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How to measure silver wire lenght without changing the temper

Hi there!
I have a small problem that probably most of you already solved!

How would one go about measuring 20 feet of 16 gauge silver wire out of a coil of 200 without making it work harden?
I could uncoil it, measure it then roll it up again, would that harden the wire?
Is there a machine that could measure it without disturbing too much the wire?

Thanks for you help!

Pi, 3.14 times the diameter of the coil should give you a length for each loop. Won’t be exact but close


I always order my wire by “loops” for that reason - work hardening.

Measure the length of one coil and then decide how many more you need to get 20 feet (3.14XD=C). In my shop I don’t really worry about it. Actually, I am usually trying to straighten it.

That is not enough to work harden it.


Uncoiling and recoiling will not work harden
the sterling. You are not working the metal by
bending or forging the metal, which would be
why you would have to anneal.


you can also go by weight.
16ga Sterling round wire weighs .132 t/oz. per foot. x 20ft = 2.600 t/ozs

Ken B.
DHF Inc.

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So is this the way resellers are doing?
Let’s say RioGrande, they uncoil and recoil?

Thanks for all the answers! :slight_smile:

that amount of movement will in no way workharden your wire. just for fun, take a 4" piece of your 16 ga and bend it back and forth in one spot and count the number of times you do this. You will find that you will tire out long before the wire will ( this is assuming that you start with dead soft) sterling is so very malleable.

There is an automatic measuring and cutting machine they use. If you want to see how it works, nip on down to HomeDepot and see how they measure and cut rope.