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Any change in material will introduce an error on the signal.
However if the changes are the same on both terminals then those
errors will cancel out. So you can use just about any method you like
as long as you keep things symmetrical.
Thermocouples use the difference between two metals at temperatures
to generate a voltage that is representative of the temperature.
This means that all of the cable needs to be this special combination
of metals to give you the temperature measurement accurately.
You can buy thermal couple wire for this purpose.
For your situation, you can use a terminal block made with ordinary
materials is quite sufficient for a relatively modest accuracy system
as you're aiming for.
I certainly enjoyed reading your post.
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