It's top and bottom dies (plates) calibrated with two thick 'pins'
in the bottom one which go through corresponding holes in the upper
one---just like Wilson's (p 273). There is a row of hemispheres on
both top and bottom (like Wilson). There are several rows of
different sizes for different thicknesses of wire. The diameter of
the drilled hemispheres would of course have to be about the
thickness of your wire, so in your case (.5mm) you would have to
drill a row of pretty small hemispheres i.e., with a ~.5 ball end
drill. I use a hammer on the top plate while continually turning the
wire in place---first hitting lightly and then increasing the
strength of the hit as the beads get more and more formed. I think
this technique, however is better suited to heavier thickness beaded
wire. For .5mm I would try alternative techniques:
1) If you twist 2 wires VERY tightly together, the effect will be
like beaded wire. You have to keep annealing and twisting until the
the lines of the twist go from being slanted to being perpendicular
to the length of the wire. This illusion works especially well if
the twisted wire is bordered by straight wire in the work. For .5mm
twisted wire, twist together two .30mm wires.
2) Another traditional way of making beaded-like wire is to use a
millefiori (sp?) tool on smooth wire. These tools come in many sizes
and are used by stonesetters to give the effect of a row of beads.
3) The beaded wire standardly sold in Israel is hemispheres rather
than full spheres. This would be pretty easy to stamp yourself---and
the tool would require only one plate with a row of hemispheres that
you could just hammer the wire into.
In ALL cases, I recommend using 960 silver rather than sterling.
Janet in Jerusalem
This is a PS to the post I just sent in respnse to your questions:
I think if I wanted beaded wire, I would just solder or granulate a
row of beads lined up in a channel, probably in charcoal. If it's a
one-shot deal, this would be a lot quicker than making the
tool...:-)....If you need a lot, you could then have this cast.