Wire drawing cheat sheet

mitch

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I ran across that chart while collecting the surprisingly large array of tools needed to draw wire and in the process of performing that task a couple things occurred to me:

1) It may well be THE engraving-related chore I hate the most;

2) I could do a fairly extensive instructional video on all the techniques, tips, & tricks I've developed over 40 years of drawing wire, but I ain't gonna...
 

Sinterklaas

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Drawing your own wire has some advantages. Because maybe you brought some in a size you needed for a project. Then you have some left over but its to big for your next project. Now you can order new wire in the right size or make what you have smaller. Or if you also have an octagonal rolling mill (octagoon wals) then you can melt your left overs with a torch. And roll it and after rolling use the drawplate (trekijzer) to pull to the size you want.

So it can:
save time, no waiting on your order to arrive
save money, reusing left over or remelting scraps.

If you want to buy drawplates or rolling mills let me know and I will give you adresses/ company names.
 

kraftrourke

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I ran across that chart while collecting the surprisingly large array of tools needed to draw wire and in the process of performing that task a couple things occurred to me:

1) It may well be THE engraving-related chore I hate the most;

2) I could do a fairly extensive instructional video on all the techniques, tips, & tricks I've developed over 40 years of drawing wire, but I ain't gonna...
As an apprentice bench jeweler in a trade shop I would frequently roll and draw down various wire. There was a draw bench and I can't imagine doing it without one now.
 

vanLanen

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Thank you for explaining it! i love how Gold inlay looks, and It’s definitely something i want to explore in the future, so when time is right and I need some tools I’ll keep it in mind.
Cheers,
Thomas
 

papart1

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say speaking of drawing...............does anyone, with the wealth, knowledge and experience in these trades have a formula for inlays? etc: width x depth = wire diameter please? Rob
 

Chujybear

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why would one draw their own wire? instead of just buying it the right size.
im completely new in the subject so please forgive my ignorance.
Also you pay for the labour of having somebody else draw it down for you... I don’t know what the premium is because I have never bought wire...
the other reason, besides the good ones written above, is if you have your own alloy recipe, and you want your wire in a specific color.
 

John B.

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say speaking of drawing...............does anyone, with the wealth, knowledge and experience in these trades have a formula for inlays? etc: width x depth = wire diameter please? Rob
Are you talking flush or raised inlay??
Single wire or multi wire inlay?
Lots of variables.
 

John B.

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single wire, flush ....................say .030 wire?
Sorry to you old timers...... you all have your own way. But this just might help a newbie to inlay a line.

My MO is to have about 10-20% of the volume of the wire above the surface when I have seated it into the undercut line by hammer and brass punch. So cut your line to suit your desired wire and inlay size.
The top of the wire is work hardened by the punching in, at this stage.
The raised surplus allows me to remove the very top work hardened surface by sanding.
I do not attempt to sand it flush at this stage, just remove the hardened top surface.
Then I burnish down the line to be sure that the wire is fully seated into the undercut and filling the cut line.
You will know that it is fully seated because the top of the wire will become shiny from the pressure of the burnishing.
Then it's time to sand the inlay flush. Use backing for this sanding to avoid "dishing" the inlay.
 
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mitch

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I think the smallest I've drawn is 30ga. You draw 38ga?!!
I was probably just doing the math in even numbered B&S gauges. My small drawplate only goes down to 0.0047" (0.12mm), which would be about 37ga. Yeah, I've used that hole from time to time, but not in years. The hard part isn't the drawing*, it's inlaying anything with it. Which is a royal PITA if it's anything but a fairly straight line. Literally like inlaying a hair...

*Since you'd hardly ever need more than a few inches of wire that fine, short pieces are pretty easy to draw.
 

mitch

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There's a funny story as to why I made up a chart for drawing wire down from 18ga/.040" diameter stock. In the mid-1980s somebody was going to do a huge series of custom rifles (let's just leave out the project & people involved) and I was asked to do much of the engraving, which included extensive gold borders. The first few rifles were built and I was asked how much gold wire I'd need for 3 or 4? guns. I tried to be conscientious and conservative with my estimate (having been raised to spend the boss' money like it was my own) and gave the coordinator a pretty tight guess. A week or so later a small box showed up from Swest and when I opened it my eyes about bugged out of their sockets! I don't remember the exact quantity of 18ga & 26/28ga, but the box was actually kinda HEAVY.

When the project tanked I asked the head guy what I should do with all this leftover gold wire and he said, "Just keep it." I have literally not bought an inch of 24k gold wire in 35 years and still have some left...
 

southern_lights

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For each time the diameter of the wire is halved, then the length of the wire is 4 times longer than what it was...because halving the diameter means that the cross-sectional area of the wire is 4 times less!
 

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