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Topic: Copper wire used by electricians  (Read 845 times)
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« on: April 17, 2008 04:47:40 AM »

I hope I'm asking this in the right place.  We are having our basement wired, and there are many bits of copper wiring lying around that are going into the trash.  Being a crafter, I am trying to think of uses for the wire, but I know copper tarnishes.  Is there a way to treat the copper prior to crafting with it?  Thanks in advance for your help.
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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2008 09:32:29 PM »

Short of sealing the copper with a spray varnish (AFTER making whatever it is you're making) they'res not really any way to keep copper from tarnishing. If you do spray varnish, keep an eye on it as wear and tear will chip the varnish.

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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2008 08:27:02 AM »

It's very easy to remove the tarnish - just drop it in a solution of vinegar and some salt!
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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2008 09:43:36 AM »

Thanks for your help!
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2008 01:55:12 PM »

I've also been wondering about this, since I've made a few pieces with leftover copper wire. Since there are copper beads and findings available in bead shops, I've always assumed they used a special varnish.

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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2008 07:31:35 AM »

I use electrician's wire all the time for jewellery Smiley - I can get 50 meters for $10 versus about ten meters for $6 at the jewellery supply, and it's the same stuff! Mine does acquire a patina but it's easy enough to polish up when you want.

(I may try the vinegar/salt solution too - thanks Hello Color!)

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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2008 10:13:29 AM »

Lemon juice also works as a cleaner. If you've got a chain or something you can't really varnish a coat of beeswax (usually sold as furniture polish, though make sure it's pure beeswax) will slow down the tarnishing and also help protect your skin from going green if the copper will be in direct contact with it. You'll have to clean and re-coat it every so often cos the wax will obviously wear off, but if you've got moving parts it's a better solution than varnish cos it won't stick the parts together.
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