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Daily Wire Tip Apr. 14: Wrapping Pattern Wire Bundles
Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
April 14, 2011
Dale, thank you so much for your advice on markets in The Definitive Guide. I just did my first outdoor market on Saturday and even with the extremely strong winds, and our inexperience, your lists had us totally prepared, even down to the pain killers. Now for my question –
How in the world can I wrap three narrow pattern wires with square accent wires between so that the pattern wire does not overlap before it is finished? I made 5 attempts at this before giving up. Thankfully the wrap wire was copper.
I even tried taping everything with blue tape except the areas for the wraps – that was lovely. Then I tried the same thing with large needle nose pliers (hardware type) to hold the unwrapped end, but they still managed to sneak across one another after the third set of wraps. Little demons!
-Betty in Jackson, Mississippi
Yeah Betty, Congratulations on a "totally prepared" show!
The most common challenge folks have when working with pattern wire is not using the proper square and half round wire combination. In your case, the square wire used between the patterns wires has to be the same width as the pattern wire. If the square wire is either not wide enough, or too wide, it will slip under or over the pattern wires. You didn’t mention what you were using for the wraps, so I will tell you that I use either the same square wire or a heavy, half hard half round wire (such as 16- or 18-gauge) for the wraps. Also remember that you were practicing in copper; some copper is very soft and may not hold the entire bundle together. When wrapping, begin at either the center or one side of the center, and work toward corresponding ends. That should give you more control over keeping those little demons in line. Please let me know how this works for you!
Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong
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