Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Bending Rectangular Wire


#1

I have been making a series or rings and bracelets that are dramed
in 18K rectangular wire. The wire must be bent into flat circles –
more like washers than like short cylinders. Does anyone have a good
trick for this? It is laborious to bend them to fit the rings, and I
feel as though there must be a better way (than just using two pairs
of pliers).

When I have used up my current stock, I may shift to square wire,
but I can’t afford to buy any new gold right now, and must work with
what I have.

Thanks for any help!

Noel


#2

You don’t say anything about the diameter of the circles, the size
of the wire, etc. Of course the tighter the circle and the heavier
the wire, the more difficult it is. There are two tools that can
help, though. One is “Ring-Bending pliers” - there is a “V” in one
jaw, and a part that goes into the “V” in the other jaw. Or a “Ring
Bending Machine” that is mounted on a bench - it’s smallest diameter
is probably too big for you, though. I just use pliers, though, or
hammer it gradually around a mandrel. You can even mount a mandrel
and the gold in a vise (so the end of the gold is “pinched” on the
mandrel and wrap it like jump rings, but, again, all this depends on
the size of the circle and the gold. I also use square wire and then
roll it out to flatten it. One handy fact, though, is that it
doesn’t need to be a circle. All you need to do is bring the ends
together, solder them, and then it’s relatively easy to make it
circular once the ends are together. Also, anneal frequently - that
cuts down on the wrestling…


#3

Noel

Not knowing what the width to thickness ration is or the size of
ring you are making, I can only tell you how I am doing it in silver.
I chuck up a dowel of the appropriate size, slip my metal through the
gap in the jaws bend a right angle and use a butter knife or spatula
(putty knife) with a hole through it and I hold it at about a 15
degree angle to provide pressure to keep it together and allow me
space to feed new wire to the spooling, after I get what I need,
leaving it on the dowel, I use a metal saw blade on my flex shaft to
cut through the rings. It’s like making flat jump rings. My metal
is.015~ thick and.095 wide on the current ones I am making on a .1875
(3/16) dowel. I have done it wider and thicker on 1 and 2 inch
dowels, but these I had to handsaw apart.

Terry


#4

noel -

The wire must be bent into flat circles -- more like washers 

it’s a last resort solution: tighten up one side of your rolling
mill gears and the flat metal will come out almost meeting itself
like it’s going back into the platens - not perfect but a lot less
bending than from ‘scratch’.

good luck -
ive
who has been searching for the etymological roots for ‘scratch’ and 'get-go’
without success - people?


#5

Hi Noel,

I don’t know if you know this method for bending rectangular wires,
but it is a method I have used for years. I used an old set of large
jaw pliers, after softening the jaws I have filed one jaw to suit my
purpose, one jaw is left flat and the other is filed like half round
pliers. Then on the half round side I have filed half round slots in
the surface using a diamond wheel in my pendant drill and finishing
with a diamond piller needle file. These slots are slightly wider
than the thickness of the rectangular wire I am bending. These slots
make bending wires into frame shapes easy. I have about six slots on
the half round jaws each slot for a different thickness of wire or
radius of bend.

I am lucky to have worked alongside many different craftsmen in my
time, and have learned many old methods of hand manufacture. I hope
this makes sense to you.

Regards James
James Miller FIPG


#6
All you need to do is bring the ends together, solder them, and
then it's relatively easy to make it circular once the ends are
together. 

Hmmm… This might be just the “trick” I was looking for! I will try
this ASAP.Thanks!

Noel


#7

Hi, Terry,

I chuck up a dowel of the appropriate size, slip my metal through
the gap in the jaws bend a right angle and use a butter knife or
spatula (putty knife) with a hole through it and I hold it at about
a 15 degree angle to provide pressure to keep it together and allow
me space to feed new wire to the spooling 

I’m using 1.5x1 mm, and I’m making various sizes.

Can you explain a bit more about the knife? I’m not getting the
image. But it sounds interesting… You are winding the rectangular
wire with the narrow side against the mandrel? The knife somehow
keeps it from twisting?

Noel


#8

Noel:

Hi, I lost your original question, but if I remember correctly you
are basically trying to make gold washers. Look on page 236 in Hoover
& Strong, sorry I couldn’t find them on their web site. They make
many different sizes of stamped washers in different gauges that
might work out for your project.

Cheers!!
Christopher Arnett
www.christopherarnettjewelers.com


#9

Jewelry tools by Miland has tools that will help with this. I don’t
know if the diameter is small enough, but there is a variety of
options.

Their phone number is 877) 463-8046.

http://ganoksin.com/resources/detail-jewelry_tools_by_miland-1531.html

I’ve used one for this similar purpose. I don’t think I could have
gotten the square wire (which I milled to a rectangle) to make the
turn as small a diameter as I did without it. The only thing is the
wire tends to go sideways a little as you bend it. Just use
flat-nosed pliers, I guess, to keep it straight as you go. Check out
their website (I’m sorry. I don’t know it off-hand, but a Google or
Dogpile search should turn it up). They’re pretty cool.

Veronica


#10
Can you explain a bit more about the knife? I'm not getting the
image. But it sounds interesting... You are winding the
rectangular wire with the narrow side against the mandrel? The
knife somehow keeps it from twisting? 

It probably would if the hole in the knife were square???

Margaret


#11
who has been searching for the etymological roots for 'scratch'
and 'get-go' without success - people?

hi ive, according to my Oxford Dict. of English Etymology- “get"
from Old Norse “geta”, “scratch” origins obscure but suggested from
MLG, Mdu, " kratsen”, OHG " krazzon", OSw " kratta". " go" seems
almost universal:-), with “gan” from OE, OS, OHG, and formed from
words with Germanic, Indo- European, Greek, and Sanskrit roots.
interesting, isn’t it?, cheers Christine Pyman in Sth Aust


#12

James, I read your thread very carefully. I think I understand about
the special made pliers but I’m not sure. By chance do you have or
could you take a digital picture of that custom made tool?

Devin Startup


#13

To anyone interested,

I think that I did not describe my home made pliers very well in my
last posting. Here is a copy of the sketch of my pliers that I sent
Noel over the weekend. I think it explains what I was trying to
describe. I will include the sketch as an attachment also.

Regards James Miller


#14

Margret

I am kind of a beginner at a lot of things in this, but I have never
seen anyone drill a square hole. :slight_smile:

Except of course in wood with a tenon jig.

Terry


#15

Dear James,

I think that I did not describe my home made pliers very well in
my last posting. 

I do think that you described them well. Your sketch shows them just
like I pictured them in my mind from the description. One thing that
I wonder about: if I had some pliers that had both jaws square to
begin with, I guess that I would need to round only the grooves for
the wire, not the whole jaw, right? The rectangular wire just sits
in the groove, after all, not bearing on the rest of the jaw. This
might save someone some time in making these from variously shaped
pliers.

Thanks for sharing your experience with these tools. Hand made/
altered hand tools are so very, very nice to have. I was pleased to
see your solution to this problem. It was much better than mine,
which was to just avoid doing it by punching parts out, or
redesigning!

M’lou Brubaker
Minnesota, USA


#16

Terry,

I am kind of a beginner at a lot of things in this, but I have
never seen anyone drill a square hole. :-) 

Look at my website at
http://www.watchman.dsl.pipex.com/two-legged%20parser/parser.html -
this will drill you any shaped hole you like…

Best wishes,
Ian
Ian W. Wright
SHEFFIELD UK


#17

Ian

Thanks for the tour, that was very interesting. I saved the email so
I can find my way back, I might try making a set.

Terry