MAKING A CUT OFF WIRE | Chris Campbell

When working with colored clay patterns you will need to make yourself a good cut off wire. The ordinary wires are not sharp enough to slice through a pattern without smearing or dragging.

The wire I use is model airplane control line made by the SIG Manufacturing Company.

I buy the SIG SH458, 2 line cable, .015 gage. The feel is right for my work but you might need it a bit lighter or heavier.

Some of my students have found piano wire and metal fishing line of the same gage works well and is easier to find for them.

Do not use the plastic fishing lines as they drag and smear.

*** NOTE ***

While you work with this wire be sure to handle with care so as not to put a crimp in it ... once there, it NEVER goes away and you will need to make a new one.

Cut a length of wire about 16 - 18" long.

Feed one end through buttons twice, pull to tighten. Twist the button until the wire is secure then cut off sharp end.

Wrap with a short piece of masking tape to safely cover that cut end. Another way to hide the ends is to feed two small heat shrink tubes onto the wire before you start, cover the wire after twisting and apply heat to shrink them.

After you wrap the first end, hold it in front of you to determine where you want the other end to be. Wires work best when under 12" long.


To cut slices, you simply run the wire across two rulers

These rulers can be any thickness. Match them for an even cut, leave them two different heights for a slanted cut.

If you need to move your wire to another location, you should move it this way. This prevents crimps in the line.


© Chris Campbell 2019