I currently anneal copper on a fire brick, and sterling on a
charcoal block. Why does one use a wire nest to anneal some
For annealing smaller pieces made from wire, laying on a charcoal
block is fine, but when tackling larger, flatter items - like belt
buckles, or closed back bezels for larger cabochons - it can be next
to impossible to get the inner areas up to annealing temp's, that
way. In such cases, all that's needed is a wire "nest" - a mish-mosh
of wire, which elevates the entire piece just high enough to enable
even heating from beneath. The nests I use are made by wrapping black
iron binding wire around a pencil, then removing the coil and
doubling it over itself into a figure-8 and tamping semi-flat with a
mallet; these are great for working with gold, silver or copper. For
platinum, rest the piece in question on your non-iron tweezers, and
heat from between or beside them.
Hope this helps!
Douglas Turet, G.J.
Lapidary Artist & Designer
P.O. Box 242
Avon, MA 02322-0242