Wirework Tools

Chain nose pliers have jaws that are flat on the inside and usually rounded on the outside. The flat surface of the jaws allows you to put right-angle bends into the wire. 'lhc rounded outside surface allows you to make rounded bends.

Rat nose pliers can also be used for bending wire. These pliers are not rounded on the outside of the jaws.

Flush cutters have angled jaws that allow you to cut off the wire very accurately. When cutting, you'll find that one side of the cut wire will be straight and the other side angled. You may need to have mote than one pair of cutters. If you use a variety of wire thicknesses, you will want to have heavy-duty cutters for your thicker wires, like 16-gaugc and a lighter-weight pair for your other wires.

Looping pliers have one round and tapered jaw like round nose pliers, but the other side is concave and fits doscly to the round side. These pliers arc helpful in creating jump rings and coil», as the fit ol the jaws assists in bonding the wire around the round side.

Nylon jaw pliers have jaws that are molded from nylon. These pliers arc useil to smooth wire out before use by lightly gripping the wire with the nylon jaws and pulling the wire through. You can also remove unwanted bends in most jewelry weight wires by repeatedly pulling the wire through the nylon jaws after unbending the wire as much as possible with your fingers. This is a valuable tool for beginners, as it enables you to reuse your expensive wire if you do not like how rhc bends look.

Flat metal file allows you to file the cut ends of always, always file the cut wire ends as you cut them. It is so much easier to get into this habit as you arc learning wirework. | Filing the ends of your wires is a sign of good workmanship and attention to detail.

Frvm l(ft: Round r.ott pliers. ■¡M<n hmc pliers, flush eutters, ¡copingpliers, and nylon jaw pliers.

When cuttinw o wire, be sore fo hoW the cutters away from you-foce and cover »he tool with vour other hand. This will prevent any extremely ihorp pieccs ot v/|rc from flying unexpected!, through the olr like a chompagne cork!

Round nose pliers have rounded jaws, just as the name implies. Use round nose pliers to create loops and curves in wire. Most round nose pliers'jaws taper to a point, which allows you to vary the size of your loops and bends.

Additional Tools

These tools are not used as frequendy as the plters and cutters, but arc very effective if you are creating elaborate pin es or making quantities of jewelry.

Bead reamer is a tapered round file that is extremely helpful for opening holes in beads if they arc too small for your wire or are irrcgulariy shaped.

Stringing Magazine ImagesStringing Magazine Images

Needle tool helps in picking up extremely small beads and in bending metal crimps to round.

Needle tool helps in picking up extremely small beads and in bending metal crimps to round.

Nylon-faced hammer has a replaceable surface that will not mar the finish on the wire. Although more expensive than the metal hammer, this tool offers more versatility in use since the two faces can be used for entirely different effects.

Twist n Curlv is a simple tool that makes coiling wire and creating wire beads extremely easy. The rool consists of a handle and a mandrel with a threaded end. The threaded end is screwed into the handle to anchor it. A hole is located in the handle to anchor the end of your wire, lhe Twist n Curl allows you to save costs and time in makingjump rings to coordinate with any jewelry piece, especially if you're using colored wire.

Wacketdown" can be used as an anvil for hammering wire and will not mar the wire surface. Additionally, you can place a complex-shaped wire piece onto one of the Wacketdown pieces and literally whack it flat with the second piece. This compresses and work-hardens the wire all at one rime, and it eliminates the "creeping* that occurs when hammering a wire piece from one end to the other.

Wig Jig* is a tool that allows you to easily reproduce an element again and again llie Wigjig is a transparent plastic block that has many holes drilled through it, forming a grid pattern. By placing pegs into the holes, you can wind and bend wire around the pegs to create multiples of the same shape, such as earring wires. Because the jig is clear, you also have die option of drawing a parrern on a piece of paper; placing the jig over the pattern; inserting the pegs at the bending points (there are pegs of varying diameters); and shaping your wire.

cr. like the one shown in the accompanying photo, well as a rounded face. Both faces of the

• can be used to : harden wire. : ihe wire with face of the ■ compresses , causing it to . Ihisishow i ensure your : will nor pull f dupe while worn, rning the wire en a clasp in an earring Hammtrmi .1 wok ('uup uork^mrdtit it.

1 work-hardening wire, be sure to flip the wire piece 1 »mke both sides of the piece. If you don't flip the piece icring, the to curve. , if your wire r tus places where : crosses over 1 the wire t with a small piece r. The leather 1 prevents the becoming and weak from ¿on in die

Tutt "S" /wfc irire das ft: rhe clasp on the riglx hat bee« hammered to nork-harJen it.

Class beads by ^ Barbara Becker Simon.

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