Wire twisting kit

Awhile ago, I found an Orchid member’s site that offered a simple
“kit” for twisting three strands of wire together, including a video
that showed the kit in use. The artist made lovely jewelry by
braiding twisted wires together, reminiscent of seamen’s rope
braiding and tying. Can anyone point me back to this site? I thought
I’d bookmarked it, but can’t seem to find it now.


That’d be Loren Damewood. Here’s the URL of his website:

Elliot Nesterman

Loren Damewood’s

Ill point you in the right direction but the rest will be up to you.
Twisting metal, wether its round wire or flat strip or even angle
section iron, right up to 1in dia square section steel, like Albert
Pailey, of the American blacksmiths association, is best done if you
use some kind of help from tools. Starting with round wire say,
1/16th in thick times 2, an ordinary bench vice to hold one end of
the 2 wires and a low geared, hand drill will work fine with a piece
of coat hanger wire bent in a loop held in the chuck…

Then for thicker wires say, 1/10th in, the same bench vice but using
a carpenters brace, this is a direct drive tool which will put muscles
on your chest.

Once you go to 3 wires at 1/8th in thick and more, you wont do these
by hand, but need a engineers lathe se to one rev every 2 secs
holding the metal in a 3jaw chuck with big ie 2ft long draw tongs
holding the other end resting on the tail stock.

This will take your arm off if your not careful!!. Albert Paley used
a ships mooring capstan to twist the steel he uses in his extrodinary

Look him up to see how far twisting can be taken!!.

Theres a trick done by old iron smiths, they take a 1ft section of
1in by 1in angle iron and twist it( red hot of course) when cold you
wouldnt know from what it was made.

If you show it to a young iron smith, he wont work out whats it made
from, if you however show it to an old smith, he will guess it right

As for braiding its hand work all the way, and will be very hard on
the hands.

I had a comission to replicate the Namibian silver twisted bracelets
made from Maria Theresa silver dollars,.

That took some working out, with lots of experiments using copper
wire from transformers to get that specific wire lay. Im not saying
how that was done. If you want to go down that path, its been done
before so it can be done again.

Theres a lot more to wire twisting than the brief outline above. How
far you can take this technique will be up to you.

have fun.


That’s pretty cool. Can you use the same sort of thing for a seven
wire twist? I have had nothing but trouble just trying to twist them
together with a hand drill.

Stephen Walker

I also found something on:

That's pretty cool. Can you use the same sort of thing for a seven
wire twist? I have had nothing but trouble just trying to twist
them together with a hand drill. 

I can imagine! Yes, the same sort of thing could be done with seven.
Are you talking about six wires around a seventh as a core? I could
probably do a one-off die to control the wires for such a cable
twister, if you’re interested.


Missed the original post regarding the wire twisting kit. Others have
ID’ed the kit. I’d like to suggest investigating The Ashley Book of
Knots by Clifford W. Ashley for the source of much of what Damewood
does. I just took a 2 day class from Mary Lee Hu in which she covered
a lot of wire twisting ground. Lisa Van Herik also works extensively
with wire twisting. Great Wire Jewelry by Irene From Peterson is
another book that illustrates wire work. For braiding that is less
destructive on the hands one might consider Kumihimo Wire Jewelry by
Giovanna Imperia.

I just attended one of Mr. Damewood’s workshops. I am sure he could
do a seven wire. He travels during the summer doing workshops and
you might have him in for a few students.

Thank you as well for your informative Utubes. Someone that is not
afraid to share knowledge gets referrals they do not even know about.


Stephen, (and others),

I became curious about the idea, so I created a die for six outer
strands and a core. It’s tricky to work with, but the resulting cable
looks pretty nice. I haven’t heard back from you about whether that
was the pattern you were after. The wire I used was 0.015" and the
resulting cable is about 0.050". I suppose that could be calculated
in advance, but just measuring it before and after works for me. :slight_smile:

Now to decide what to do with a few feet of approximate 16g cable. It
feels good to run through your fingers, very smooth, very flexible.

Here’s an image for you:

I think if I’d started with 0.010" wire it would’ve come out to
about 0.032", my usual preferred size for rings. Might have to make
myself a new ring just to see how it comes out…