How to Make Loops Quick and Easy
Have you ever made a piece of jewelry and wondered how you were going to wear it, either as a pendant or an earring? Well today I am going to “throw you for a loop”…. ok, not really, but I am going to show you how to make loops quick and easy out of silver (or copper or gold) wire so you can attach them to a bail, a chain, or an earring.
The wire that I am using is approx 1.3mm or 16 gauge. I have reduced this wire down with a Draw Plate, so it is work hardened therefore I am going to have to soften the wire a bit before I work with it. This is done with a process called annealing which makes the silver softer again. For a definition and tutorial of annealing, click on this link and it will take you to another lesson. http://jewelrymonk.com/annealing
After the silver wire is softened again, I find a piece of Brass Rod the size I want the inside diameter of my loops to be. In this case I am using a rod that is 3mm in diameter. I take the brass rod and insert it into my #30 Foredom Handpiece and tighten it. I also take the silver wire and bend the very end, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of it at a 90 degree angle and insert it in between the jaws at the end of the handpiece.
Warning! If you are not comfortable with using a foredom motor to do this task, you can bend the silver wire around the brass rod by hand, just add firm pressure and turn the wire around the brass rod to the end. I don’t have the patience to do this, plus I like anything with a motor….. (we can talk about my other hobby of racing cars another time) If you are going to try this with the motor on your foredom, PLEASE either use a pair of leather gloves or Leather Finger Tips to protect your fingers because the very end of the wire WILL DO DAMAGE to your fingers… I promise!! Run the foredom motor as SLOW as possible and keep firm and constant pressure on the silver wire. Again, Protect your fingers with leather gloves or leather finger tips.
I keep an assortment of twisted wires around in different thicknesses and different sizes. It is handy to have them around because I am always in need of a loop for something and it is so quick to just grab one and cut a loop off with my Saw Frame.
I can’t say this enough, we have jewelers of all skills visit the JewelryMonk site, and if you are not VERY familiar with how your foredom works or not very comfortable with its operation, please twist this wire by hand, it only takes a few moments longer and will be safer.
As always, Thank you for stopping by and helping to make the JewelryMonk community a special place. Feel free to browse some of the other tips, I have been doing this for a few months now and there are over 100 posts by now. Feel free to share the site with your friends and be sure to sign up to get the posts delivered to you via email.
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