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2010 Jun 03

SpokesDog Boomer for Beads, Jewelry Tools and Jewelry Making Supplies by WigJig Web SiteWigJig Jewelry Tools Presents our Jewelry Making Newsletter -- AKA Boomer Sez:

Our Spokesdog:  If an insurance company can have a gecko, we have decided that we can have a spokesdog.  Boomer, shown at right, is our spokesdog.  If you select Boomer's picture, you will be able to view Boomer at his work. 

How to Unsubscribe:  If you signed up for our newsletter and then decided you don't want to receive it any more, the proper way to unsubscribe is to select the "Unsubscribe" link at the bottom of every newsletter e-mail or to follow our sign up link above.  On that sign up page we also provide a way for people to unsubscribe. 

Free WigJig Jewelry Tools Demonstration:  

On Saturday, July 24th from 1 to 5 PM, Gary Helwig, inventor of the WigJig, will be demonstrating our WigJig tools at the Bitter Creek Designs Beads Store in North West San Antonio.  Bitter Creek Designs is in the Rim Shopping Center, very near the large Bass Pro Shops store.  The Address is Bitter Creek Designs; 17711 IH-10 West; #104; San Antonio, TX 78257.  Their telephone number is 210-558-0559.  To get to Bitter Creek Designs, you travel westbound on Interstate 10 from the center of San Antonio to the La Cantera Parkway exit.  From the exit, take a right on La Cantera Parkway and go two blocks to Vance Jackson Road and take a left.  Bitter Creek Designs will be on the left.  You can find a map to Bitter Creek Designs here.  If you have questions on how to use our WigJig tools, or want to see some of the jewelry we have made with our WigJig Tools, please visit us at Bitter Creek Designs on July 24th

Pearl Jewelry Making Gemstone AAA GradeBirthstone for June:  The birthstone for June is the pearl.  For more information on pearls, please select here.  The largest natural pearl ever found came from the Philippines and was found in 1934.  The pearl weighed 14 pounds and was originally owned by a Palawan chieftain.  The chieftain gave the pearl to Wilburn Cobb in 1936 because Cobb saved the chieftains son from Malaria.  This pearl is called the Pearl of Lao-Tzu and has a rather sordid history.  This pearl is also called the Pearl of Allah.  This pearl is not gem quality and is a "clam pearl" having been formed by a giant clam.  Clam pearls do not have the luster that is found in pearls created by oysters or mussels.  The Pearl of Lao-Tzu is rumored to have a history going back more than 2,500 years and has been valued at $3.5 million. Please select here to view the story of the Pearl of Lao-Tzu. 

For the month of June, we will have a special sale on 8mm, 1/2 drilled, real, cultured pearls and the findings to mount them.  We will place our AAA Grade 8mm, Cream Pearls on sale for 20% off.  We will also place our Filigree Bails for mounting these 1/2 drilled pearls on sale for 20% off and our Lever Back Earring Findings for mounting 1/2 drilled pearls on sale for 20% off,  The items on sale include our item 3321, 3322, 3323, 3324, and 3352.  You can view these five items below.  Please select the item number in red text below, to view that item in our Internet store. 

Jewelry Making Finding for Setting 8mm 1/2 Drilled Pearls Jewelry Making Finding for Setting 8mm 1/2 Drilled Pearls
Item 3324 Item 3352
Jewelry Making Finding for Setting 8mm 1/2 Drilled Pearls Jewelry Making Finding for Setting 8mm 1/2 Drilled Pearls

Jewelry Making Finding for Setting 8mm 1/2 Drilled Pearls
Item 3321 Item 3322 Item 3323

New Jewelry Making Supplies:

We have several new items in our Internet store this month.  These new items compliment the new items from last month.  We have refills for the Scrimp bead kits (items 3495, 3496, 3497, 3498 and 3503.)  We also have "Wire Guardians" that protect your bead stringing wire from abrasion at the connection to your clasp.  You can view all our new products below.  Item 3499 and 3500 are the Wire Guardians.  Please select any picture or the item number below it to view that item in our WigJig Store. 


Gold Plated Scrimp Beads Silver Plated Cylindrical Scrimp Bead Jewelry Making Finding Scrimp Beads used in making jewelry Round Scrimp Beads Refills Silver Plated
Item 3495 Item 3496 Item 3497 Item 3498
Gold Plated Wire Guardians Round 4.5mm Scrimp Kit Gold-plated Scrimp Bead Mini-Screwdriver Jewelry Making Tool  
Item 3499 Item 3500 Item 3503  

Jewelry Making Supplies On Sale:

We update the jewelry supplies that we have "On Sale" with every newsletter.  A small sample of the products we have for sale at discounted prices are shown below.  Please click on any of the links below the pictures to view our entire list of sale items.  Select the picture itself to view that specific item in our Internet Store.  This sale will be effective through July 1st, 2010 or until we run out of that item. 

Swarovski Round Crystal 4mm Faceted Beads
Swarovski 4mm Round Aqua Beads 
$2.55 per package of 12 beads. 

6mm Round Garnet AB Beads
6mm Round Garnet AB Beads
Sale Priced $4.15 per Package of 12 beads

 Economy Anvil WigJig Jewelry Making Tools
Economy Anvil Jewelry Tool
Sale Priced $15.16 each 

Round Nose Pliers Jewelry Making Tool

Round Nose Pliers Jewelry Tool
$7.96 per tool

 Bent Chain Nose Jewelry Making Tool

Bent Chain Nose Pliers
$8.76 Bracelet Chain.

Fine Step Jaw Pliers Jewelry Making Tool
Fine Step Jaw Pliers
Sale Priced $10.76 per tool

18 Gauge Non-Tarnish Silver Jewelry Wire

18G Non-Tarnish Silver, Silver-Plated Wire
$3.92 for a 12' Spool
(This wire resists tarnish.)


Free Jewelry Making Design:

For the first time in ten years, we tried to make a new jewelry design, but after many, many attempts, we learned that we could not make the jewelry design that we wanted.  Our apologies.  We are going to work hard on a new design for our next newsletter. 

Past Jewelry Making Techniques:

We maintain a techniques web page that provides links to the discussion of techniques in our prior newsletters.  You can visit this web page here.  Follow the links on that page to the discussion of the technique in that newsletter. 

Current Jewelry Making Technique:

Hammering Wire Jewelry Making TechniqueThis month's jewelry making technique is our discussion on how to hammer wire.  Hammering wire is used primarily for hardening wire.  As shown at right, we frequently hammer the rounded portion of an ear wire to make that rounded shape permanent.  Hammering wire can also be used for shaping wire and decorating wire with patterns. 

When hammering wire you have the option of hammering with a metal chasing hammer which will flatten the wire or of using a nylon hammer or leather mallet which won't change the shape of the wire.  Flattening the wire by hammering with a metal chasing hammer, will harden the wire more than hammering with a nylon hammer or a leather mallet.  The concept is that when you change the shape of the wire, you are effectively creating an "I" beam which is stronger than regular round wire. 

The metallurgical process of hardening wire can be accomplished in five ways.  Only two of these five ways are applicable to making jewelry.  The first of these two is called simply work hardening.  Every time a piece of metal is "worked" or bent past its static rest position, that piece of metal is made harder, stiffer, or more resistant to bending.  When making jewelry, every time you bend a wire, you perform a small amount of work hardening on that wire.  This even happens when you straighten wire using nylon jaw pliers.  The other significant way to harden wire is by tempering and quenching.  Tempering and quenching involve heating the metal essentially until the metal glows and then rapidly cooling that metal. 

Hammering wire will harden the wire both by changing the shape of the wire (forming an I beam)  as we described above and by creating heat within the wire essentially work hardening the wire.  When you hammer wire, you are effectively work hardening a very small portion of the wire.  You can find more information tempering metals here.

Hammering wire can also be used to shape wire.  Frequently when making a ring or a large round hoop, you will find that the wire will not be flexible enough to follow the round shape of the ring mandrel or the shape of a large Super Peg unless you hammer the wire onto the mandrel or Super Peg.  Hammering the wire in this case is emphatically coaxing the wire into the shape you want.  When shaping wire with a hammer, you are performing the same function that a blacksmith would when making a horse shoe. 

There are a few considerations or precautions that you should consider when hammering wire.  Our tips for hammering wire are shown below:

Tips for Hammering Jewelry Wire

  1. Hammering wire with the flat side of a metal chasing hammer will flatten the wire.  This can provide extra strength to the wire in the same way that an "I-beam" is a stronger girder than a rectangular piece of metal with the same weight. 
  2. Chasing hammers come with either a flat face or a slightly rounded face.  The flat face of your chasing hammer will mark your wire at the point where the edge of the hammer touches the wire when you hammer.  A metal chasing hammer with a slightly rounded face leaves fewer hammer marks.  We recommend our chasing hammer, Item 0353
  3. If the surface of your anvil or bench block is not perfectly smooth, the imperfections on the surface can be transferred to your wire and will mark your wire.  One way to add texture to your wire is to hammer the wire into a textured surface.  If you can find an antique hammer with a rusted face, or an antique anvil with a rusted top, you can hammer your wire with that hammer or on that anvil and the results will be a textured finish to your wire.  To avoid this texturing of your wire, use a smooth, blemish free anvil and hammer. 
  4. Whenever possible, only hammer a single piece of wire.  Try not to hammer wire, where one wire crosses over another.  The reason is simple -- hammering wire where one wire crosses another will ultimately cause the wire to break at the point where the wire crosses over.  One piece of wire will see the opposite piece of wire as a chisel and it will ultimately cause the wire to break at that point. 
  5. Whenever possible don't hammer wire close to beads.  Obviously, if you accidentally hammer a glass bead, it would shatter. 
  6. If you want to harden wire without changing the round cross-section of the wire, use either a nylon hammer or a leather mallet.  They won't harden the wire as much as a metal chasing hammer would, but they also won't change the shape of the wire. 

Please select here to view our information on hardening wire. 

Nostalgia Corner -- Some of our favorite jewelry making projects:

This week's featured design in our Nostalgia Corner is the design for our Deluxe Duplex Bracelet shown below. This bracelet design is one of our favorite designs.  We use our WigJig Olympus or Olympus Lite to make this bracelet because we like the spacing we get on that jig for this particular design. 

 Deluxe Duplex Bracelet Jewelry Making Project

We have basic instructions for making these bracelets that you can find by selecting the picture shown above.  We also have a one page sheet of instructions for this bracelet that you can find by selecting below. 

Please select here to view our one page sheet of instructions for our Deluxe Duplex Bracelet.

All content on this web site including jewelry and wire designs are copyrighted© by WigJigWigJig® is a registered trademark.  
Last modified: 06/03/2010



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