I would like to make jumprings out of 18 and 20 gauge wire. Should I use full-hard or half-hard tempered wire?
Work with either dead-soft or half-hard temper wire. Each wire will give you ease of forming the rings on a mandrel, as well as allow you to cut through the wire to make the rings with a jeweler's saw frame and blade or with a flush-cutter.
The beauty of full-hard wire is that it retains the bends you make; this is also what makes it less than ideal when forming consistently sized rings on a jumpring mandrel. And when using the rings in a chainmaille design, even the slightest difference in diameter could make the rings incompatible with the weave or pattern, so using dead-soft or half-hard are your best bets for this task.
- Sandra Lupo, Metalsmith, Jewelry Designer and Instructor