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Spirals - Locked

Instructions for making a permanent spiral out of soft jewelry wire using the WigJig Spiral Maker Tool accessory and one of our WigJig jewelry making jigs:

 Permanent Jewelry Wire Spiral made using WigJig Spiral Maker jewelry making tool.

This jewelry making technique illustrates how to make a "locked" or permanent spiral component -- one that will not pull apart.  This component can be used as a head pin, or it can be used in earrings as shown at right.  This will essentially be 1/2 of the spiral link wire component that we made in the directions for the Spiral Link 1 Earrings design.  The test we like to apply when making a jewelry wire component is -- if a baby were to grab the earrings, would they pull apart.  With this as a goal, a simple spiral won't make acceptable earrings, the design for a simple spiral needs to be modified so that it will be permanent.  In the jewelry making instructions below, we will show to make a locked spiral dangle wire component. 

Please select here to view our advanced video on making spirals out of jewelry wire using our WigJig jewelry making tools.

Jewelry Making Supplies:

Jewelry Making Tools:

Jewelry Making Skills:

 

Step-by-Step Instructions for Making A Locked Spiral Out of Jewelry Wire:

Step 1:  Using nylon jaw pliers, straighten 8 inches of 18 or 20 gauge soft jewelry wire before you cut it from the spool.

Step 2:  Using your flush cutter, cut an 8 inch length of this jewelry wire. 

Step 3:  Grasp the jewelry wire with your bent chain nose pliers 1 1/2 inch from one end and and make a 90 degree bend in the wire. 

Step 4:  Using your round nose pliers, your WigJig Spiral Maker Tool and your WigJig Jewelry Making Jig, make a spiral as shown in steps 4, 5, 6 and 7 for the Spiral Link 1 Earrings.  Continue making the spiral until you have about 1 3/4" of unused jewelry wire at the end of the spiral.  Your spiral should appear as shown below-left. 

Step 4 Step 5 Step 6


Step 4 to instructions for making a Permanant Jewelry Wire Spiral using WigJig jewelry tools.
Step 5 to instructions for making a Permanent Jewelry Wire Jewelry Wire Spiral using WigJig jewelry tools.



Step 6 to instructions for making a Permanent Jewelry Wire Spiral showing wire after shaping on jewelry tools.

Step 5:  Using your bent chain nose pliers, grasp the wire about 1 1/2 inches from the end and bend the wire 90 degrees.  Using the same bent chain nose pliers, grasp the spiral and hold the spiral while you "finish" the spiral by bending all the wire before the 90 degree bend so that it becomes part of the spiral as shown at right.  The 1 1/2 inches of wire to the right of the 90 degree bend as shown at right will become the loop at the top of the spiral in the following steps.  We will call this segment of jewelry wire the top wire segment.

Step 6:  Grasp the spiral with your bent chain nose pliers and hold it firmly.  Rest your pliers adjacent to the vertical wire segment shown in step 5, above-center.  While holding the spiral, bend the vertical wire segment so that it is parallel to the top wire segment as shown above-right.

Step 7 Step 8 Step 9
Step 7 to instructions for making a Permanent Jewelry Wire Spiral by shaping wire using common jewelry tools. Step 8 to instructions for making aPermanent Jewelry Wire Spiral by shaping wire with jewelry making tools.
Step 9 to instructions for making a Permanent Jewelry Wire Spiral showing wire shaped using jewelry tools.

Step 7:    Our goal now is to wrap the jeelry wire from the center of the spiral neatly around the top wire segment on the outside of the spiral.  This wrap is what makes the spiral permanent.  The first step in performing this wrap is to bend the wire from the center of the spiral 90 degrees at the point where it passes outside the spiral.  See the picture above-left.  To make this bend, grasp the wire and the spiral with your bent chain nose pliers and hold firmly while you bend the wire with your fingers. 

Step 8:  While continuing to hold the spiral with your bent chain nose pliers, wrap the end of the jewelry wire around the top wire segment.  See the picture above-center.

Step 9:  Using your flush cutter, with the flat side of your cutter toward the finished spiral dangle, cut the excess center wire.  See the picture above-right.

 

Step 10:  To finish the wrap of the center wire around the top wire segment, you will need to use two pair of bent chain nose pliers, or one pair of bent chain nose and one pair of chain nose pliers.  Grasp the spiral with one pair of bent chain nose pliers and use your second pair or the bent closing pliers to squeeze and twist the cut end of the wire flat.  When you are done you should have a spiral like the one shown below-left with a single loop around the top wire segment. If you want to use this spiral as a head pin, you are done at this point.  The following two steps will convert the spiral into a spiral dangle. 

Step 11:  To make a spiral dangle we need to make the loop at the top of the spiral.  Our instructions will show how to make a wrapped loop, but you could choose to make this an open loop.  Begin by grasping the top wire segment immediately above the spiral with your bent chain nose pliers and make a 90 degree bend as shown below-center.  (Use the tips of your bent chain nose pliers to grasp the wire so that the wire between the 90 degree bend and the top of the wrap at the spiral is about 1/16 inch long.)

Step 12:  Using your round nose pliers, grasp the wire as near the 90 degree bend, but on the side of the end of the wire (shown horizontal in the picture above-right).  Make a loop at that point.  This is a two step process as your pliers will not allow you to finish the loop in one movement, you will need to re-position your grip with your pliers so that you can make the complete loop shown below-right.  Adjust the loop by eye so that it is centered above the spiral.

Step 10 Step 11 Step 12

Step 10 to instructions for making a permanent jewelry wire spiral using common jewelry making tools.



Step 11 to instructions for making a permanent jewelry wire spiral by shaping wire using jewelry tools.


Step 12 to instructions for making a permanent jewelry wire spiral using jewelry making tools.
Step 13 to instructions for making a permanent jewelry wire spiral using common jewelry making tools.

Step 13:  At this point you could cut the excess wire and you would have a spiral dangle with an open loop at the top, or you can grasp the loop that you just made with your bent chain nose pliers and wrap the end of the wire around the short wire segment between the loop and the spiral two times.  After you have completed the wrap, cut the excess jewelry wire.  Because this is soft wire, it won't want to wrap tightly and so you will need to use a second pair of bent chain nose pliers to squeeze and twist the wire until you have a tight wrap.  See the picture at right. 

 

 



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