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Stiffening wire


#1

Hi How do you stiffen wire after you have formed into something, say,
an earwire, so it won’t change shape. Thank you Sally Pataky Sungem
Design


#2

if you start off with half hard Sterling, a couple of taps with a
polished hammer on the curve where it’s going to sit in the ear
usually does the trick.

Sparrow


#3

Any time you cold work metal you make it stiffer. In the case of
earring hooks, the place of greatest strain is the bend where it
goes through the ear. You’ve probably seen earring hooks with a
flattened area at the top of the bend? That’s because they solved
the problem by hammering or rolling that part of the hook. Cold
worked, and poof much stiffer.

If you want to stiffen a length of raw wire withough drawing it
down, a handy trick is to chuck one end in drill, tie the other end
off, get it under good tension, and give it a twist. Again, cold
worked and it gets stiffer. (Though in that instance it’s much
easier to just buy extra-hard wire in the first place.)

-Spider


#4

Sally’ Depending on what metal your using you can harder it in a
casting oven… gold wire will work well if you take it to 600
degrees and ramp the temperature down gradually. Karel


#5
Depending on what metal your using you can harder it in a casting
oven... gold wire will work well if you take it to 600 degrees and
ramp the temperature down gradually. Karel " 

I have been told that I can stress-relieve 14k gold by holding it at
450 to 500 degrees for 1/2 hour then allowing it to cool slowly. (I
have been having problems with 10 ga. wire bracelets work-hardening
when the customers take them on and off frequently)

So, now I am confused…it seems to me that the two procedures are
rather similar. Are they, or is there something I am not
understanding?

Edward


#6

Edward, we quench gold to relieve stress. There is a problem with
some additives such as silicon which we never seem to be able to
fully anneal. Because of this when casting large gents rings we tend
to use a rolling alloy in the event that size may become an issue. In
regards to my post we have completed neck wires hardening as
described… Karel


#7
            Depending on what metal your using you can harder it
in a casting oven... gold wire will work well if you take it to 600
degrees and ramp the temperature down gradually. Karel " I have
been told that I can stress-relieve 14k gold by holding it at 450
to 500 degrees for 1/2 hour then allowing it to cool slowly. (I
have been having problems with 10 ga. wire bracelets work-hardening
when the customers take them on and off frequently) So, now I am
confused...it seems to me that the two procedures are rather
similar. Are they, or is there something I am not understanding?
Edward 

Who ever told you this has got it a little wrong. You are actually
hardening the gold by a process called precipitation hardening. If
you heat gold copper alloys (yellow or red golds) between 150C and
400C (302 F to 752 F) you allow a precipitation of an ordered copper
gold structure at the edges of the gold alloy crystals that makes it
less ductile and harder. the times and temperatures for each alloy
vary somewhat but you are definitely making it harder by this low
temperature treatment (called aging). You can find more about this
in the book from the 2001 Santa Fe Symposium on Jewelry
Manufacturing Technology ( in a paper by Mark Grimwade titled “The
Nature of Metals and Alloys” it is available from Rio Grande

Jim