Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles, Contemporary Wire Jewelry. Texturing. This bi-metal bangle made with Argentium and gold-filled wire is sure to be a complement to all your single bangles.

Spinner Fidget Bangles

by Judy Larson
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Technique(s): Texturing
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
This bi-metal bangle made with Argentium and gold-filled wire is sure to be a complement to all your single bangles. Attach a hand-made mixed metal charm or two from one or both of the bangles for a little extra pizazz. Copper Fidget Bangles are an inexpensive and easy way to foray into bangles with "moveable" parts.

Materials

20 Gauge Dead Soft Argentium Silver Sheet - 6 Inches
H19-20SM6
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1 Inch
  • Price: $62.38
  • Gold Club Price: $46.79
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10 Gauge Round Dead Soft Copper Wire
H11-10D
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1FT
  • Price: $3.23
  • Gold Club Price: $2.42
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10 Gauge Round Dead Soft Argentium .940 Silver Wire
H19-10D
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1FT
  • Price: $32.20
  • Gold Club Price: $24.15
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10 Gauge Round Dead Soft 14/20 Gold Filled Wire
H4-10D
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1FT
  • Price: $63.88
  • Gold Club Price: $47.91
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Tools

Xuron Flush Cutter - Pack of 1
G2-504
  • G2-504
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $29.95
  • Gold Club Price: $22.46
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Multi Angle Cutting Jig
VIS-512.00
  • VIS-512.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $84.95
  • Gold Club Price: $63.71
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Blazer Excalibur SI-100CR Multi-Purpose Soldering Kit
TRCH-1006
  • TRCH-1006
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $99.95
  • Gold Club Price: $74.96
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Steel Bracelet Mandrels - Round
MAN-216.00
  • MAN-216.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $37.97
  • Gold Club Price: $28.48
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7 Piece Mini TruStrike Hammer Set with Stand
HAM-520.70
  • HAM-520.70
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $140.54
  • Gold Club Price: $105.40
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Steel Bench Block 4x4 Inch - Pack of 1
G17-10
  • G17-10
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $21.95
  • Gold Club Price: $16.46
Out of Stock
5/8 Inch Double Rubber/Nylon Head Hammer - Pack of 1
G3-26
  • G3-26
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $4.97
  • Gold Club Price: $3.73
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Instructions
Step 1:
Purchased metal tubing:
Read through the tutorial before starting the project. Follow all safety precautions for the space you are working in as well as all safety precautions pertaining to the tools and supplies you will be using to complete the project.

Either purchase metal tubing or make your own.

For purchased metal tubing:

Cut the metal tubing to length with a pipe cutter-first and second photos-or saw. A ½" piece is a good length. Do not cut it longer than 5/8" long as the tighter curve of smaller bangles makes them harder to spin inside a longer tube.
Pro Tip: A jar opener pad helps make a strong grip on pipe. Slide a pipe section on the end of a jump ring mandrel that tightly fits. While holding the mandrel on a bench block and the tubing over the edge of the block, texture the tube using the desired texture hammer-third photo. Since the tube ends a bit ragged/sharp from cutting, texture the tube ends as well-fourth photo.
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - Purchased metal tubing:, Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, cut tubing
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - Purchased metal tubing:, Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, cut tubing
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - Purchased metal tubing:, Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, cut tubing
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - Purchased metal tubing:, Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, cut tubing
Step 2:
Construct a tube:
Two or three wires will spin freely inside this tube.

Making a tube is obviously going to be more time consuming, but it is relatively straight forward. Here, a 1-1/8" long piece was marked off a pre-cut strip of 20 gauge sheet metal, then divided in half. It was then cut with metal shears.
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - Construct a tube:, Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, make a tube
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - Construct a tube:, Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, measure the metal
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - Construct a tube:, Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, cut the metal
Step 3
Decide if texture is desired. Here, one of the Wubbers texture hammers from a set was used.
Pro Tip: Hint: You never have to remember what the texture looks like if the hammers as well as a strip of metal with the textures they impart are labeled-first, second, and third photos. Place the cut piece of sheet on a bench block. Texture with the desired hammer-fourth photo. Use the domed side of a Mini TruStrike Planishing hammer to texture only the long edge of the strip-fifth photo.
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, choose a texture
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, texture hammers
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, texture
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, texture
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, texture
Step 4
File ends flat. Secure a tube strip in a miter jig and vise to file each of the short ends perfectly flat so they line up properly when the tube is formed.
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, file the ends
Step 5
Texturing the strip has work hardened it. To make it easier to shape, place the strip on a soldering block and anneal it.
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, anneal the metal
Step 6
Use round parallel jaw pliers to shape the strip into a tube. Round nose or round stepped pliers can be used in a pinch, but the strip ends are harder to line up. At some point, the ends will no longer push together so stop working the tube.
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, shape the tube
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, shape the tube
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, shape the tube
Step 7
The little bit of forming has work hardened the tube. Anneal the tube on a soldering block. This will make it easier to get a flush seam fit. Note: Argentium silver sheet and wire, which does not have fire scale, is used here. If using sterling silver or base metal, pickle, rinse, neutralize, rinse, and dry the pieces before continuing.
Pro Tip: If the seam is uneven, use parallel flat nose pliers on either end of the tube to flatten the seams together in a more even alignment.
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, anneal
Step 8
Slide a jump ring mandrel or dowel inside the tube. Place the assembly seam side up on a swage block well smaller than the tube. Press the mandrel down on either side of the tube until the seam closes.
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, shape the tube
Step 9
Place medium paste solder along the seam inside the tube-first photo. Place the tube seam side up on a soldering block-second photo. Heat the tube until the solder flows up the seam from inside the tube-third photo.
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, solder the tube
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, solder the tube
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, solder the tube
Step 10
Round the tube. Shown are three options for rounding a small tube. First photo: Use a rubber mallet to round the tube on a bezel mandrel. Second photo: Slide a plastic sleeve on the smaller side of an Acculoop Precision Round Nose Pliers to protect the tube while squeezing around the edge of the bottom end. Flip the tube over and repeat the process. Third photo: Slide the tube on a jump ring mandrel. Tap lightly with a texture hammer. Move up to the next size mandrel. Tap with the hammer. Repeat until the tube is round, or roundish.
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, round the tube
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, round the tube
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, round the tube
Step 11
The tube ends may be a bit uneven. Place a piece of 320 or 400 grit sandpaper on a bench block. Run each tube end over the sandpaper to even the edge.
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, sand the edges
Step 12:
Add rings to the tube:
Since each tube will be different, the rings used on it will be different sizes. Here, two closed Argentium 18 gauge 7.5mm ID silver jump rings and one gold-filled 14 gauge closed 8mm ID were hammer textured on a bezel mandrel until they reached a size that would fit and move freely on the tube. If making textured rings to fit on the tube, cut and file wire to the following lengths: 18 gauge silver: 1-1/16", and gold: 1-1/8". Form into "D" shapes to close the ends-first photo. Solder closed. Round and texture the rings on a bezel mandrel-second photo.
Pro Tip: Once the correct size of textured ring needed is reached, use an ultra fine point retractable Sharpie to mark the bezel mandrel around the top and bottom of the ring. Each ring thereafter will be the same size when using the marked lines as a guide-third photo.
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - Add rings to the tube:, Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, add rings to the tube
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - Add rings to the tube:, Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, add rings to the tube
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - Add rings to the tube:, Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, add rings to the tube
Step 13
Choose five daps in ascending order from a dapping set-first photo. The smallest should not fit or even almost fit inside the tube-second photo.
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, choose 5 daps
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, open and shape tube
Step 14
Place the tube on a bench block. Start with the smallest dap. Hold the dap as perpendicular as possible on the top of the tube-first photo. Use a hammer to tap, not strike, the top of the dap four times. The taps should not be light or heavy, just medium, which is hard to explain. Light taps won't flare the tube and heavy taps can start an uneven flare, more to one side than another. Turn the tube clockwise one quarter turn. Repeat the tapping. Turn a quarter turn again. Repeat the tapping. Turn a quarter turn one last time. Repeat the tapping. Move up to the next larger dap. Repeat the process. Keep doing this until the last dap is used. The turning and tapping as well as using multiple size daps helps keep the flare on the tube edge uniform. Note: Flaring the tube end during this process stresses the metal. Keep checking to make sure that the metal along the top edge and/or the seam are not splitting. If you feel this will happen, anneal the tube again before proceeding.

Check the fit of a textured ring on the tube. If it falls off or looks like it could fall off, more flaring may be needed. Do not flare the tube so much that the tube might be uncomfortable on the wrist. The amount of flare shown on the bottom of the tube in the second photo is just right.
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, flare the end of the tube
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, flare the ends of the tube
Step 15
Place the remaining textured rings on the tube-first photo. If the rings do not move freely, remove them and lightly polish the tube. Replace the rings. If they still do not move freely, lightly texture them to enlarge them. Be careful-they enlarge VERY quickly. Repeat Step 14 on the unflared tube end-second and third photos.
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, thread on the rings
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, rings on the tube
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, flare the other end
Step 16:
Add bangles to the tube:
Determine the size of the finished bangles. In-person measuring is the best. I find it easier if people try on sized bangles-first photo-to determine which size works best for them. There is just too much that can go wrong when people measure themselves. Measuring the largest circumference of the hand over the knuckles with the thumb tucked in-second photo-can miss bumps in arthritic hands. A better option for long distance measuring is to ask people to measure the diameter of a bangle that fits the way they like and send you a photo-third photo.
Size XX-Small X-Small Small Medium Large X-Large

Wire length-textured:

Cut 10 gauge wire: 6¾" 7-1/8" 7½" 7-7/8" 8¼" 8-5/8"

Wire length-not textured (or measurement around the largest part of the hand with the thumb tucked in):

7-5/16" 7-23/32" 8-3/32" 8-15/32" 8-27/32" 9¼"

Hammer out to an ID of: 2¼" 2-3/8" 2½" 2-5/8" 2¾" 2-7/8"
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - Add bangles to the tube:, Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, determine the size of your bangles
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - Add bangles to the tube:, Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, determine the size of your bangles
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - Add bangles to the tube:, Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, determine the size of your bangles
Step 17
Cut bangle wires to the desired length. Note: Three bangles could comfortably fit and easily move inside the constructed tube. The easiest cutter I have found is a memory wire cutter, but the ends are pointed-first photo. No matter what cutter is used, the ends will need to be filed flush for a good solder join. A miter jig and vise works well for that-photos three, four, and five.
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, cut wire for bangle
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, using a miter jig
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, file the end of the wire
Step 18
Shape the bangle wires into an oval "D" shape. Forming the wire into a "smile" and then pulling the wires back so the ends touch can help to create a flush connection between the wire ends-first photo. Slide the tube on a bangle. Close the bangle seam, matching the ends up as perfectly as possible. No light should be seen between the ends from any angle. If the ends of silver or copper bangles are not exactly even, don't worry. The ends of the wires will become flush during texturing. However, with gold-filled bangles, this could be problematic. Uneven ends make it harder to clean up the solder join. The layer of gold becomes very thin when hammer texturing to flatten the uneven join. The gold could more easily wear away over time in that area, exposing the core metal, which will most likely not be a color match.
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, shape the bangles into a D shape
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, add the tube
Step 19
Soldering Argentium silver bangles:
Place the bangle with the spinner tube on a soldering surface. Place a small amount of medium paste solder under the join-half of what is shown here will work and mean less clean-up. Heat around the entire bangle until the solder flows. Since there is a gold ring on the spinner tube, it should be sprayed with flux several times during the heating of the bangle. The flux coating will turn white during heating showing where more might need to be added. Allow the bangle to cool before moving it to a bench block, which pulls the heat out to finish cooling it more quickly. If sterling silver is being used, flux the piece during soldering to reduce fire scale.
Soldering copper bangles:
Solder follows heat, so to make sure the solder flows through the seam, it needs to be pulled up from under the bangle. The amount of paste solder for copper is shown on top of the bangle before it is turned over. This fidget bracelet had three bangles inside the tube. To make it a bit easier to handle, each bangle was slightly rounded before adding the next one.
Soldering a gold-filled bangle:
Gold-filled wire is soldered in a slightly different manner than either silver and copper. Place the bangle on a soldering surface. Lightly heat the bangle and the spinner tube. Spray with flux, which turns frosty white during heating. Spray again to cover areas where more flux is needed. Turn the piece over and repeat the process. The flux protects the surface of the gold-filled wire from changing color, which is impossible to remove without removing much, if not all, of the layer of gold. Use a solder pick to place a very small amount of paste solder for gold, which is different than solder for silver or solder for copper, either inside the bangle at the seam or under the seam. Next is a major soldering difference. Heat only the area the seam area until the solder flows. An indicator of when the solder is getting ready to flow is when the flux turns clear.
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, solder the bangle
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, solder the bangles
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, solder the bangles
Step 20
Pickle and rinse the Fidget Bangle. Neutralize the piece in a baking soda and water solution if a strong acid pickle, such as Sparex, was used. Rinse and dry the bangle. One of the best things about using Argentium and Gold-filled together in one piece of jewelry is that regular pickle can be used so long as it is relatively fresh. No more suer pickle-a half and half mixture of pickle and hydrogen peroxide. It is my understanding that germanium encapsulates the copper in the Argentium thereby eliminating fire scale. The copper in fire scale is suspended in pickle and is what coats metals, making them pink in color. Of course, use a separate pickle for copper unless you want shrimp-colored metal bangles!
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, pickle and rinse
Step 21
There should not be too much solder residue to remove around the joins. Use sanding pads to remove excess solder but use files only if necessary. Do not try to sand the wire ends even. The ends of the wires will become flush during texturing. Be VERY careful with gold wire. The coating, even though it is supposed to last a lifetime, is still a thin layer and can easily be sanded away before you realize it.
Step 22
Slide the bangle loosely down onto a bracelet mandrel. Use a rawhide, nylon/rubber mallet to help round it-first photo. Keep turning the bangle on the mandrel, keeping the tube opposite from where the mallet strikes. The rings on the spinner tube should protect the edges of the tube from flattening during this process and texturing-second photo. Aggressive hammering will, however, most likely damage the hard work you put into making the spinner tube. Notice the lines on bracelet mandrel in the second photo. Those indicate the size of most often made bangles, giving an idea where to stop enlarging the bangle.
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, shape the bangles
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, shape the bangles
Step 23
Place the bangle on a bench block, keeping the tubing over the edge. Flatten the bangle, turning it occasionally, using rawhide, nylon/rubber mallet.
Step 24
Make design decisions. What texture do you want to use on the bangles? Choose the texturing hammers accordingly. When using a Sharp Raising Hammer for texturing to obtain the look of tree bark, use a domed hammer to stretch the metal until at least halfway to the desired diameter. It will go much faster and there will be less chance of creating thin spots on the bangle-first photo.
Pro Tip: Solder joins are stressed during the texturing process and should be checked periodically. A good solder join will be hard to see, especially when textured. Use a Sharpie to mark either side of the seam on the inside of the bangle to make the seam easier to find and check. Remove the marks when done with an alcohol-soaked pad.
A dome faced hammer was used to texture the silver and gold bangles-second photo. When working on a bangle, periodically flip it over on the mandrel as it "grows" in size. Also, periodically flatten the bangle on a bench block and texture both sides-third and fourth photos. Make sure the spinner tube hangs over the edge of the bench block while doing this. Keep hammering and texturing until the desired interior diameter (ID) is reached.

Size XX-Small X-Small Small Medium Large X-Large

Hammer out to an ID of: 2¼" 2-3/8" 2½" 2-5/8" 2¾" 2-7/8"
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, texture the bangles
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, texture the bangles
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, texture the bangles
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, texture the bangles
Step 25
Check the bangle seams again. Do any final refining of the seams and/or solder joins.
Step 26
Tumble for several hours to bring up a nice shine. The silver and gold Fidget Bangle just glows, and the polished copper Fidget Bangle looks almost like rose gold.
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, tumble the bangles
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, tumble the bangles
Step 27
In the end I decided to patina the Fidget Bangles with liver of sulfur. The look of blackened silver next to the gold is stunning and could be left that way-first photo. Liver of sulfur does not really patina the gold-filled parts, but it does darken it slightly. It is hardly even noticeable when placed next to another textured gold-filled bangle. Removing excess patina from the raised portion of the silver bangle and the spinner tube and rings using 0000 steel wool brings more depth to the piece-second photo. The texture really pops when excess patina is removed from the raised area of the copper bangles-third photo. Steel wool leaves the bangle surface looking like brushed metal. Throwing the bangles into a tumbler for another 20 minutes or so will bring back the shine, if desired.
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, patinated bangles
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, bangles
Judy Larson's Spinner Fidget Bangles - , Contemporary Wire Jewelry, Texturing, bangles