Daily Wire Tip Feb. 6: Working Around Soft Wire

By on February 5, 2011
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
February 6, 2011


Dale, you recently mentioned that you never tumble a finished piece of jewelry. What, then, is the best way to harden a soft wire wrap setting?

-Jennifer in Quincy, California


This is an easy one, Jennifer – I never use soft wire alone! I usually mix it with half hard so I get crisp shapes, angles and curls that will last without being tumbled. (And I rarely use soft wire at all!) Once you learn how to control half hard, it’s a joy to work with!

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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One Comment

  1. avatar

    Rhonda Chase

    February 6, 2011 at 4:29 pm


    I enjoy using all tempers of wire, but I like working with dead soft best for its fluid clay-like malleability. I stay concious of work-hardening the wire as I go by gently bending and tugging until the wire is firm. For areas that need extra strength, like the bail, I’m more aggressive. When cleaning and polishing, I gently roll pieces between my hands in a towel to harden the finished jewery a little more. Another important note on working with soft wire is to choose the right guage for the piece. While you can use 24 guage to wrap a 12mm gemstone, you wouldn’t want to use it for something large and heavy.