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[How2] Twisted sterling wire


#1

Hi all, I have a piece for which I would need jump-rings made out
of single twisted wire. I found the right ones in the Rio-Grande
catalogue (1:st page inside) but ordering just a few jump rings
from the states an have them shipped to Europe seems like
overdoing it somewhat. (Rio calls them Twist Wire).

I’ve tried to figure out how to treat the wire - just twisting a
single one will not do and I do not want double wires. Should I
twist two and unwind one? Can’t find any clues on how to in
Oppis book - on the contrary, it clearly states it can’t be done
with round wire… Should I flatten it slightly first?

Any ideas anyone?

Best Regards Lars Dahlberg Sweden /Gotland


#2

A lovely twisted wire can be obtained by using a single piece of
square wire. Place one end in a vise and the other end in a hand
drill. Twist to your heart’s content. This works well for jump
rings.


#3
   I would need jump-rings made out of single twisted wire.  

For twisted wire, have you considered taking a lengh of wire,
bend it in half, attach the bent part to a hook or a bent nail,
put the other two ends into a hand drill and twist. The twist
will be tight enough without having to be soldered. Otherwise,
you’ll need square wire twisted the same to form a single twisted
look.


#4

Hi, Lars,

The way to get that twist effect is to take square wire of the
appropriate guage and twist it, either with a pin vise, moto tool
or drill. Tighter twists look the best, and the general rule is
to twist the wire until metal fatigue snaps it off where it
inserts into the vise or drill bit. The finished product will
look like round wire with the raised, spiral twist you are
looking for. HTH.

Lee


#5

Lars - hej do. a common means of making twisted wire from a
single strand of wire is to make square or triangular wire and
then twisting it. gives the impression of two wires embracing. if
you want i’ll purchase the jump rings, in our next rio grande
order and post them to you. it’d be no bother. gotland. are you
near kalmar? i used to work in stockholm, on gamla stan, with owe
bolin.early 70’s. a tough time for goldsmiths in sweden. lycka
till. kim-eric lilot


#6

Hi Lars, To twist sterling wire you need to start with square
wire. You can find it from a variety of sources, one being rio
grande. Hold one end firmly and twist from the other end with a
second set of pliers. You can also purchase a tool that is
designed to twist wire evenly, but it sounds like you probably
wouldn’t do it often enough to justify the expense. Buying a
small amount of sterling wire shouldn’t cost very much and you
will undoubtably find use for it in other projects. I’m just a
novice myself, but if you have any more questions I’ll try to
answer them if I can. Feel free to email me.

Good luck,
hsqueenc@aol.com


#7

Dear Lars

I looked up what I think you are talking about in the Rio
Cataloug. is it #E on page 5 ?? ( the first page of merchandise)

If so… MAking them are Easy! They have use square wire.
Then they have use a pin vise, flex shaft …what ever to twist
the wire. Round wire will not give the effects but square
will… Then they have wrapped them on a link mandrel or such. It
looks to me as if they have soldered them togeter slightly and
added the smaller ring on the bottem.

Hope this helps and if it was a different one you were looking
at let me know and I will try to help you.

please incluse page # and model #

Take care
Rebecca Foley
Louisville, Ky USA

The Obsidian Horse
1058 Bardstown Rd
Louisville, Ky 40204
(502) 589-5665
http://www.prosperity.com/obsidian E-mail: Rmfoley@worldnet.att.net


#8

I twist wire for jumprings and other attachments frequently.
There are two methods. The first is with round wire, two very
fine gauge are twisted together tightly. Twisting increases the
diameter of the wires you started with. If necessary, the twisted
wire can be annealed before forming into jumprings. When you
solder the loop closed, solder has a tendency to flow between the
wires, making it one component. When making chain with this type,
you either have to use a very small flame (like a Li’l Torch, #1
tip), or ochre on previously soldered links.

The other method is to use square wire, only one wire, fine
gauge. When twisted, the edges form the twist pattern. Think of
twisted heishi to visualize what it looks like, which is made
from hollow square tubing which has been twisted. Your jumprings
are then made out of this wire after annealing.

Each has a different pattern. The pattern you referred to in RGA
is two round wires twisted together. To get it this fine, you’ll
probably have to draw your own wire down to 30ga. first, before
twisting.


#9

Hi Lars, Could you get a single twisted wire by wrapping the wire
tightly around a thin rod, remove the rod out and after you have
finished twisting the wire. Pull the wire out until you are left
with a single twisted wire? Try it it might work.

Richard Whitehouse
Silversmith & Jeweller

http://home.clara.net/rw/
Email: @Richard_Whitehouse1
UK


#10

Just my 2 cents worth on twisting…

I noticed that no one else has mentioned my personal favorite
for twisting wire, an old fasioned hand drill…

The gear type works better than the one with the two 90degree
bends (for twisting wire, anyway). I find that it gives better
control than either a flex shaft (which can be hard to keep at a
consistent slow speed, in my experience) or a pin vise. Also, by
controlling the speed of the twist, or changing direction, you
can achieve some very nice effects.

I’m not sure whether the original message was requesting the
tight twist look, or what I call “telephone cord” twists?

Thanks for the inspiration!

Kat
@Kat_Tanaka


#11
    I noticed that no one else has mentioned my personal
favorite for twisting wire, an old fasioned hand drill...

Another tool that works great for twisting wire is an electric
drill. Put a cup hook or a hook of your own fashioning in the
chuck. Clamp one end of the wire/s to be twisted in a vise,
connect the other end/s to the cup hook, pull the wire/s taut &
start the drill. Run the drill until the desired twist is
achieved.

If twisting 2 wires of the same size together, the best way to
get a an even twist is to put both ends of the wire in the vise &
put the hook at the center of the wire. This causes the tension
to be the same in both wires, assuring an even twist. I’ve
successfully twisted wires as long as 30 ft this way.

Dave


#12

A wonderful, talented artist I study with, working with wire,
Wil Peterson, uses a power screw driver, to twist wire.

Wil determined, the slower speed gives you better control of the
process.

Teresa


#13

David has the right idea in using a electric drill and a cup
hook.

I would like to make a small improvement and that is to use a
heavy made cup hook and then file three flats on the end that
will be held by the chuck of the drill. This will give the chuck
jaws a better grip on the cup hook and stop the chuck slipping on
it when twisting heavy wire.

Best wishes to all.
Major Boyce pyramid@clear.net.>


#14

I use a hand drill and insert a good size screw eye in the
chuck. That prevents the wire from slipping off. I double the
wire and string it through the screw eye and put the other ends
in the vise. Frances

Visit me or “beam me up” at:
http://www.toast.net/~frangro/index.html


#15

Major’s idea is a good one, Here’s another if you don’t mind
making your own hook/s.

1. Cut about a 3 in piece of  heavy wire (12 ga, 3/32 etc.).
Steel lasts longer. 

2. Chuck it in a drill press or lathe. With the wire
turning, use a wide file (at least 1 in), to file a taper
from the end back the width of the file. File until the
diameter of the end is reduced about 1/2. 

3. Remove it from the the chuck. 

4. Form the tapered end into a round hook. 

When forming the hook, the center line of the shaft (straight
part) of the hook should pass through the center of the circle
describing the hook. If the hook is made in this manner the
center line of the wires being twisted will coincide with the
center line of the hook. This will result in minimal wire
flexing at the hook. The taper will make it much easier to remove
the wire from the hook. Because the hook gets smaller toward the
tip, the wire around the hook gets looser as soon as it is
moved toward the tip. HTH

Dave


#16
    A wonderful, talented artist I study with, working with
wire, Wil Peterson, uses a power screw driver, to twist wire. 
Wil determined, the slower speed gives you better control of the
process.

I’ve twisted 1000’s of feet of wire & in my experience the most
critical item to watch when twisting wire is the tension on each
of the wires. This is particularly critical when twisting an odd
number of wires. In order to get an even twist, i.e… one in
which each wire wraps around the other the same number of times,
the tension on each wire must be the same. This is easily
achieved if wrapping 2 wires of the same size & material. An
even twist also requires the wires to be of the same hardness.
Twisting wires of unequal hardness will result in more wraps of
the softer wire around the harder wire.

1. Cut a piece of wire twice as long as the twisted wire
needed. 

2. Clamp both ends of the wire in a vise, they should
touching each other. 

3. Place a cup hook in the chuck of a variable speed drill. 

4. Grasp the wires between the thumb & forefinger at the
vise. 

5. 'Draw' the wires through the fingers until the closed end
is reached. 

6. Place the wire loop over the hook in the drill. 

7. Pull the wire taut with the drill. 

8. While holding the wire taut start the drill. The wires
will twist evenly for the entire length. If the wire is long
(15-30 ft) it may start bounching. If this happens, laying a
finger lightly on the wire will stop the bounce. Twist the
wire until the desired pattern is achieved or the wire breaks
( it usually breaks at one of the ends). Clip off about a 1
inch length of the twisted wire. Save this piece as a
pattern in case you have to twist more wire for the same job.
This pattern can be compared side by side with the next batch
of wire while it's being twisted. When the patterns match,
it's time to stop. 

To help keep the wire from breaking prematurely while twisting,
try to keep the drill at the same height above the floor as wire
is in the vise. Also keep the axis of the drill parallel to the
face of the vise jaws. These 2 actions reduce the amount of
flexing the wire is subjected to. Remember, flexing wire work
hardens it & if it gets too hard it’ll break.

If the length of wire to be twisted is short, a pin vise or a
small hand drill (egg-beater type) can be substituted for the
electric drill.

A similar technique can be used to twist an odd number,
different sizes, shapes, hardness of wire.

1. Place the drill with the cup hook installed on the floor,
about 3 ft father away from the vise than the length of wire
to be twisted. 

2. If the wires are of different sizes or shapes, twist one
end of each wire together. 

3. Place this end over the hook in the drill. 

4. Grasp the wires between the thumb & forefinger at the
drill. 

5. 'Draw' the wires through the fingers until the ends are
reached. Don't pinch the fingers so tight the drill is pulled
along. 

6. When the ends are reached, hold the wires tightly,
pulling the drill along, until there's about 1/2 inch of the
shorter of the wires left. Clamp both ends in the vise. The
wires should be side by side. 

7. Return to the drill & pull the wire taut with the drill. 

8. While holding the wire taut start the drill. The wires
will twist for the entire length. If the wire is long (15-30
ft) it may start bounching. If this happens, laying a finger
lightly on the wire will stop the bounce. Twist the wire
until the desired pattern is achieved or the wire breaks ( it
usually breaks at one of the ends). 

HTH

Dave


#17

Nice instructions, but in my opinion one item is missing. When
twisting wire, remember to anneal. If you’re unsure of when to
anneal, that’s when to anneal. Many times I got to wondering if
I should anneal. Nope, just a couple more twists. Then - Pow!,
right where I didn’t need a break. So, anneal even if unsure.
Might waste a little time, but better than starting over.


#18

Hi,

     Nice instructions, but in my opinion one item is missing.
     When twisting wire, remember to anneal.  If you're unsure
    of when to anneal, that's when to anneal.  Many times I got
    to wondering if I should anneal.  Nope, just a couple more
    twists.  Then - Pow!, right where I didn't need a break. 
    So, anneal even if unsure. Might waste a little time, but
    better than starting over
Good idea if you're unsure of the material you're starting
with. 

I usually start with half hard wire fresh from the coil
received from my supplier. After investigating the cause of 
unexpected wire breaks, I've found the following 3 causes for
wire breaking at other than the ends; there may be more, but
I've not seen them yet (hope I never do either). 

1. If the wire gets nicked, however slightly, that point is
a weak spot & will probably break before twisting is
completed. 

2. Improperly annealed wire may have hard & soft spots at
various points along it's length. The hard spots are subject
to premature failure. 

3. Improperly alloyed wire may also exhibit hard & soft
spots along its length. I've had one supply of this type of
wire that annealing wouldn't help. The supplier replaced it. 

If wire has been around the shop a while & the coil has been
handled to any extent, there's a good possiblity that spots
in the coil have become work hardened due to the flexing the
coil has received in handling. Twisting this wire could
present the problems listed in # 2 above. Good, even
annealing would eliminate this condition. 

Generally, the hardness of the wire affects the number of
wraps that can be made before the wire breaks. The softer the
wire the more wraps per unit of length before the wire
breaks. 

The other area wire hardness affects is the diameter of a
coil wrapped from it. For example, if a half hard wire is
wound into a coil on a 10 mm mandrel, when the end of the
coil is reached & the coil is cut from the wire supply, the
coil will unwind a few turns. The diameter of the coil will
be somewhat larger than 10 mm. The exact amount is determined
by the hardness of the wire, but the diameter of the coil
will be uniform from end to end. If the diameter of the coil
is critical, winding the coil from soft or dead soft wire
will result in a coil that remains true to the size of the
mandrel it's wound on. 

Twisting work hardens wire. If coils are wound from
unannealed twisted wire, the coils will always expand after
being cut from the supply coil. 

Here's an interesting experiment to show the affects of
annealing & hardening wire. 

1. Cut 3 equal lengths (about 12 in) of wire (copper will
do, any size) from the same coil. 

2. Leave the 1st piece as it was cut from the coil. 

3. Anneal the 2nd piece. 

4. Clamp on end of the 3rd piece in a vise, twist the wire
from the other end until it breaks (usually at the end). 

5. Straighten all 3 pieces. 

6. Clamp one end of all 3 pieces in a vise so the protruding
ends are the same length. 

7. Pull them down 6 inches, 1 at a time & release them. 

8. Note the amount of return in each. 

9. Pull them down 9 inches, 1 at a time & release them. 

10.Note the amount of return in each. 

Thus endth the lesson for today (bg). 

Dave