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Reclaimimg copper wire

Michael, I used a lot of copper 12 gauge wire when I was starting
out. It was the kind encased in a tube of plastic. To remove the
casing, I used a moderately sharp pocket knife, and pulled the wire
down between the knife and the edge of my work table. It worked very
well. Have you started forging the wire yet? The hammer marks from
forging can cover or obliterate any nicks that you might cause with
the knife, and moving the metal through forging gives it a lot more
interesting form than just plain round wire. Loosen up, and have fun
with your recycled material! By the way, if you move on to hard
soldering, copper is an excellent trainer, since any flooding of
excess solder really shows up. It will teach you to be very neat, so
that if you try silver or gold, you will know how to create a tidy
joint. Copper solders well with silver solders. Best wishes for your
work! – M’lou Brubaker, Jeweler Goodland, MN