Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Twisting 14g argentium and 18k wire together


#1

Hi Orchid, Has anyone had experience twisting fairly heavy gauge
wire of different hardnesses together? I am making a pair of rings
from twisted argentium and 18K yellow gold. My concern is that the
argentium will twist around the gold instead of making an even twist
due to the different hardnesses. I’ve thought of hardening the
argentium and annealing the gold to bring them closer to the same
hardness but then I’m wondering if they will twist nicely or there
will be gaps between the two wires in the twist. I’ve seen this
happen even when twisting two pieces of 14g argentium, requiring me
to (very carefully) squeeze them together at red heat and then fuse
or solder them together. I’d rather not risk breakage by
manipulating the argentium at heat when working with 18k gold. Any
advice would be very welcome, thank you. Douglas


#2

The way to do it is to use two wires of each metal and twist them
together, then separate them and entwine the different metals
together. You end up with two perfectly twisted pairs of different
metals.

Gary


#3

I have never worked with either metal, but I have twisted lots of 8
and 10 gauge sterling silver, 14K yellow and/or copper wire
together. It usually twists just fine as long as you anneal it first.
Whenever I want to control how two or more lengths of wire twist
(even or progressively tighter), I put one end in the vice, the other
in whatever locking pliers I use and then carefully play a soft flame
over the coil as I twist it. You can control how the coil develops
with the heat of the flame. Is takes a little practice, but it
works. Good luck!..Rob

Rob Meixner


#4
I put one end in the vice, the other in whatever locking pliers I
use and then carefully play a soft flame over the coil as I twist
it.

How do you do a continuous twist with one hand…

Janet in Jerusalem


#5

Great idea, just make sure that you have same twist rate in both
pieces. Do you twist the similar metals a bit loose so that you can
snug up the twist once the different metals are together? Thanks.
Rob

Rob Meixner


#6
Great idea, just make sure that you have same twist rate in both
pieces. Do you twist the similar metals a bit loose so that you
can snug up the twist once the different metals are together?

Yes.

Gary


#7
The way to do it is to use two wires of each metal and twist them
together, then separate them and entwine the different metals
together. 

This is one of those “D’oh!” ideas (forehead slap). Thanks!!

Noel


#8

I guess that I have big hands. I use a small pair of vise grips and
can turn it with one hand. Remember that you have already done most
of the twisting without the torch and the twisting done with the
torch may just be a partial turn. Be sure to also pull on the pliers
as you twist so that the coil stays under tension. This is best
learned by doing it. Practice with a piece of copper. Rob

Rob Meixner


#9

One handed twisting can be done using a pair of safety wire pliers
such as used in aircraft maintenance. Rio, Gesswein, and Frei call
them Wire Twisting Pliers.

Mike


#10
I use a small pair of vise grips and can turn it with one hand.
Remember that you have already done most of the twisting without
the torch and the twisting done with the torch may just be a
partial turn. 

Rob, I thought you meant you do all of the twisting with the torch on
it…:-)…

Janet in Jerusalem


#11

You may also want to try the wire twisting pliers. These pull on the
wire while your twisting so they leave a very uniform/even twist.
Get the larger ones. They are much easier to lock closed than the
small ones. They also work much better than a drill.

Phillip Scott
Graduate Gemologist
Technical Support Specialist
Rio Grande, A Berkshire Hathaway Company
1.800.545.6566


#12

Sorry for the confusion. Others have suggested using safety tie
pliers. When I am twisting a long piece of 18 - 12 gauge twisted
stock, I just use an electric drill and and a large cup hook or bent
nail. Double over the cut ends of the wire (you may want to solder
them if you vise has a lot of play in it). The loose ends go into
the vise, loop goes over the hook. Pull the trigger. Make sure to
keep tension on the coil as you twist. When I am twisting a short
soldered loop of 12 - 6 gauge wire to make a twisted bracelet, I use
my locking pliers and the vise. The only reason to use a torch is if
you want an uneven twist or to even out an uneven twist that happened
because the wire wasn’t evenly annealed or, in the case of this
thread, the two wires are of different metal or size. Thanks. Rob

Rob Meixner


#13

Some of you have asked for video of how to twist wire. I like still
pictures with a written narrative better. Let me know if you
can’tview this pdf document or have additional questions. Thanks.

Rob


#14

I do the same as Robert. Only I use an old hand twist drill. I can
control the rate of speed of the twist better than with an electric
drill.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry

Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#15

If wire twists unevenly (usually tighter at the ends and looser in
the middle), you can simply anneal ONLY the loosely twisted parts
(on your soldering/annealing block) and then just hook it back up to
your drill (I strongly recommend a hand drill) and continue
twisting. The annealed parts will twist more than the un-annealed
parts. This is obviously much easier (and safer!) than annealing
with one hand while twisting with the other…:-)…

Janet in Jerusalem


#16
Some of you have asked for video of how to twist wire. I like
still pictures with a written narrative better. Let me know if you
can't view this pdf document or have additional questions. Thanks.
http://www.ganoksin.com/ftp/Twist.pdf 

Sorry for the typos. I got it out fast. Rob

Rob Meixner