All About Soft Wire

By on October 15, 2014
Print Friendly

by Judy Ellis, Wire-Sculpture.com

Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
October 15, 2014

All About Soft Wire – Revisited

This week I found another great question in our older posts that I think is well worth revisiting – All About Soft Wire. Maybe you’ve had this same question as well.

Question:

I have been working with wire for more than 25 years, and have used many gauges, usually in half hard. However, sometimes I get more soft wire than I want. I remember my old teacher telling me when I complained about soft wire that it will work for a while, but then it’ll get hard. I have found that while shining the wire with a cloth that if I bend it gently and straighten it a few times, it does indeed get harder. Plus, if I twist half hard, it can get too hard to use, but if I twist dead soft (square of course), it gets just about right. What do you think?

Answer:

Yes, twisting dead soft wire will make it close to half-hard temper. The question then would be, how much twisted wire do you want to be in your design?

As far as twisting half-hard wire and it becoming too hard, that would depend on how much of a twist or ‘bead’ you put on the wire. (Sometimes I will individually twist several pieces of 24g sq half-hard and use them to hand-sculpt with, and I often twist 21g or 22g sq half-hard when making a cabochon frame too.)

In my opinion, the amount of twisting done to what gauge and temper of wire is up to the individual artist and comes first from their experience and then from their choice.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

What Gauge to use:

Are you familiar with what gauges of wire to use in differnt kinds of jewelry? Here’s a quick chart for you to refer to in a pinch:

Wire Working Education

If you are interested in learning more about wire work or wire twisting take a look at the many Instructional DVDS and Wire Jewelry Books that we have available. A few suggestions might be our Jump Start Beginner Series, Intermediate or Advanced Series or even Coiling and Weaving Series.

 

Happy Wrapping!

 

Click to Receive Daily Tips by Email

3 Comments

  1. avatar

    linda Fradette

    October 15, 2014 at 10:58 am

    just starting wirer wrapping could use all your help

  2. avatar

    Jeanne

    October 15, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    The chart doesn’t really tell “what gauges of wire to use in different kinds of jewelry” though. I’d love to see that chart. This one is helpful though for translating the measurements.

  3. avatar

    connie verhalen

    October 15, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    I GUESS I WILL TRY TWISTING THE WIRE TO MAKE IT HARDER. I DON\’T WANT IT TO BEND AFTER A PIECE OF JEWELRY IS FINISHED. EX; RINGS

    WHAT CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT MEMORY WIRE?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>