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Topic: shaping wire  (Read 768 times)
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RachOfTheJungle
« on: May 23, 2006 03:55:06 PM »

I am trying to think of a clever way to shape wire into a neat semi circle or into a neat circle (for headbands and tiaras) for a new businessy-type venture where I need to make a lot of one item.

Does anyone have a clever solution? I've thought of a coffee can maybe, but do you guys have any hints? Thanks!
« Last Edit: May 23, 2006 04:02:05 PM by RachOfTheJungle » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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Mikaiyawa
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2006 12:47:10 PM »

build a jig with a bit of plywood a compass (to mark the circle) and some nails (to use as something to wrap against)?

I'd lay out my circle or ellipse on the plywood with pencil then every half inch or so tap in a small nail all the way around.  that would let me do an identical wrap every time...

If you had a BIG wig jig you could do the same thing...

Mieka
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funkyjunkdesigns
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this is made from a bicycle innertube!!


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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2006 02:54:20 PM »

First thing you have to do is determine the type of wire you need.  You have to be sure that it strong, and has springback.  You can't use just plain old craft wire, copper, or sterling  etc, as is unless you're a metalsmith, you won't be able to make it strong enough to keep its shape and to spring back.  If you use it without working it correctly, it will just break from overuse.

I have a couple of suggestions:

Buy premade metal headbands and then bead them, they work as both a tiara base and a beaded headband
Use necklace sized memory wire and bead it, this has great springback and will stay in shape
Make closed circlets that don't have to be stretched to fit a head (I suffer from huge head genes), but rather sit on top of the head and are beaded.

FJD
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kitschkitty
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2006 10:24:01 AM »

OK, tiara bands may be longer lasting, but they will cost more, so there is no reason not to use wire.

Regarding which wire to choose/use you will need a larger gauge for it to keep its shape well.

Wrapping it round a cylindrical item (like your coffee can) is the beast way to go. You can also wrap your wire round several times like a spring and cut at the right points to save time, rather than make 1 circle at a time. Wrap it around something slightly smaller than the size you want it to be to keep it springy.

You then need to gently hammer it with a hide or rubber mallet to work harden it this will stop it from bending so much and keep it's shape.  You can do this with copper, plated and artistic wire as well as with sterling (it is just easier to gauge the results you ill get working with sterling) and you don't need to be a metal smith, it's really quite easy.

You will only break the metal if you over work it - to do that you would have to bend it back and forth lots of times, or over twist or hammer it etc, so don't worry.

Also dont forget to file the ends smooth or to form small loops etc to avoid pointy ends.

I would recommend you take a look at wigjigs site for info on what gauge of wire to choose.  http://www.wigjig.com/jewelry-making/pg21.htm http://www.wigjig.com/jewelry-tools/WJU/techniques/measures/pg03.htm   Smiley
« Last Edit: May 26, 2006 10:27:55 AM by kitschkitty » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2006 04:34:08 PM »

OK, tiara bands may be longer lasting, but they will cost more, so there is no reason not to use wire.

I'll disagree with you.  As a metalsmith for 30 years who makes her living designing and manufacturing jewelry, using anything other than about a 12g or lower wire, will NOT allow simple forging to help a piece to keep its shape as a tiara or headband for more than about one wearing.

Tiaras can easily be built on a plain metal headbands which are very cost effective.  You will never pay less using copper, brass, sterling and making it yourself ... especially if you pay yourself a living wage...and I don't mean minimum wage.  Sterling hard wire is the only one that has any real measurable springback, but again, it has to be in a high gauge, and will NOT survive the rigors of using it as a headband.

Memory wire, which I personally would never use for anything, allows you to make both a tiara/headband, that can then be worn as a necklace.
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RachOfTheJungle
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2006 12:10:08 AM »

Thanks for all your very helpful advice, ladies.

I appreciate the time and effort you all take to help fellow crafters out, I am so touched! Craftster is so great in that way, so giving! So sharing!

:::takes Oscar:::

Anyway, I'm going to try everyone's advice and check out how it works. I'll post a link to my experimentals!

Thanks again!!
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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2006 01:35:08 PM »

Hmmm I think I was thinking headband as in a circlet for a mini tiara/head dress that would be pinned in the hair not as in an Alice band type headband, where the wire will be under constant pressure.  Smiley

For inspiration you might to look at these tiaras made in anodized aluminiumCheesy
« Last Edit: June 01, 2006 01:45:33 PM by kitschkitty » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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RachOfTheJungle
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2006 03:12:42 PM »

yeah I meant the kind that you pin to your hair, not the springy headbands that we all wore in the 80s! :-)
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