40,500                Soft (annealed)        0
88,000                    50,000
48,500                1/4 hard                    1
98,000                    60,000
54,000                1/2 hard                    2
111,000                  70,000
60,000                3/4 hard                    3
124,000                  75,000
66,500                full hard                     4
145,000                  90,000
89,000                spring hard               8

-debbi (if it were me, I would pick a hardness no greater than 1)