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Half-Hard Wire Tips

Instructions for making jewelry with half hard jewelry wire:


12G Brass Square Soft 10 ft.Some beginners find that they have few problems when working with soft jewelry wire but when they try to graduate to sterling silver or gold-filled 1/2 hard jewelry wire they have problems.  They can wrap the wire around the pegs, but when they remove the wire from the jig it tends to spring in all directions, losing its shape.  This is normal for 1/2 hard wire because it is made to be more springy through the hardening process.  It is also relatively easy to correct. 

Any time you are bending wire around pegs on a WigJig jewelry tool you need to remember that you need to push the jewelry wire beyond the spot where you want it to end up.  Push the wire far enough so that when you remove your hands from the wire, it will relax back to where you want it to be.  The concept is that the jig provides the pattern for the shape, but it should not provide force to hold the wire in that shape.  If it does, when you remove the wire from the jewelry making jig, you also remove that force, and the jewelry wire will spring out of shape. 

With any piece made on a WigJig jewelry tool, the jewelry wire will tend to rise on the pegs as you complete the piece.  The initial loop will be at the bottom of the pegs and each successive loop will be successively higher on the pegs, so that the final loop is the highest of all.  This is absolutely normal.  When a wire component, like the "V" shaped piece of wire in the Chandelier Earrings shown above, is removed from the jig it will be slightly three dimensional.  This three dimensional character is removed by "smushing" (my term) the wire into a two dimensional shape using nylon jaw pliers.  This is done by squeezing the wire in the jaws of the nylon jaw pliers in several different orientations to flatten the wire.  The end result is a two dimensional jewelry wire component that is hardened and ready to be used.  Some "hand finishing" may be necessary to shape the wire.

In summary, when working with 1/2 hard jewelry wire, you need to remember to push the wire far enough so that it relaxes back to its finished shape and to "smush" the wire with nylon jaw pliers after removing it from the jewelry making jig.  With these two steps, 1/2 hard jewelry wire will make excellent finished wire components. 




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