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Ring Size Help

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Hello all I need some help.

I am planning on making a gift(s) and the book I have gives the gauge size, but then an ID size in mm. I first was very confident and seemed to know what I was doing, until I was looking at the pages and saw Actual ID and AR, with the description under AR being "= ID/WireDia". I may be just over thinking this, but if someone could lend a helping hand, I would appreciate it!

For anyone curious it does say in the book for what I need:
18 gauge 6.00 mm 

20 gauge 5.00 mm

20 gauge 3.00 mm


Thank you!

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What book are you using, many weaves will allow for a little variation in size.

Some projects like capturing crystials or very tight weaves are more sensitive when it comes to sizes. 

to further make things difficult the Gauge maybe AWG or Swg with Swg is noticeably smaller. 

3mm = 1/8" with 

5mm = 13/64 with 7/32 being just a little bigger and 3/16 being just a little less

6mm = 15/64 with 7/32 being a little smalller and 1/4 being the next size up. 


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That was a rather poor decision on your book author's part to get into ARs and then throw gauge at you in a context where it's useless, rather than wire diameter measured in the same units as the link inner diameter.  Fortunately, this is easily rectified.

There are at least a few converter pages where you can enter gauge (and which one) and get diameter, or vice versa.  You can google these up.  Take notes, or do a little memorizing once you've gotten there.  At least one mailler site also has a conversion table in its reading library. (M.A.I.L., I think)

If you are located in the States, you're going to encounter in the common metals both Steel Wire Gauge and American Wire Gauge, which is the more elaborate in theory of the two.  They divide along materials lines:

American Wire Gauge/AWG is electrical, and its gauge numbers relate to currentcarrying capacity.  It's used on brass, copper, and aluminum, the common electric wire metals.  At the consumer level, most attention to this shows up in electric extension/power cords.  All these metals can sometimes be scrounged out of construction dumpsters, which is fun for those with more time than money for the hobby.

Steel Wire Gauge/SWG is steel wire, generally something more or less structural, from wire fence to bits of buildings.

Springy, higher carbon music wire has its own independent gauge.  For maillers, this is also a pretty esoteric material.  Few just happen onto it; mostly they have to deliberately go looking.  And pay for it.

MIG electric welder wire is in diameters, period; doesn't do gauge at all.  Thank goodness.  Have your desired diameter in mind while you shop for welder wire in steel, aluminum, or (!) titanium.

Within a certain span of wire diameters often used by home maillers, a difference of two gauge numbers happens to give a rough parity of diameters:  14ga AWG is close to the wire diameter of 16 ga SWG, et cetera.

For calculating, and a lot of the time even  for posting on a mailling board, you can save time by not mentioning gauge numbers at all but sticking to diameters.  Gauge number is a convenient conversational shorthand but for trying to  solve a problem its usefulness tapers off after that.

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