Hello wider jewelry community: I recently started a new position at
a medical ID company, and would welcome insight on MANY aspects of
my role in the production workshop… but I’ll just start with one
question: Is there an “industry standard” for jump ring gauge
thickness for mass produced pendants/bracelets/charms? Obviously,
the gauge should ideally vary with the project, but our line of
products can all use the same size and gauge.
My CEO is considering a switch from.040" (approx. US 18 gauge) round
wire to .036" (approx. 19 gauge) wire for all our jump ring
applications - medical ID pendants, bracelets, and charms. We
currently run Crafford’s Link’n’weld machines using .040" wire
(sterling, GF, and 10KY). It will cost us several thousand dollars
to have our link’n’weld machines re-tooled to fit the smaller gauge
wire and I am trying to determine not only the cost effectiveness of
the switch, but what others in the industry use.
Our rep at Crafford says that they sell far more of their machines
tooled for .036 round wire. And our rep at Stern & Leach says either
wire works fine. I would personally probably use 18 gauge, but that’s
me working on the bench with a torch, not trying to weld thousands of
jump rings a day! I really appreciate any insight anyone might have,
particularly if you are familiar with a mass production workshop.
(Well, relatively mass - we do engrave each individual piece!) I have
e-mails into our tech at Rio Grande and am hoping to hear from
Stuller. I’m just wondering what “everyone else” uses.
Thank you in advance for helping a “regular” bench jeweler find her
way in the corporate world.