WigJig Jewelry Tools Presents our Jewelry Making Newsletter for June 22, 2003
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Jewelry Making Supplies Coming Soon:
We have ordered a new style of Swarovski round beads with 25 facets in both 4mm and 6mm. These beads come in a wide variety of colors and we will be adding them to our Internet Store within the next week.
We update the items we have on special sale pricing with every newsletter. A small sample of the products we currently have on sale are shown below. Please click on any of the text below the pictures to view our entire list of sale items. Quantities are limited for these items so please shop early. This sale will be effective from June 22th through July 4th, 2003.
We have quite a few items on sale now that we normally don't place on sale. Please check our Internet store for these sale items.
Jewelry Making Technique of the week:
Our WigJig University wire-working technique for this newsletter is how to smooth the ends of the wire. Many wire components, like ear wires, have the end of the wire exposed. This wire end should be smoothed and rounded so that there aren't any sharp edges. Smoothing the end of a cut piece of wire is relatively easy if you have the right technique and the right tools.
The first step in smoothing the ends of a cut piece of wire is to make sure that you cut the wire properly. When cutting wire with flush cutters, the cutters are manufactured to cut the wire leaving one side flat and relatively smooth and the other side pointed and sharp. The most important step in making the cut is to make sure that you leave the flat, smooth side of the cut on your finished piece of jewelry and discard the sharp side of the cut with your scrap wire. If you look at your flush cutter you will notice that one side has jaws that are flat and the other side has jaws that are beveled to create the sharp edge used to cut the wire. Always cut with the flat side of the flush cutter's jaws toward the finished piece. This will make sure that you leave the flat side of the cut wire on your finished piece.
The second thing to do after cutting a piece of wire that will be exposed is to file or smooth the end of the cut wire. This is done rather easily with a tool called a Cup Bur. Place the cut wire end in the cup of the Cup Bur and rotate the handle. Angle the Cup Bur about 15 to 20 degrees off the axis of the wire so that the cup is at a slight angle to the end of the wire. Select here for instructions in how to use the cup bur jewelry tool to round the cut end of jewelry wire.
How to smooth cut jewelry wire using the cup bur jewelry tool
Jewelry making question of the week:
What cutter should I use to cut Memory Wire?
Flush cutters for cutting jewelry wire are generally made to cut gold, silver, copper and brass. The cutters work well cutting these soft metals but are not made for cutting harder wires like stainless steel (including Soft Flex) or Memory Wire. In fact if a jewelry wire cutter is used for Memory Wire or stainless steel, it will leave a mark in the cutter in the shape of the wire. Essentially, this ruins the cutter. Memory Wire and stainless steel require a special cutter that is hardened so that it can cut this stronger wire. Memory Wire in particular is so hard that it is very helpful to have a "compound" hinge on the cutter to make it easier to cut.
We have a large selection of cutters in our Internet store. You can view this selection here. My personal favorite cutter for jewelry wire is the "Flush Cutters-Ultra" for $17.95. These cutters do a great job of leaving a very flat cut on one side of the cut wire, but they are not hard enough to be used for Memory Wire or Soft Flex. For Memory Wire, we use the "Premium Cutters-Memory Wire" for $27.95. These cutters have the compound hinge to make it easier to cut and are hardened to cut Memory Wire. Unfortunately, while the Flush Cutter-Ultra does a great job of cutting jewelry wire and won't cut Memory Wire, the Premium Cutters-Memory wire do a great job of cutting Memory Wire but are not able to get into tight places to cut jewelry wire. The Memory Wire cutter will cut jewelry wire with no problems, but their size and shape make them less suitable for cutting wire in tight spaces. So far, we haven't found one cutter that does a great job of cutting everything.
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