When the commercial ones are made, the notches are burnished in
by rolling the post wire between two round edges, pressing the
notch in all around as the post is rolled along. You can do
almost the same thing…
The easiest way I know to make that notch in an earpost is to
use your round nose pliers. Pick a spot on the jaws where the
diameter of the round nose jaw is slightly less than the diameter
of the little loops on each side of a friction nut. Squeeze the
wire with the pliers, leaving a dent on both sides of the wire.
Rotate the wire a little, and squeeze again. Repeat this about
four to six times, and you’ll have a sort of rough, facetted
approximation of the notch you need. Now, hold the pliers just
lightly shut at that point, and instead of releasing the pressure
on the jaws to rotate, just twist the wire in the jaws, squeezing
lightly enough that the wire slips/turns in the jaws. It will
burnish that lumpy notch into something that looks identical to
the store bought. Takes about ten seconds, or less, to do an
earpost that way.
I make almost all my own earposts. Doing this gives me the
option to choose slightly longer post lengths when the design or
weight of the earring suggests it to be a good idea, as well as
using slightly heavier guages of wire if I wish, either for
comfort or strength reasons. (Thicker wire is sometimes more
comfortable with a heavy earring. The wire normally should be
about .8 mm in thickness, but you can use .9 or 1 mm wire is you
need. This can be of particular use with softer alloys. In a
few cases, it’s required to enlarge the hole in the nut to fit
the larger wire. Usually, I stay within the size wire that the
nuts I use can fit without modification.
One other trick. Often, commercially made ear posts are made of
alloys designed to keep their hardness sufficiently when soldered
on, so the solder joint isn’t a limp flexible thing. When you
make you’re own, this is often not the case. So when you make
your own, you can combine the operation of burnishing in that
notch, with squeezing the pliers a bit harder on the first
squeeze or two and then twisting the wire, which then twists the
softer wire near the solder joint instead of allowing the notch
to slip and burnish itself. This restores some stiffness to the
wire near the solder joint.
Also, after notching the wire, don’t forget to round over the
end of the wire for comfort. I usually do this with a rubber
wheel, instead of the commonly used cup burr. Cup burrs
sometimes leave a bit of a sharp spur still in the end of the
wire, especially when they get a bit dull… A rubber wheel
won’t do that, and you can be sure of a nice smoothly rounded end
with no surprises to the wearer.
Hope this helps.