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Twisting metal wire and "soft solder"


#1

Hello all, this is my first time to post a question, actually I have
two questions. First, how does one go about twisting a square wire of
14kyg approx. 14" in length, 12 guage, and keep the “twist” even
throughout the length of the wire?

Second, what is this “soft solder” I’ve seen other jewelers using? It
looks like lead solder to me but they tell me it is “silver
bearing”.Some jewelers are using it to solder ss charms onto ss charm
bracelets and repair costume jewelry. Another has used it to solder
14kyg bezels(w/dias set in them) to 14kyg wheat chain. The customer
changed her mind and now wants the bezels to slide free on the chain,
how do I remove this “soft solder” from the chain? Is it contaminated
or is this the latest in soldering and I’ve just missed the boat?


#2

My favorite way of twisting square wire is to put one end in a bench
vise and the other end in the chuck of a hand drill. I twist the
drill until the wire is twisted to my liking.


#3

Before twisting wire, it’s a good idea to anneal it, put one end in a
vise and use a draw tongs to stretch it taut . Then when you twist it
at high tension, you get a much more even twist, especially with
square wire .

I get great results from the wire twisting tool (Rio Grande Catalogue
p.241 or Harbor Freight catalogue every so often).Perfect twist
every time once you get the hang of it. Dee


#4

Hello Vance, I’ve done the square wire twist (with sterling) using
two adjustable crescent wrenches. Anneal the wire, then secure the
ends of the wire, one in the throat of each wrench. Since the wrench
jaws are parallel, they will hold without significant marring. Then I
simply mounted one wrench firmly in a vice, and rotated the other,
keeping the wrenches as parallel as possible. If you have some copper
or scrap silver, give it a try to get the feel. The twisting came out
very uniform, except for the ends in the wrenches of course.
Hope this helps, Judy in Kansas - it’s still hot & dry!!