I guess I’m gonna date myself with this tip Oh well
Everybody seems to agree that most commercially available tongs and
pliers are pretty useless for drawing fine wire. Here’s what I use
in my in lay workshops to draw 24 to 30 gauge 24K and fine silver
Get a pair of parallel pliers with flat jaws. I try to use an old
pai thathas pretty well worn jaws. That won’t matter for this
purpose. Next you need tofind a file used back when I was a puppy.
Called a Cpoint file it was used tofile the points in auto
ignitions. (They are not named Cpoint files because they are
pointed, but because of what they were used for!)
They can still be found in most auto supply stores by that name but
youmight have to find someone a bit older to understand what you are
after. Boughta couple last week for $1.50 ea.I’m guessing that they
will become harderto find as more years pass.
Shaped like a pillar file, they are flat, about 8 mm wide, 1 mm
thick, andhave pretty fine teeth. Come to think of it, you may be
able to use an old # 6 cut pillar shaped needle file lying around
your shop instead? Why not?
Lastly you’ll need some Staybrite solder or one of its clones and
theflux to go with it. This solder is mostly tin with a trace of
silver and meltsat around 400 degrees F. I use this to keep from
drawing the temper out of the file. TIX (Bismuth) solder would
probably work too.
Score a line across the file with a separating disc that will give
you equal sections about 15 to 20 mm long. Break them on the score.
SAFETY HINT cover with a rag so the pieces don’t fly across the shop
when they s nap. (Or hit you in the face or eyes )
Clean the jaws of the old (or new) parallel pliers with some coarse
steel wool or 3M pads. Flux the pieces of files on one side and flow
a thin coating ofsolder. You may need to do the same with the inside
of the plier jaws depending upon whether they were serrated or flat
to begin with. Carefullysolder the pieces of file into each jaw.
Remember this IS low temp solder and you ARE trying to save the
temper. Trim and clean up if necessary.I’v egot a pair of these
that are a couple decades old and still work fine.
If anyone needs to see a finished pair of these email me offline and
I’ll see if I can find the images.
Stockton Jewelry Arts
Stockton, CA 95209