Daily Wire Tip Nov. 10: What is the Purpose of a Draw Plate?

By on November 10, 2009
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
November 10, 2009


Could you please explain what the purpose of a draw plate is?


A ‘draw plate’ is a type of die that is used to either reshape or re-size wire. Dead soft wire is the preferred temper used to ‘draw’, and as the wire will work harden and become brittle during the process, the recommended number of times a wire is drawn is three. Drawing wire will reduce its thickness when reshaping, while also increasing its length.


To draw wire through the draw plate, one end of the wire must first be filed smaller, so it will fit though the chosen hole. While holding this end with good gripping pliers, small gauge wire can be pulled slowly and steadily through by hand, while larger gauged wire can be attached to a crank. Before drawing any wire through a draw plate, the wire needs to be lubricated with a substance such as beeswax or multi-purpose machine oil.

A draw plate also needs to be locked into a vise to be used, and if one is drawing wire through it, one made of metal is the obvious choice.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar


    November 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Also, a draw plate is a useful tool for use with viking knit in order to reduce the size of the knitted cable to a smaller tighter weave using a step down method of going from larger to smaller sized hole, depending on how tight you want your finished weave to be. Take into account that by reducing the size of the weave you will be lengthing it as well.

  2. avatar


    November 11, 2009 at 2:21 am

    Can you explain this more; like with pictures? This is something new to me, a beginner(1yr) lapadarian.

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