Daily Wire Tip Nov. 19: Uses for Scrap Wire

By on November 19, 2009
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
November 19, 2009

Question:

Your Tip of the Day states you can always find a use for 1` – 2` pieces of half round wire.  I haven`t figured our a use for that size of piece yet – What can I use small pieces for?

Answer:

I really do have several `scrap` containers on my workbench; one is just for half-round, one is for round and the other is for anything else (and no I do separate the metals). A one to two inch of half-round wire will make 3 to 4 wraps on a frame, depending on how many wires you are binding together. When I am making several pieces, I just leave all of the half-round scraps piled on my mouse pad work surface and use them until they are gone! While you are working, watch how much wire it takes to make a set of bindings and you will realize where you can use your own small pieces of half-round. (There are also several patterns on my new DVDs that actually call for using a scrap of half-round!)

Answer contributed by Dale `Cougar` Armstrong

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8 Comments

  1. avatar

    Tina

    November 19, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    I wanted to say if anything, you can also use these scraps to make jump rings…couldn\’t you? =0)

  2. avatar

    mary

    November 20, 2009 at 9:02 am

    So true. I especially like the fact that when making bindings on earrings I can utilize these small short pieces of half round up fairly quickly, getting the most out of my wire without waste.

  3. avatar

    Lois

    November 20, 2009 at 10:36 am

    Great suggestion. I\’ve been doing this for years now. Any time I need a small piece of wire I check the scraps first. You\’d be surprised how small my scraps are in the end. I really hate having left over wire scraps so will even work right off the spool or coil sometimes if I can. That totally eliminates scrap.

  4. avatar

    Jessie Adams

    November 20, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Half round can be used to make loops jump rings or connector but for my 1.5 to 2 inch scraps of round and even square I use to make earwires.
    I learned this many years ago from a friend in Vermont and the technique has been very useful over the years. It also has provided me with wires which I know haven’t been coated, plated or treated so that I can answer with confidence when a customer wants to know. (there are lots of people out there getting metal allergies). It’s also nice to be able to do this onsite for demonstration perposes or to be able to do a quick repair for someone whose lost a wire.

    tools required are as follows
    rd nose pliers or rosary pliers
    chain nose pliers
    cutters
    file
    a standard round pencil (not the hexagone type)

    1)start at the end of two pieces that have been trimmed to the exact length (this is important)
    2)take your pliers and form a small loop at the end 4 to 5 mm in diameter.
    3)without releasing the wire bring the tail down and opposite from the first loop and up so it forms about 3/4 of the lower circle of a figure eight, bringing it up so that it is pointing perpendicular to the pliers. release the wire.
    Now take your pencil, put it over the tail of the wire hold the wire with your thumb near the end of the second bend and wrap the end up in a U shape.
    Do the same with your second wire.
    5)Take your two ear wires and match the loops up. Grab your chain nose pliers and make about a 45 degree bend about a half inch from the end. File smooth. Have patience it takes a few trys to get it right( good thing your using your scrap)

    Save money, make stock, assure allergic customers, and demonstrate your skill onsite. A winner all the way around.

    Have fun!
    Jessie

  5. avatar

    Dalecgr

    November 20, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    Thanks Tina, we do use round and sometimes even square scraps to make jump rings, but rarely do we use half-round for jump rings as they wouldn’t be very strong.
    Dale/Cgr

  6. avatar

    Myrnak

    November 20, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    I find small pieces of wire are good to curl or shape to add to a clay beads or pendants that I am making. I also use them to curl in a wire wrap design. They work great to form a branch for a rustic setting.

  7. avatar

    Stan

    November 22, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    I’m into Wire Wrapping, and with out my little scrap buckets I’d be lost…

  8. avatar

    Tracy F

    January 13, 2010 at 10:23 am

    You can use the scrap metal to make jump rings, split rings, or any type of connector link.

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