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Using wire as pearl post


#1

Hello all.

I have a newbie question if someone wants to chime in. When using
wire to make a pearl post, how do you guys and gals straighten them?
(When I but wire it always comes in coils, of course.)

Do you use a draw plate? I don’t have one right now so is there
simpler way to do it?

thank you,
Rick in Cocoa Beach.


#2

Hi,

If you can anneal it then I cut off sections put one end in a vice,
hold the other end with draw pliers and very gently pull, not tug. A
steady leaning back. It does reduce the gauge but only by about
0.01mm if you stretch by the barest minimum, ie just until it
straightens.

Hope this helps.
Leza


#3
When using wire to make a pearl post, how do you guys and gals
straighten them? 

Put one end in a vise and pull on the other end with draw tongs or a
very firmly clamped vise grip. Pull until the wire stretches a bit (I
would do a couple feet or more at a time, ideally). It will be
straight.

On a note you didn’t ask about-- I like to use square wire. I twist
it fairly tightly, until it looks almost like a screw. And that’s
what it is! If it’s just the right size, it will literally screw into
the pearl, though I would still put epoxy in the joint. Even if it is
too loose to screw on, the “threads” provide extra grip for the glue.
It has decorative uses as well.

Have fun!
Noel


#4

Rick- Place one end of your wire in a vise. Grab the other end with
some draw tongs or heavy pliers and give it a really good yank.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer
www.timothywgreen.com


#5

The quickest way to straighten round wire is to twist it. Chuck one
end in a drill, clamp the other in a vise and twist. When the wire
snaps at the nose of the drill chuck it will be work-hardened and
straight.

However, you shouldn’t use round wire for pearl posts; there’s not
enough purchase for the adhesive. You want to either thread the wire
or twist square or rectangular wire to get spiral grooves. The
simplest way to get a spiral post is to flatten round wire in a
rolling mill and then twist the flattened wire to get a spiral.

On a related note; does anyone still use pearl cement? I think I’ve
got half a stick kicking around in a box somewhere. Just curious.

Elliot


#6

Richard,

That’s a good question.

Your suggestion about using a drawplate to straighten wire will
certainly work, but it will reduce the diameter of the wire you have.
If you want to keep the wire the same diameter, then just make sure
your wire is annealed well, put one end in a securely mounted vice,
and crank the vice tight on the end of the wire, so the wire is
horizontal.

Take the other end and grab it with a draw tongs or vice grips, and
pull hard until you feel the soft wire stretch slightly.

You’ll have arrow-straight wire when you’re done. Each end will be
crushed, one from the pliers, the other from the jaws of the vice,
but the rest of the wire will be perfectly smooth and straight. It’s
a pretty fast method, as well. Just make sure your wire is well and
evenly annealed for maximum softness, and you should see a uniform
straightening in the wire. The larger gauges of wire will be
trickier, as they are not easy to hand pull.

Jay Whaley


#7

The easiest method I know is to put one end of the wire in a vise,
grab the other end with a pair of draw tongs or pliers with serrated
jaws, and pull. For short pieces, you can just straighten it with
smooth jawed pliers, being careful not to nick or damage the wire.

A great newbie exercise in wire working is using nothing but your
fingers, straighten a paper clip into a length of round wire so it
rolls perfectly on a piece of glass, and then bend it back into a
perfect paperclip. Easy to say, tough to do.

Dave Phelps


#8

For straightening wire, I can’t believe that no-one has mentioned
the twistmethod. Clamp at one end, grip the other in tongs or a
hand-vice, and then twist the wire clockwise, then back to zero,
then anticlockwise, and back to zero. Number of turns depends on
length and thickness of wire. Works better than pulling on it, unless
you are working with fine silver.

Jamie Hall
http://primitive.ganoksin.com


#9

two quick things- you can use a standard 3 dollar hardware store
nail/screw guage as a crude drawplate just lube it well with wax
(beeswax0 and hold it securely in a vise or equivalent.( no matter
who may post a reply to this disagreeing - it works and works well !
) 2ed- you can make a nice,temporary drawplate from wood using a
drill and various bits to drill holes that correspond to the guages
of wire you buy then go down using the B&S system to reduce wire at
will, lessening the number of guages you have to buy.Always anneal,
then draw through the lubricated plate held in a vise or against two
vertical lengths of cold rolled steel rod held in a bench or board
mounted securely in place by drilling holes in the wood ( or whatever
substrate you have) to set them in. I have antique wooden drawplates
that work as well as any costly sapphire lined models…and I started
out drawing tube through a screw guage…hey, it had pre-punched
holes in a sheet of metal and though i had to use a lot of wax it
made tubing perfectly well…rer


#10

i’ve used heavy duty wood clamps to hold draw plates on door jams
and pulled wire using that set up.


#11
two quick things- you can use a standard 3 dollar hardware store
nail/screw guage as a crude drawplate just lube it well with wax
(beeswax0 and hold it securely in a vise or equivalent.( no matter
who may post a reply to this disagreeing - it works and works well 

some comments. Those guages come in both metal, usually steel, and
really cheap plastic. Don’t expect to draw wire using a plastic screw
guage. The steel ones would be capable of it, perhaps crudely, as RER
says. And you could improve the performance by using a tapered
cutter, like a cone burr or tapered reamer, to open up a chamfered
edge on once side, so the hole slightly tapers. The plastic ones
might have some use drawing things like knitted or interlinked
chain, and maybe in the making of tubing, but not likely to work well
for actual wire. But most of the plastic screw guages I’ve seen are
too thin and flimsey to work well. If you want a plastic one, pretend
you’re making a wood one (see below), and use a decent piece of
delrin at least a quarter inch thick, and preferably closer to a half
inch thick. Other harder denser plastics work well too. Nylon might
be too soft, and the stuff they make the plastic screw guages from
sometimes is pretty hard but also rather brittle and easily
cracked…

) 2ed- you can make a nice,temporary drawplate from wood using a
drill and various bits to drill holes that correspond to the
guages of wire you buy then go down using the B&S system to reduce
wire at will, lessening the number of guages you have to buy.Always
anneal, then draw through the lubricated plate held in a vise or
against two vertical lengths of cold rolled steel rod held in a
bench or board mounted securely in place by drilling holes in the
wood ( or whatever substrate you have) to set them in. I have
antique wooden drawplates that work as well as any costly sapphire
lined models...and I started out drawing tube through a screw
guage...hey, it had pre-punched holes in a sheet of metal and
though i had to use a lot of wax it made tubing perfectly
well....rer 

Again, a couple comments. Wood drawplates do indeed work, and are
sold even today, usually for use in shaping chain or drawing tubing.
They can have the advantage of leaving less of a tool mark/striations
on your metal than would steel drawplates, especially the lower cost
ones with poorer finish to the holes. Note that the wood ones sold,
and most likely RER’s antique ones, are not made of just any old
wood. It kind of needs to be pretty hard wood. Pine won’t work. I
used to have one (maybe still do, haven’t seen it in quite a
while…) that I am pretty sure had been made of ironwood, or sure
seemed to be something that dense. but I’ve also seen certain harder
rosewoods and ebony used, as well as hard maple and similar. And
there are other hard, dense, heavy woods, all of which would be good
candidates for trying this. Whatever wood you use, make sure it’s
thick enough, and you space holes far enough from the edge so the
wood won’t split. Also graduate the sizes of holes as closely as
possible, so the difference from one hole to the next is slight, at
least if you plan on trying to draw wire instead of tubing or chain.
And finally, given the hardness of wood as compared to metal, don’t
expect good performace with a wood drawplate if you’re drawing harder
metal. Fully annealed silver, or high karat yellow gold, will work.
But I’d be very surprised if you could get an 18K nickel white gold
to do anything other than enlarge the holes in your wood drawplate,
even if annealed.

And finally, I’d suggest that if you’re going to go to the effort of
making a wood drawplate, unless you have a specific reason for
wanting it to be wood, if you’re planning to draw solid wire, not
tube or chain, you might be better off making your drawplate in
steel, not wood. It’s not much more work at all. Even mild steel can
do a passable job with softer wire, and if you use any sort of
hardenable carbon steel, you can produce a plate that’s not much
worse than any of the less costly commercial ones (like the ones from
India and Pakistan…)

Also, for drilling holes for a drawplate, I’d suggest a set of
"numbered" size drills, rather than fractional inch sizes. The
numbered sizes are closer together in size. Metric drill sets close
enough together would be good choices too. I mention that because
many of the less costly smaller fractional ince sizes have spacing
that both varies, and is often a bit too much difference in size for
a drawplate.

Peter


#12

Straightening wire

Assuming round wiRe: for short lengths you can roll it between a
steel bench block and an anvil or two bench blocks. For longer
lengths you can straighten and harden by putting it in a vise and
pulling and twisting the wire till it snaps.

Good Luck!
Mary Ferrulli Barker


#13

I have heard of Jamie’s suggestion to strengthen wire by twisting it,
but I have always twisted only in one direction. Do other Orchidians
twist both clockwise and then anticlockwise (or vice versa, of
course)?

Janet in Jerusalem


#14

I was totally amazed to hear of wooden drawplates from
R.E.Rourke…:-)…! Thanks! I never would have guessed they would
work well. Do you know what kind of wood the antique ones are? I
imagine it would have to be a very hard wood.

Janet in Jerusalem


#15

i have two, 1x4x4 steel plates that i straighten short lengths of
wire by rolling. the wire is sandwiched in-between the steel and
rolled back and forth. hth


#16

My wooden draw plate is a cut of Red Oak board about 10 inches x 12
inches x 7/8 inches. I went to the local Lumber Yard and had this cut
from one of their scraps. It is mounted in a vise on a cottonwood
stump. I have drilled a sequence of holes to pull the woven chain
through. I use vise pullers to pull the brass wire starter ends for
the Sterling Silver Chains I weave. A version of Viking Knit.

Rose Marie Christison