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Adhering joints for intricate wire sculpture? Answered

I would like to make a wire sculpture that is as intricate as I possibly can make it.  I want to use very small gauge wire (don't really care what material), cut small pieces and connect them together.  For a visual, I did a (sloppy) sketch of the idea and attached the photo, and it would continue to expand from there.  There will be multiple joints close to each other, done one at a time.  I want to create in on the fly, I will not have any pre-formed pattern.  I've been looking at soldering, brazing, welding and I don't see anything that would fit perfectly for what I want to do.  I believe the heat from the next joint would destroy any previous joints.  The idea of simply zapping a joint and quickly moving on appeals to me, but I don't mind being more patient in order to do it right.  Are there any techniques that I’m missing?  Anybody have any ideas?  Maybe I’ll just use superglue…

3 Replies

Thrasym (author)2012-07-24

Super late response but Soldering is probably the best option. Of course it will probably melt the solder on the previous joints if they're short pieces of wire.

You can make that a non-issue by forming, cutting and placing the wires down on a flat surface (something that won't burn but not metal, so you don't solder it to the surface). Once it is all laid out you can go around all the joints with flux then solder them all, one by one. When finished clean it all up, if there are any ugly spots, put it back down and tidy them up (reheat, add or remove solder, let cool, wipe clean).

Check out how they do the soldering on stained glass panels, that'll give you the idea.

Getting a weld to look as clean with thin wires is probably beyond the skills of someone who just started welding.

Super glue would not last long at all, it would break apart with the slightest pressure.

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rickharris (author)2012-05-03

In order of ease IMHO:
1. Soldering - works well with silver, copper, tinned copper

2. Spot welding - expensive machinery - Steel, Silver, copper.

3. TIG welding - Expensive to set up - all metals.

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Vyger (author)2012-05-03

If you want it to be permanent then solder is the best bet. You can make crimp connectors with sheet copper and then once they are in the correct position heat them with a pencil torch and solder them. It will probably take some practice to get proficient at making nice looking clean joints.

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