Tips for Working with Copper
by Oksana Truhan
Raw copper wire is my favorite metal to work with. I prefer copper because I can so easily vary its flexibility or temper. That is, I can easily make it soft when I need to, when I want to weave a complex pattern.
Instructions
I use a flame for softening the wire, which is called annealing. It’s necessary to heat the wire to a red color.
Oksana Truhan's Tips for Working with Copper - , Wire Jewelry Design, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Using torch to anneal wire
After heating, the copper darkens. To remove this oxidization, add about a spoonful of citric acid to a glass of water).

Oksana Truhan's Tips for Working with Copper - , Wire Jewelry Design, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Using Citric Acid to clean wire
Heat the solution with the wire for a few minutes on the stove.

Oksana Truhan's Tips for Working with Copper - , Wire Jewelry Design, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Heated citric acid solution
The copper will come out perfectly clean.

Oksana Truhan's Tips for Working with Copper - , Wire Jewelry Design, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Cleaned copper wire
However, sometimes we need to make the copper hard again for things such as earring wires or clasps.

To work harden the wire, pull it through a cloth, or twist it. Or, you can hammer it with a nylon hammer to keep from marring it. Or flatten it with a regular hammer.
Oksana Truhan's Tips for Working with Copper - , Wire Jewelry Design, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Polish and harden copper wire
Oksana Truhan's Tips for Working with Copper - , Wire Jewelry Design, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Hammer to harden wire

Materials

20 Gauge Half Round Half Hard Copper Wire
H11-20HRH
  • Lesson Quantity: 12.00 inches
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1FT
  • Price: $0.44
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Copper Wire
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Tools

Blazer Stingray Torch, Blue
TRCH-4002
  • TRCH-4002
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
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  • Price: $49.95
  • Gold Club Price: $37.46
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Ceramic Soldering Board 6in
SOL-465.10
  • SOL-465.10
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
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  • Price: $21.57
  • Gold Club Price: $16.18
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NATURES TOUCH CITRIC PICKLE, 2LB PLASTIC JAR
CLN-163.00
  • CLN-163.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
Chasing Hammer with Wooden Handle, 1 1/8 Inch Face
G3-27
  • G3-27
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  • Price: $13.95
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Bench Block Helper with Steel and Nylon Blocks
DAP-500.30
  • DAP-500.30
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  • Price: $29.95
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Domed Face Nylon Hammer
HAM-394.00
  • HAM-394.00
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  • Price: $15.95
  • Gold Club Price: $11.96
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  • Category: Design
  • Technique(s): Butane Torch Techniques