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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip

Question:

Wire purchased by the foot usually arrives loosely coiled in a plastic bag which gives cut segments a natural curve that I can never straighten with nylon tipped pliers. This is especially difficult with half hard square wire. How can the curve be removed so the wire segments are flat and straight?

-Yvonne in Waldorf, Maryland

Answer:

Yes Yvonne, all of Wire-Sculpture’s wire, from 1 foot to 50 feet, or even more, comes hand-coiled; this is because the wire begins in a coil and as it is milled into whatever gauge, it naturally coils. This is also an easy way to store it for everyone involved in the process! (Excepting color-coated craft wire, which the manufacturer spools)

Nylon jaw pliers are not allowed in my classroom, as using them is not the best way to straighten wire! (I can hear students laughing now.) It doesn’t matter what shape the wire is, or what gauge or temper! Wire is best straightened by hand.

Straightening by hand doesn’t take a lot of strength – actually, too much strength can ruin it. If you will watch this video on Straightening Wire, you will see how easy it is; sometimes even calming. If you would like lots of practice and more detailed info, DVD #1 in the Beginner’s Series is perfect!

Just remember, take your time and “counter the curve” with your fingers, making the wire straight. It makes sense if you think about it. If the wire is curved in one direction and you roll it over the edge of your finger slightly against the curve, it becomes straight! Practice makes perfect.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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