Wire twisting
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Joined: February 24, 2010
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Wire twisting
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Posted on Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:15 pm
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so this is something that seems one of the easiest parts of wire art, and yet it seems not so. I've twisted 0.02" stainless, 0.082" nickle, and a whole bunch of different sizes of copper, but I cant manage to twist 0.016 sterling silver. I've used the same wire for wire wraps and found no difficulty whatsoever, and yet as soon as i start turning the drill, the wire snaps off either at the chuck or at the round nose pliers i have the other side of the wire fastened to. I've tried every method i've seen to twist wire short of trying to twist it all by hand, which if i'd be forced to do, i just wouldnt.

anyone got any Idea why the heck this is happening? i've already ruined about 3 feet of the wire and at this rate i'll go through a whole ounce ruined in a day, not to mention the dented spool of bronze on the floor that i threw my pliers at...

Joined: August 30, 2008
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Posted on Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:24 pm
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I make twisted wire rings myself, so for what it's worth, I feel I have a decent amount of experience here... Though I'll bow out to someone like Loren, if they chime in.

I use a drill, and a vise... 20+ ft of wire means I can only hold one end... The import things are:
- Make sure the wire is centered, and not spinning off kilter
- Make sure you are using dead soft wire.
- Make sure you're not overspinning.
- Make sure one end of the wire is mobile.

Dead soft is important, as the tension put on the wire will actually harden it. Half hard, or full hard wire snaps in 30 seconds flat.

Spinning wire makes it SHORTER... You must keep tension, but you must also be willing to move one end of the wire very slowly closer to the other as it shrinks.


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Joined: February 24, 2010
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Posted on Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:18 pm
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I've twisted half hard nickle silver no problem, same with the stainless. the copper was also well work hardened before spinning, probably to about 1/4 if not 1/2 hard (stripped with a knife), and the sterling is half hard as well, but it snaps off instantly. it is centered. not using a vise, but rather round nosed pliers, as it's only 2 feet long i need twisted. no way i'm overspinning, as it unwinds back to neutral and perfectly straight after.

i'm also on a time imperative schedule on this, where i basically need it done this week, preferably by tomorrow. (once thew wire's twisted, i'd only need an hour to finish the finger ring), as it's a going away gift for my school's assistant director who's soon to be leaving the country

Joined: August 30, 2008
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Posted on Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:00 am
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Saradamon wrote:
I've twisted half hard nickle silver no problem, same with the stainless. the copper was also well work hardened before spinning, probably to about 1/4 if not 1/2 hard (stripped with a knife)


Stainless will take a little more to snap, it's just a higher tensile strength... Stripped copper, I'm assuming was electrical wire, and thus dead soft...
Basically: You got lucky... Twisting metal that's not dead soft is basically a crapshoot.

Saradamon wrote:
and the sterling is half hard as well, but it snaps off instantly. it is centered. not using a vise, but rather round nosed pliers, as it's only 2 feet long i need twisted. no way i'm overspinning, as it unwinds back to neutral and perfectly straight after.


If it's snapping and then just straightening right back out, your goose is cooked. You aint twisting that wire by mechanical means...
You could try hand twisting it, but even that may not word... Sorry Sad I know it's not what you wanted to hear...

When I twist silver, I *always* twist up Dead Soft Fine Silver...


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Posted on Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:54 am
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Yea... i was just thinking about how well it was working with wire wraps...

:/

but i sent an e-mail, so if he sees it, i'll know if i should just use dead soft fine silver, though this being 0.025", so i couldnt twist it and it'd have to be solid (i'd have used this from the start, but it was desired for twisted :/) or if I should just order some dead soft from Rio Grande with overnight shipping, which is kinda a waste of money, ordering only one thing. and at overnight as well, cause that'd jack the price up furthur and remove any benefit of ordering other stuff i need with it...

Joined: July 13, 2003
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Posted on Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:39 am
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This may not be of much help to your current situation, but it may be of interest to anyone who twists wire with any regularity.

A while back I did some hatch-watch work at a power plant, and when the guys were putting the insulating blankets back on some boiler components, I noticed that the 1mm stainless wire they were using was twisted perfectly. I commented to one of the guys, and he showed me the tool he was using, and twisted me a length to coil and cut for rings.
It was a little like a pair of pliers with a threaded rod running through the middle. The ends of 2 wires (or both ends of 1 wire) are locked in the jaws, and the wire is twisted by means of the threaded rod. (I cant remember the exact mechanism, but a pulling force was applied.)
When I asked where I could find one, he told me "you might be able to find one on the Mac (tools) truck." but he didn't know what the name of the tool was, it was just available from the company tool crib.
I've never bothered to try to find one, but the results were spectacularly consistent, and I cut some really nice rings from that length of wire. The closures were horrible because of the largish gauge, and the fact that where I cut the rings the wires were offset from one another, but i'm sure that can be overcome.


Too much confusion! I'm going metric

Joined: July 13, 2003
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Posted on Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:43 am
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This is the tool I saw but theirs was much heavier duty.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyjA69VVMoY&feature=related


Too much confusion! I'm going metric

Joined: August 30, 2008
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Posted on Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:11 pm
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Cipher wrote:
I've never bothered to try to find one, but the results were spectacularly consistent, and I cut some really nice rings from that length of wire. The closures were horrible because of the largish gauge, and the fact that where I cut the rings the wires were offset from one another, but i'm sure that can be overcome.


Yeah, you really need to sawcut twisted rings... And they're a pain to get to line up properly...
I usually waste the first inch or three of twisted wire when making rings...

Twist wire, coil a single wrap, cut, does it line up? No. Twist wire slightly more, coil a single wrap... etc.


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Posted on Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:30 pm
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i made 1600+ stems of a bead Bouquet for my sis-in-laws wedding,(still to happen) and twisted with nothing more then a drill and simple little brass hook in one hand and big but nose pliers in other to hold wire ends
Pull the trigger till desired twist, about 100 stems an hour and 15" long.

i did this with 14G galv to 24G enameled copper.

hear is a simple bead bouquet DIY for wire twisting.
http://visforvows.blogspot.com/2009/02/diy-crystal-bouquet.html

there was a really good wire twist DIY but GEOcities is gone,
along with every good old article with it!

cutting is up to you though, id have to be very slow and very low deformation,
a slow saw blade, motorized or hand, id say motorized less slipping and even pressure. i hope this helps some what, and good luck!

Joined: March 19, 2004
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Posted on Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:54 pm
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When twisting multiple wires together, most folks use a method that also twists each wire down its length, thus hardening and often breaking it.

My method allows the individual wires to "do-si-do" around each other, resulting in far less torsional stress in the wire and much better symmetry over all. I've never broken twisted wire while producing it.

Speaking of symmetry, I also use three wires, not two, because it's far more stable; considerably prettier, too.

You can see some older images, and a discussion, here:

http://www.golden-knots.com/twist.html

I now have some rather better tools for it, a somewhat precisely cut die for the top part and a much better arrangement for the lower section. I demonstrate twisting wire for every workshop, and I have to keep making more of the twisters because they sell out so often. :)

Loren
http://www.golden-knots.com/

Joined: March 11, 2010
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Posted on Fri Jul 09, 2010 5:59 pm
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interesting article there, im still a little confused on how you are making your twisted wire though.

Joined: February 24, 2010
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Posted on Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:03 pm
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ah, i see what you did there, Loren.

if you came up with that yourself, that's brilliant Razz

it's actually a bit ironic for your posting, actually, as the twisted wire was for the center strand of a turk's head knot ring Razz

though the customer was fine with a solid center strand and it has been completed and will be delivered... today, actually.

I will need to try that method, though, once I get around to needing to order another supply of wire. and i'll make sure it's dead soft rather than 1/2 hard this time Razz (i had it originally because I was thinking "if this is really small, i should be able to make jewelery well with it"... that was before I was introduced to the concept of micromaille and how it can be harder than using 1/4" rings Razz)

as well, if I may quickly note it, you stated on your site that you only know of one other who can produce 7 lead rings. Is that still true?

because you may need to change that in the future. I tied one yesterday (though only 1 strand) out of surgical steel. (i test for turk's head knots in steel as it's cheap and springy enough that once I make the ring, i can use it to both show the pattern of the ring, and I as well make it single strand as it's easier to re-size and thus use as a sizing method when meeting in person.)... that last span of it was notably the hardest with the hardening of the steel, heh...

though i still have far... far too much to learn on finishing the ring (attaching the wire ends) XD

(as on the two steel rings, a 5 lead and a 7 lead, that i've made i could only get it to work by twisting the wire ends together, which still isn't too practical to look at. I still dont get what is meant by folding over the ends either. though that is in a way how i finished the one for which this thread was made, by folding the ends over each other a few times and then flattening it, which seems to look rather well, though not nearly streamline.)

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Posted on Sat Jul 10, 2010 1:44 am
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You might note the parenthetical comment that in 2002 I ran into others who, inspired by me, have made seven-lead and even more complex rings.

One lady showed up for one of my workshops wearing a seven-lead ring and, when I asked about it, told me she'd made it the week before, practicing to take my workshop.

Yeah, I asked her the obvious question, i.e., "What the heck are you taking my workshop for?" She allowed as how she thought she might be able to pick up a few pointers, and we went to work. Good student, but about all I heard from her the whole time was "Oh, that was easy! It was _hard_ the way I did it... thanks!" I've been experimenting and avoiding doing it "the hard way" for thirty years, so it's nice to get that validation.

Yes, I came up with the twister from my knowledge of rope making, but the first comment I got from the guys who make rope and fibers was "Oh, cool, looks like the drop-spindle method." Uh, yeah, okay. ::sigh::

Nothing new under the sun.

Loren
http://www.golden-knots.com/

Joined: February 24, 2010
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Posted on Sat Jul 10, 2010 6:00 am
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could you happen to note any specifics of this "hard way"? and would the "not hard way" happen to involve flattening kinks before they bend over, thus not even indenting the wire to begin with? (holding the loop as the wire's being drawn under a prior lead and easing it smaller so it doesn't twist over itself)

and as for the drop spindle thing... I just goggled what those are, and that is exactly what your method is... except considerably less damaging than a conventional drop spindle would seem to be to wire, heh.


And i was reading through your site a bit more today that i probably should have been... (I say that as I awoke at 11, got to your site at about 12:30, and cannot remember leaving the site until well past 4...) I noticed some things i hadn't in the past, especially with finishing rings (wire ends), and I had never thought to continue the same strand around, through the entire know, three times XD. simple a method as it seems to be, the one ring I've made that wasn't single strand was 3 strand (as stated earlier), and started with 3 separate wires.

regardless, if you anticipate this discussion going on for an extended period of time, PMs may be more appropriate.

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Posted on Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:04 am
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Well, I've been doing it for so long that I have only vague recollections of the earlier problems that I had, and I have to depend on my students' mistakes for material. :)

Bending the wire ahead of time, losing control of it just at the critical moment when it's most likely to kink, losing track of which pathway through the knot is the current one, those all spring to mind. Oh, and trying to do either too much or too little in each tuck.

My first attempt at a ring is fairly easy to describe. I took a length of wire and tied a knot in it, in hand, and then tried to reduce the size by pulling the slack through, just as I would with string. Major mistake, never even got close.

I find PMs to be a pain, and much prefer normal email or normal forum messages. Much of what I impart in my workshops doesn't work in words, written or oral, and must be shown by example, sometimes even to the point of my having to guide a student's hands through some gestures before it makes sense. Most folks find my DVD to be very helpful, but still prefer the in-person workshop for the most effective experience. You're welcome to ask, but I can't always frame a useful answer.

Speaking of workshops, I'll be on the road again week after next, heading for Kansas City for a nerd convention and then to Raleigh for a science fiction convention. (Not the same thing as a nerd convention, arguably...)

I need to post my schedule so I can perhaps get some students along the way. My organizational skills seem to be getting worse over time, unfortunately, and I've left it way late.

Loren
http://www.golden-knots.com/

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