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Balling both ends of silver wire


#1
Guess I should have made it clear that the fiber blanket is used
only to prevent the "stone protection" from burning off
(previously mentioned as a problem) via the direct flame. To
protect the stone, I usually wrap the stone/prongs in wet toilet
paper. Then use the fiber blanket to protect the TP from drying
out/catching fire from the torch flame. In other words, the TP
protects the stone from conducted heat and the fiber protects the
TP/stone from the flame of the torch. Hope I beat this dead horse
enough ;-) 

I’m asking a question based on the previous post. The above mentions
a fiberblanket (I am going to get some) to shield wet tissue wrapped
stones as you solder a ring to them.I’ve got a far simpler question
but am hoping to gather some ideas before I plunge full bore into
theproject. How do you all protect your project, stones, etc. from
heat when balling both ends of a wire. I am using Argentium
Sterling.

Situation #1; In a fairly compact cupped area, like the center of a
flower, I wantto have multiple wires with melted balls protruding
from the surface. I drill little holes. Dome the circle. Ball one
side of all the wires. Insert them with the balled end facing up, and
bring the unballed wire side up thru another hole to the same side.
Then ball it. Or should I insert all the wires and ball them all at
once? Make any sense?

Situation #2: I want to string little stones in a silver frame. I
ball wires. I drill the frame. I insert the unballed wires into the
frame. I string the little stones. I insert the stung wires into the
other side of the silver frame. I pull the unballed wire out the
other side of the frame.

Now I want to ball the wires withoutcracking the little stones
inside the frame. Given the above fiber blanket idea, I could wrap
the piece inwet toilet paper, stick the wires up thru the blanket
and ball the wires?

Thank you all much.
Deb


#2
Situation #1; In a fairly compact cupped area, like the center of
a flower, I wantto have multiple wires with melted balls protruding
from the surface. I drill little holes. Dome the circle. Ball one
side of all the wires. Insert them with the balled end facing up,
and bring the unballed wire side up thru another hole to the same
side. Then ball it. Or should I insert all the wires and ball them
all at once? Make any sense? 

To do this easily - put the pre-balled end inside the flower. Then
instead of bringing the wire back up, ball the wire on the underside
of the flower.

Situation #2: I want to string little stones in a silver frame. I
ball wires. I drill the frame. I insert the unballed wires into
the frame. I string the little stones. I insert the stung wires
into the other side of the silver frame. I pull the unballed wire
out the other side of the frame. 

To secure the little stones, just ball the wire on the outside -
argentium is very forgiving for this. Use a sharp, hot flame and go
after the end very fast.

Or the really easy answer, get a PUK welder. It is magical to ball
the ends of wire without heating anything up. Some of the old PUK II
welders should be available for fairly reasonable prices. Still
aren’t cheap but are very useful.

Judy Hoch


#3

Deb,

I tried something similar to this today and was able to hold the wire
wrapped in wet toilet paper between my fingers and ball the other end
of the wire. I figure any heat level that my fingers can stand would
be fine for your stone. I was using about 24 ga wire. Hot and fast on
the flame. Try out different scenarios and see what works for you.

Jamie


#4

I can ball the end of a 22 or 24 gauge wire very close to a gemstone
bead (or even an inexpensive pearl, usually!) by just holding the
wire in a fine-point cross-lock tweezers with the plain end up and
the bead below the tool. I come in hot and fast with a small #4 tip
Little Torch (propane/ox.) flame, and the ball rolls right down to
the tweezer and stops at just the right size. Fine silver or
Argentium are best for this, as they make smoother balls. If you want
a large ball, you have to melt from the bottom up so that it doesn’t
flop sideways, but this is a bit hotter on the bead, hence riskier.
Practice this on beads that you can replace if you crack or burn
them, and you can get really good at it. It’s all in the control, and
in having a hot small torch.

M’lou
M’lou Brubaker
Minnesota, USA
http://www.craftswomen.com/M’louBrubaker


#5
Situation #1; In a fairly compact cupped area, like the center of a
flower, I wantto have multiple wires with melted balls protruding
from the surface. I drill little holes. Dome the circle. Ball one
side of all the wires. Insert them with the balled end facing up,
and bring the unballed wire side up thru another hole to the same
side. Then ball it. Or should I insert all the wires and ball them
all at once? Make any sense?

If there are no beads involved, I would drill tight holes for the
wires, adjust the balled wires to the desired length on the front
side, and let them protrude a bit on the back. Then I’d solder them
all from the back, snip the wires flush, and sand and polish. The
front wires then can be arranged nicely for a graceful little bouquet
of stamens. That is, IF you don’t require movement for some reason.
It is no harder to solder them than to melt them all into balls, and
the result is much more controlled.

M’lou Brubaker
Minnesota, USA
http://www.craftswomen.com/M’louBrubaker


#6
by just holding the wire in a fine-point cross-lock tweezers with
the plain end up and the bead below the tool. I come in hot and
fast with a small #4 tip Little Torch (propane/ox.) flame 

And I second the nomination for Little torch for small hot flame to
ball up silver close to a stone. I have a ring I make, a concave disc
with a hole through the bottom. I put a balled up wire through the
pearl then the wire goes through the bottom of the concave silver
disc, wet paper towel wadded around the pearl, tweezer pushes ball on
top of pearl toward bottom of disc pushing the wire as far as it can
go through the back of the concave disc, small hot flame to ball up
the wire till it meets the back of the disc. If the disc is thick
enough, countersink the hole on the back of the disc. Either way,
when I am done the pearl moves in the pod.

Richard Hart G.G.
Denver, Co.