I just found two helpful links to a blog (among the thousands). I remember when I was new on SJA, I always heard about pickling, but was too shy to ask what exactly that meant. I only have two gauges of copper wire at the moment, and I know that the other one is 20 or 21 gauge, so the stove won't work for that one, but now that I have come back to pure copper, I'll get more gauges eventually.
Cat, that's awesome! I think we've discovered a new way to make headpins for those who are torch challenged!
I used 20 gauge pure copper. I tried 18, but so far it hasn't worked as I think the wire is too thick. I believe I once read that anything over 20g is too much for the small torches to handle so it makes sense that 18 didn't work because I doubt the stove burner gets much hotter than a small torch.
Pickling is something I haven't done yet. I clean up my copper using the wire brush attachment on my dremel. But, I'm planning to make 100 of these and putting them in the tumbler to harden them. Once that's done, pickling will be a lot faster than using the wire brush on 100 head pins.