You're partly right.
Increasing gauge numbers give decreasing wire diameters, which is
similar to many other non-metric gauging systems. This
seemingly-counterintuitive numbering is derived from the fact that the gauge
number is related to the number of drawing operations that must be used to
produce a given gauge of wire; very fine wire (for example, 30 gauge)
requires far more passes through the drawing dies than does 0 gauge wire.
Note that for gauges 5 through about 14, the wire gauge is effectively
the number of bare solid wires that, when placed side by side, span 1 inch.
That is, 8 gauge is about 1/8 inches in diameter.
Just ask for "thin wire." ;-) Any thing in the range of AWG 24 to 28 is
OK. (The larger the number, the finer the wire.)
Actually, you probably have salvageable thin wire around the house, if
you are the average packrat.
Wire from old head phone cable is just fine for short flexible
connections, as in a locomotive.
The wires in telephone cables are OK if flexibility is not much of an issue.
Atlas and other offer "hook up wire", which is just right for your purpose.
Keep in mind that fine wire has higher resistance, so should be used for
short runs of a few inches at most.
You'll also need a good wire stripper, as it's easy to nick or cut
through fine wire if using the craft knife to cut the insulation.
'Just because it's true doesn't mean it's the right answer.'
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