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Proper steel for wire beading tool?


#1

Hello Fellow Orchidians,

This one is for the tool-builders and DIY types out there. I seem to
recall that some time ago we briefly discussed a home-made wire
beading tool --the one where you have beaded impressions carved into
two matching plates which you hammer down onto the wire to produce
the beaded wire-- but I don’t remember anyone actually making one.

I’d like to use some beaded Argentium Sterling in some of my designs
and that has got me thinking of this beading tool again. If you’re
curious what “beading tool” I’m talking about you can see a couple
drawings of one at

http://www.touchmetal.com/workshop/wire-beading-tool.html

Like I say there, my question is what steel to use for the plates?
Mild steel is going to get banged up, no? Tool steel is overkill,
yes?

I’ve got a pretty good idea how to make this thing but I’m not versed
in metals well enough to know what grade(s) of steel would be likely
candidates for this project. Any advice you can offer would be much
appreciated.

Cheers,
Trevor F.
in The City of Light
www.touchmetal.com


#2
    http://www.touchmetal.com/workshop/wire-beading-tool.html Like
I say there, my question is what steel to use for the plates? Mild
steel is going to get banged up, no? Tool steel is overkill, yes? 

I would very much doubt that Wilson would have used anything other
than mild steel. If you wanted to produce miles of beaded wire then
maybe tool steel would be a good idea, but for occasional use mild
steel will work just fine.

Bill Bedford


#3
   Like I say there, my question is what steel to use for the
plates? Mild steel is going to get banged up, no? Tool steel is
overkill, yes? 

Tool steel is not some extra fancy stuff. Just a good grade of high
carbon steel that can be fully hardened, and I’d guess this is what
you want. it’s the same sort of stuff things like files, chasing
tools, various punches and tools you already may have, is made of.

if you don’t wish to make your own, and perhaps even want a tool that
can crank this out faster than your hammered together plates (a
somewhat iffy method for consistent results), you might want to look
at a pattern rolling mill. The little cheap “made in India” or Spain
or some such mill that’s often sold for under 300 dollars has
available, optional pattern rolls that include a range of
interesting embossed wires, some of which, if I recall, are classic
beaded wires. I may be wrong, but I seem to recall that the Karat
Brand carries these…

Would cost you more, of course, than banging out your own tools, but
likely you’d save almost as much back again, in terms of the time
and trouble saved, plus the rolling mill makes more than just the one
pattern of wire.

Peter


#4
https://orchid.ganoksin.com/t/beaded-wire

There’s the start of the thread. I think there are several methods
for making beaded wire discussed in the thread, don’t know if any of
them are what you’re after.

This message in particular MIGHT be along the lines of what you’re
looking for:

https://orchid.ganoksin.com/t/beaded-wire

Sojourner


#5
if you don't wish to make your own, and perhaps even want a tool
that can crank this out faster than your hammered together plates (a
somewhat iffy method for consistent results), you might want to
look at a pattern rolling mill. 

Hello Peter,

Thanks for the feedback. I do have a couple further questions
though:

  • are you sure the plates produce inconsistent results? I’m just
    wondering if this is an educated guess or first-hand knowledge.

  • wouldn’t the rolling mill produce significant amounts of flashing
    around the beads? In my own makeshift tests at pattern rolling I’ve
    found that flashing is an ever-present problem. And the deeper your
    pattern the more the flashing you get.

From what I’ve seen, read and found on my own I understand that the
beading plates would work best if the wire is rotated while the
plates are hammered closer and closer together. In other words you’re
incrementally stamping, or forging, the beads into shape around the
circumference of the wire. The result --I’m guessing-- would be
considerably less flashing and distortion than a single stamp, or
roll for that matter.

Thanks to the others for their replies too. In going back and reading
the previous thread that Zen cited I found that there had been a
report by Naimh Whitfield that apparently reports on the various
beading tools and their effectiveness. I had meant to track that
down.

Cheers,
Trevor F.
in The City of Light
www.touchmetal.com


#6

As usual, Peter Rowe is quite correct.

a pattern rolling mill. The little cheap "made in India" or Spain
or some such mill that's often sold for under 300 dollars has
available, optional pattern rolls that include a range of
interesting embossed wires, some of which, if I recall, are
classic beaded wires. I may be wrong, but I seem to recall that
the Karat Brand carries these...  

I use my little Karat mill to make a beaded wire from round stock.
It is actually half-round, in that the back side is flat. The flat
side makes soldering easy. Of course if you want full round
beads…

Judy in Kansas, where my volunteer gladiolas are BLOOMING!! I was
surprised.