I make all of mine. It is simple to do if you have at least access
to a rolling mill.
First start with dead soft wire. you will want wire in the diameter
about half the width of what you want for your final wire.
Twist two lengths of wire together by:
Using a flex shaft you will hold one end of the length with
pliers, the other end will be put into the flex shaft.
Using a power hand held drill You will again hold the end with a
pair of pliers or even loop it around a bent nail. The other end you
put into the drill.
least high tech, you use a simple dowel or length of larger
metal. Use it with the other end held as above, but you need to use
only one length of wire to start so you will double it over and have
a loop at one end. Stick the down/larger wire into the loop. Slowly
Now the secret to twisting using one of the above methods is to keep
the twisting wire perfectly straight to each other. that means the
same height it is held at not one higher and the other lower. Also
keep it taut not tight. You want a bit of leeway but not enough to
cause the wire to jump around. As you twist (slowly with machines)
you will see and feel the wire getting shorter. You need to keep it
taut so you will literally move towards the other end. If you are
using two people to do this, one will step slowly closer while
keeping the tautness consistent as they walk towards the other
person. Usually this is the one with the pliers doing the walking.
Most people only twist a little especially if it breaks as you
twist. The break usually happens at one end or the other mostly the
flex shaft or drill end. You just reload the wire and start again.
You need to twist it very tight. If you think it is twisted
sufficiently, do it a lot more.
You will twist the hell out of the wire. It will be really tight,
not loosely twisted.
Bundle the whole length by wrapping it around your hand. Take one
end and loop it around the circle of wire you have created. This will
hold it in a nice little coiled bundle. You will carefully anneal the
bundle and turn it over to anneal the other side. let it air cool.
Pickle and air dry.
Now comes the fun part the smashing of what you have twisted. You
want those nice flat surfaces so they adhere nicely to the sides of
tT flatten it so much it looks like it is foil compared to what you
started with. You want to retain the nice knurled look you have
twisted it to make.
At this point I write down all the measurements I have created. I
put the recalled wire into baggies and mark them with the
measurements, and the length I have of it. I also write the starting
gauge of the wire I used to make it. (helps us elderly to remember).
I do not anneal it a second time. You want that more hardened ability
so it will try to unwind against your super structure wires as you
put each little lent child into the what I call gallery wires. If it
is annealed at this point it is too soft and won’t sit tension wise
in your gallery wires.
This will let you make any knurled wire you want out of any metal.
If you have questions email me. You can also get Victoria Lansford’s
filigree video. She has good instructions on it. I took her class and
have been doing filigree now for nearly 10 years. It is fun until one
little wire goes flying across the room and you can’t find it.
Age the twisted