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Daily Wire Tip May 17: Wire for Ear Wires and Clasps
Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
May 17, 2011
I want to start making handmade earring wires and S-clasps in gold filled or bronze wire, probably 18 or 20-gauge. Should I be using half-hard or dead soft wire?
-Debra in Knoxville, Tennessee
Well Debra, if you are making ear wires I definitely recommend using half hard wire as it has more ‘spring’ and ear wires can take a beating, or full hard if you can find it. Ear wires need to will hold up to the constant abuse they will take from putting them on and off. I usually recommend either 21 or 22-gauge round wire for ear wires; I wouldn’t use anything larger than 20-gauge for ear wires!
If you are using an 18-gauge for clasps, S hooks, etc, then I would use a soft wire, because 18-gauge will work-harden very quickly with tiny bends. If it does not harden to your liking when making an S hook, just harden it a bit with a chasing hammer and bench block.
For a very pretty clasp design, I’d like to invite everyone to view this Swan Clasp tutorial from our talented Faculty member, Albina Manning.
Albina Manning’s Swan Clasp
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to install it in under a minute for FREE!
- about 3″ 18- or 20-gauge round dead soft wire
- Flat nose pliers
- Round nose pliers
- Chain nose pliers
- Wire cutters
- Optional: 3-step pliers, hammer and bench block
Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong
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