Daily Wire Tip May 4: Metal Draw Plate Tips

By on May 4, 2011
Print Friendly

Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
May 4, 2011


Hi Dale, I’m curious about draw plates and how to use them. I purchased two draw plates somewhere about a year apart and both times the holes were huge compared to the stamped size they were supposed to be. I would like to know things like, can you pull gold filled wire through a draw plate or would it take off the gold? How long a piece of wire does a person start with? Do you have to heat the wire on every pull? I can’t find these or any other in-depth answers about draw plates anywhere and believe me I’ve spent hours online trying. I need almost all the steps involved in using a draw plate.

-Dean in Blaine, Minnesota


Dean, the marked size of a draw plate hole is the outer dimension. When you are pulling a single strand of wire through a draw plate to make the wire smaller in diameter or a different shape, it is important to first make one end as small as possible (cut and file the wire end to a fine, thin point) so it will fit through the smaller-sized holes.

Square Draw Plate
Square Draw Plate

Pulling by hand can be a challenge as the wire gets smaller. Folks who draw wire all the time will often invest in or build a Draw Bench (click for a picture). The most comprehensive information I found about drawing individual wire strands is this Ganoksin article, Wire Drawing Hints.

With regard to drawing gold-filled wire: because the gold layer is heated/fused to the brass core, the gold will stretch with the wire, and there should be no problem until you pull the wire several times through progressively smaller holes.

Using a wooden draw plate to reduce items such as Viking Knit Chain is similar to using a metal draw plate. Click to watch Albina Manning discuss wooden draw plates: How to Use a Wooden Draw Plate.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

Ask Your Tip of the Day Question Here!
Have a Question? Click Here to Submit Your Question

Click to Receive Daily Tips by Email


  1. avatar

    Lorraine Brooks

    May 4, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Seems to me just too much hassle and expensive equipment when you can just buy the correct size wire to begin with.

  2. avatar


    May 5, 2011 at 7:34 am

    I too, am interested in draw plates and their use. Aside from the fact that you can reduce the size of a wire whenever you need a smaller gauge, is there any advantage to drawing wire? Is it not easier and more efficient to use wire manufactured to the desired gauge?

    • avatar


      May 5, 2011 at 10:37 am

      Hi Adrien and Lorraine, I agree with the fact that purchasing the wire gauge desired is much easier than using a draw plate, however some folks like to experiment with sizes that may not be readily available, or they may have a large amount of a shape they don’t use often and wish to change it to one they use on a regular basis.

  3. avatar


    May 6, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    I’ve also seen where a draw plate is used to thin only a portion of a piece of wire…Say you want to create a loop earring with 14 gauge wire but 20 is best for the post…you can draw down the size so that the post is 20. It creates a lovely seemless earring design.

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>