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Loops in Larger Gauges of Wire

Instructions for making "P" loops in larger sizes of jewelry wire and common jewelry making tools:

Making a Loop in Larger Gauge Jewelry Wire using common jewelry making tools.

Making a loop in 16 gauge and larger jewelry wire is not as easy as making the same loop in 18 gauge and smaller gauges of wire.  For this reason, we have a modified technique for making loops in larger gauges of wire.  

Jewelry Making Supplies Required:

Jewelry Making Tools Required:

  • 12 to 16 gauge jewelry wire
  • Round Nose Pliers
  • Step Jaw Pliers (Optional)
  • Flush Cutter
  • Chain Nose or Bent Chain Nose Pliers

Jewelry Making Skills Required:

  • Ability to cut jewelry wire using the flush cutter jewelry tool. 
  • Ability to make a loop in jewelry wire using the round nose or step jaw pliers jewelry tool.
  • Ability to close a loop in jewelry wire using the chain nose pliers jewelry tool.

Step-by-step instructions in making loops in larger gauges of jewelry wire using the above set of jewelry tools:

Step 1:  While, holding your round nose or step jaw pliers in your non-dominant hand, grasp the Jewelry wire in the jaws of your pliers with about 1/8" of wire sticking beyond the edge of the jaws of the pliers as shown below-left. This is considerably more jewelry wire sticking out of the pliers than we would normally have.  If you have a problem making this loop using 1/8" of jewelry wire sticking out, use 3/16" of wire sticking out of the jaws of your pliers. 

Step 2:  Push the jewelry wire with the thumb of your dominant hand until the wire bends slightly more than 180 degrees.  When you reach the point where the jaws of your pliers will not allow you to push the wire any further, proceed to step 3. 

Step 3:  Re-orientate the jewelry wire in the jaws of  your pliers so that you can complete the loop.  This will require re-gripping the wire so that you will have room to push it further.

Step 4:  Push the jewelry wire so that it makes more than a complete loop as shown at right.  Your goal is to have the wire tightly follow the round shape of your pliers for more than a complete loop. 


Making Loops in 16 Gauge Wire Step 1 showing gripping the jewelry wire in the Step Jaw Pliers jewelry tool.

Step 2 to instructions for Making Loops in Larger Gauges of Wire using common jewelry tools to shape jewelry wire.

Step 3 to instructions for Making Loops in Larger Gauges of Jewelry Wire using common jewelry making tools.
Step 4 to instructions for Making Loops in Larger Gauges of Jewelry Wire showing using jewelry tools to grip the wire.
Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4

Step 5:  Remove the jewelry wire from your pliers and it should appear as shown below-left. 

Step 6:  Cut the excess jewelry wire with your flush cutter tool.  Remember to orientate the jaws of your flush cutter so that the flat side of your flush cutter is toward the finished loop.  

Step 7:  After cutting the excess wire, your loop should appear as shown below center-right.  Please note that this loop is partially opened and needs to be closed to be finished. 



Step 5 to instructions for Making Loops in Larger Gauge Jewelry Wire Jewelry Making Technique
Step 6 to instructions for Making Loops in Larger Gauges of Jjewelry Wire showing using jewelry tools to cut the wire.

Step 7 to instructions for Making Loops in Larger Gauges of Jewelry Wire Jewelry Making Technique


Step 8 to instructions for Making Loops in Larger Gauges of Jewelry Wire showing the completed loop.

Step 5 Step 6 Step 7 Step 8

 

Step 8:  Close the loop by gripping the loop in the jaws of your bent chain nose pliers and twisting the loop closed.  The finished loop should appear as shown above-right. 

Summary of instructions for making loops

Making loops in 16 gauge jewelry wire and larger sizes of jewelry wire is very difficult because the wire is much stiffer.  For this reason, we recommend that beginners avoid using 16 gauge jewelry wire in their jewelry making projects.  For more advanced wire workers, we recommend using a different approach to making a "P" loop0 in jewelry wire.  We documented this different approach above.  Some of the intermediate jewelry making projects on our web site do require larger sizes of jewelry wire.  For those projects, we recommend the above approach to making loops in larger sizes of wire using common jewelry making tools.

Please select here to return to our jewelry making skills web page.

 

 

 



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