Daily Wire Tip Jan. 16: Twisting Wire Evenly

By on January 15, 2011
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
January 16, 2011

Question:

I have purchased your Beginner Series and am having a great time with the projects. My question is this: In your videos your twisted wire looks perfect from end to end. In other words, it’s not twisted more on the ends than it is in the middle. I use a drill and hold my wire with my pliers just as you show, but the wire twists much more on each end than in the middle. So by the time I get my wire the way I want it in the middle, it is way too tight on both ends. The orbit earrings using a 14" piece of wire is a good example of this. How do I get my wire to look as even as yours?

-Rebecca in Ft. Myers, Florida

Answer:

Oh yes Rebecca, twisting wire. It really is as easy as it looks, but due to the "nature of the beast"; my wire does not always twist consistently either! If you can, twist some wire veerry slooowly and watch it. You will see that the wire twists at both ends, each toward the center, meeting in the middle. This means that the middle does not twist as tightly as each end.

The only way to twist consistently is to plan for about 1/4-inch on each end to twist more tightly and then cut the ends off. For example, with the Orbit Earrings, cut your wire 15-1/4 inches long, and then cut in half. This will give you two 7-5/8 inch pieces. Your pliers and drill will each hold 1/8-inch, leaving the additional 1/4-inch on each end that can be cut off.

Orbit Earrings

For lots more information about twisting wire, please see my article: Getting Twisted, and congratulations on your success, Rebecca!

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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8 Comments

  1. avatar

    Ginni Tutterow

    January 16, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Not to sound too Shakespeaean,but…sometimes, Rebecca, the problem is not in yourself but in the wire! Particularly with silver, I have gotten hold of some wire that is of “uneven temper”. There will be a place that just won’t twist properly. I think it’s a problem with the manufacture of the wire itself, and sometimes it’s bad enough that I go in with a pin vise and hand twist a short section of the wire.

    And I find that if I run the power tool with a slightly faster speed…not as slow as I can go, but a sort of medium speed, I get a more even twist on the wire.

  2. avatar

    Paula Mion

    January 16, 2011 at 11:52 am

    I sometimes twist the wire then reverse it in the drill and twist a tiny bit more because it seems to be uneven at both ends, and this seems to make it a little more even.

  3. avatar

    Jim Meier

    January 16, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    I agree with the quality of wire. And, a shorter piece of wire
    is easier to work with, sometimes you do need longer twisted
    wire. My experience is to put one end in a vise and the other
    end in my pin vise or drill, start twisting keeping the wire tight
    and straight with the drill/pinvise. The secret for me is keeping
    the wire tight and straight.

  4. avatar

    Robin Burns

    January 16, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    I have found exactly the same thing, and have come to always plan for the extra end bits that have to be clipped to leave the evenly twisted area. Same subject, I have had trouble gripping the other end of the wire with my pliers. The end with the pin vise holds well, but the end with the pliers tends to slip. To avoid this I bend about 1/8″ down to fit over flat nose pliers and no more slipping! This 1/8″ is added to the waste ends from twisting, so about 3/4″ waste when twisting.

    • avatar

      dalecgr

      January 17, 2011 at 12:12 am

      Thanks for sharing your solution Robin!

  5. avatar

    Marty Blu

    January 16, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    I too find myself going through spurts of twisting unevenly, maybe from not holding ends straight enough. Usually my uneven twists are at one end of the wire. I try to watch for this, so when this happens I remove the wire from the twister and put it back in from the opposite end and finish twisting which helps equal out the twists.

  6. avatar

    Traci

    January 17, 2011 at 7:58 am

    Great question and great solutions! Thanks everyone, now when I attempt this technique I’ll have your knowledge to assist me.

  7. avatar

    Frank Laskowski

    January 17, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    When I Twist a long piece of Wire, I twist it in smaller section at a time,for an example,say you have a wire 6″long this well work with longer wire. Hold the end of the Wire with Pliers or in vice, set your Pin vice about 2″ from your pliers hold wire tight and twist til it looks good to you, now move pliers to the end of your twist and the pin vise about 2″ from your pliers and twist again tell it looks about the same as the first twist. When you remove your pliers you find that spot is not twisted , do not remove your pin vise, move your pliers to the end of your first twist, and twist, this well fill in that space. Twist slow and watch so it will match the other twist. Do these steps and you can twist a piece as long as you want.

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