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Daily Wire Tip May 12: Straightening Square Wire
Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
May 12, 2011
Dale, I have some square wire in coils that I want to use for making wire bundles. It takes forever to straighten out. Any suggestions?
-Cecilia in Rochester, Washington
Hi Cecilia, in my classes I have noticed that the main challenge folks have when straightening wire by hand, is that they put too much power into it! It really does not take a lot of strength to straighten wire. Please watch this short video, Straightening Your Jewelry Wire. Go ahead and watch it, then come back!
Now, let me verbally explain what you just watched. When you place your thumb on top of the curve and your index finger is placed under the curve and slightly to the outside of your thumb, when the wire is drawn through your fingers, the index finger slightly pushes the wire over the side of your thumb, thus “countering the curve” in the wire and straightening it. If you use a lot of pressure, and handle the wire roughly (especially with sterling silver), the wire will end up with lots of little “waves” in it. That particular piece should probably be used as a twisted wire, so it will straighten it easily.
Just be gentle and use bare fingers (meaning no polishing cloth) so you can actually feel the wire as you counter the curve. Practice makes perfect! Before long you will be able to easily straighten you wire without hurting with it or your fingers – then you may use a polishing cloth to clean as you straighten. I also use just a piece of t-shirt as a wire cleaner. Good luck!
Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong
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