Saturday, May 12, 2007

Working with Wire

The pict above is a piece of rebar tie wire that I turned into an eye. I just used a dowel and pair of pliers. You really need a good pair of pliers to work with rebar wire. I used a wooden dowel and wrapped the wire around it. I used a pair of pliers to tighten the wire around the dowel by clamping down where the two ends met. I used the pliers to wrap one end of the wire around the neck of the eye. I used a hammer and bench block to flatten the eye part of the wire. Hammering wire flat like that strengthens the wire. I got the rebar tie wire from Home Depot. Just ask someone their for it. It was actually in the construction area in the HOme Depot by my house. The Wirework magazine I mention below will give you step-by-step instructions on how to make an eye and clasp out of wire.

I needed to get away from my family for a few minutes, so I went into the garage to patina some metals. I did not realize that I had so much wire. I use so much of it that I buy it whenever I see it on sale or in the gauge that I need. I have a preference for copper wire, rebar wire, and gun metal. I work usually with 18 or 20 gauge. 16 gauge is too hard for me to bend. Rebar is a harder wire to work with but it looks so good when you are done.

I am not very good at soldering so I cold join most of my stuff. I do that mostly with wire, screws, or rivets. I also use eyelets more now since the Crop-a-dile has made it so much easier for me. I no longer have to worry about waking up my family at night from tapping on the eyelet setter or making that "pinging" noise from some other brand of eyelet setter.

I just looked at a couple of magazines that can get you started on working with wire. One of the magazines is called Wirework. It is put out by Bead and Button magazine. What I like about it is that it addresses a lot of wire basics and the instructions are very visual. They have step-by-step instructions with pictures. I saw the magazine today at Borders. The other magazine is called Step by Step Wire Jewelry. My primary reason for buying it is because there is an article on Richard Salley in it. Their instructions are also very good.

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