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Straightening Sterling G6/G8 Wire


#1

Hello

At present the G6/G8 sterling wire that I order comes from coils,
i.e. slightly bent. I want to work with sections that are completely
straight, as in rods. I’ve tried correcting the curve with protected
pliers, protected vice and the rolling mill but I can’t get a
perfectly straight, unmarked finish (especially with shorter
sections) and it would be so much better if I could buy the wire
completely straight in the first place. Is this possible? If anyone
could help with some ideas that would be great.

Best wishes
Judy


#2

Hi Judy,

Try straighten short sections of round wire as best you can with
soft jawed pliers. Then place the wire between two boards on a hard
surface. Roll the wire back and forth between the two boards while
putting pressure on the top board. It is like making a long roll or
snake out of soft clay by rolling it back and forth on a surface with
the palms of your hands.

David Luck
627 Center Street
Iowa City, IA 52245-3008
319-351-5840
www.davidluckjewelry.com


#3

Judy,

Producing straight rod from wire coil is an industrial process, and
requires machinery. A tool can be made to hand pull small wire, but,
it would have to be machined with many components, only worth while
if you are doing a lot of production. The process involves counter
bending the wire many times, fluidly across it’s enter length.

Daniel Culver
@Daniel_Culver


#4

Hi Judy,

I've tried correcting the curve with protected pliers, protected
vice and the rolling mill but I can't get a perfectly straight,
unmarked finish (especially with shorter sections) and it would be
so much better if I could buy the wire completely straight in the
first place. 

Here are a couple of quick easy ways to straighten wire.

  1. Cut the length to be straightened. Add about 2 or 3 inches (50-75
    mm).

  2. Clamp one end securely in a vise.

  3. Grasp the other end firmly in a pliers or vise grip pliers.

  4. Give the wire several sharp tugs.

If the previous method doesn’t work here’s another method. This
method should only be used on round wire. If it’s used on other
shapes of wire the wires shape will be altered.

This one requires the use of a drill. An electric drill works best,
but a manual ‘eggbeater’ type will also work.

  1. Cot the length of wire to be straightened. Add about 2 or 3
    inches (50-75 mm).

  2. Clamp one end securely in a vise.

  3. Form a small loop on the other end.

  4. Secure a cup hook or a hook you fashion yourself in the chuck of
    the drill.

  5. Place the loop in the end of the wire over the hook.

  6. Draw the wire taut with the drill.

  7. While holding the wire taut, run the drill.

Stop after a little while & inspect the wire. If it isn’t straight,
continue.

Both these methods will ‘work harden’ the wire.

I’ve successfully straightened & hardened lengths of wire up to
about 30 ft (10m) using this process.

Dave


#5

Judy,

Try asking your supplier to send the wire to you straight, not
coiled. I bet they will do it; they will probably charge you for the
labor and it will have to come in shippable lengths.

Let us know what you find out.

Kay Taylor


#6

Why not buy your silver in rods?

Richard


#7

Judy,

There is a way to get wire VERY straight, but it will get a bit work
hardened in the process, possibly requiring cutting it into some
lengths that you can easily anneal.

To straighten most any wire, all you have to do is twist it. Put
one end of a length of wire, 10 feet, 500 feet, what ever, into a
power drill (often on smaller wire it works to make a loop i the
wire and put the loop on a hook in the drill, or in your cast, try
putting the wire in a power hand piece). somehow attach the other
end of the wire to something that will NOT allow the wire to turn (a
nail on your desk, in a vise on your desk, in a vise -grips held by
a friend, something). Then just twist the wire while keeping the
wire relatively straight, you do not have to pull it tight or add
tension, just get the looseness out if it. Twist until it is a
straight as you want it. I have done this with all sorts of wire on
the farm and in art work. Hope it works a well for you as it has
for me.

John Dach
http://www.MLCE.net


#8

If you have the space either buy or make a drawbench, there was a
posting by Trevor F, a while ago, I think, explaining how he made his
drawbench. I have an Italian one which has served me well for the
past 30 years. I buy my stock wires and tubes, then draw them down to
whatever thickness I require. Along with some rolling mills I think a
drawbench is an important tool for a serious metalsmith, who does not
want to be limited to standard stock metal sizes, I do a lot of
antique restoration work and need a multitude of various thicknesses
of tube, wire and sheet.

The method for straightening wires is as follows.

  1. anneal the wire if it is hard

  2. grip the wire in a strong hand vice,

  3. position on the drawbench with the free end of the wire in the
    draw tongs and the vice held end secured behind the drawplate posts.

  4. gentle turning the drawbench handle will straighten the wire,
    turn until you feel the tension against you, then reverse the handle
    slowly, releasing the tension and you will have a perfectly straight
    piece of wire. My Drawbench is four feet long so I can safely
    straighten three feet wire lenghs.

This method works with thick walled tube also, but the tube
dimension will decrease slightly.

I am pleased that my posting about “Thoughts on the future of my
trade” added some interesting answers. Thanks to all for the kind
comments on my orchid gallery photos. I did send Hanuman some more
but I think that three pages on the gallery is my limit.

Peace and good health to all
James Miller


#9

Try putting the wire between two steel blocks. I use a larger one
(150mm x 150mm) on the bottom and hold a smaller block in the palm of
my hand and roll back and forth over the wires. It takes all kinks
out and helps workharden a bit. I show this technique in Vol 1 Art of
Granulation.

Ronda Coryell
ronda@rondacoryell.com


#10

Hi Judy,

Cut a length of the wire a little longer than you need, hold one end
of it in a firmly fixed bench vise and the other in a pair of grips
and pull like the devil. As you stretch the wire it will straighten
and the more force you apply and the longer you pull for, the
straighter it will get.

Best wishes,
Ian
Ian W. Wright
SHEFFIELD UK


#11

Hi Judy,

why don’t you buy straight rod? In the UK we can buy it from the
suppliers off the shelf.

Richard


#12
why don't you buy straight rod? In the UK we can buy it from the
suppliers off the shelf. 

Hi Richard, and everyone who has replied to my posting.

I’ve learned lots and am trying out the various recommendations, and
I’ve downloaded Trevor F’s on how to make a drawbench but
that might be a bit ambitious for me at the moment. I’m finding it
quite easy to straighten the thinner guage wires but not had much
luck yet with the heavier guage. It seems that I am twisting the
wire, rather than straightening it - but I’ll keep practicing.

I did email one supplier, Rio Grande, to see if they could supply
straight wire but I didn’t get a reply.

But I’ve now done some serious Googling, especially in UK, and found
a British company, Argex Ltd, that supplies straight rod in round and
square hard silver. I’ve contacted them and waiting to receive a
quote. If you can recommend any other suppliers in the UK that would
be really helpful to me.

Best wishes and many thanks for your replies.

Judy