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  • Softness of wire??

    [content removed]
    Last edited by waitingformagic; 02-07-2009, 03:03 PM.

  • #2
    Coloured copper craft wire is usually soft but it hardens up when you are using it. If you find it is still soft you can harden flat pieces by tapping with a soft hammer - so the coating doesn't come off - or by putting it between the pages of an old note book and tapping with an ordinary hammer it doesn't take too much effort or time.
    Sterling comes in dead soft, soft, half hard and hard. I use soft for twisting and stuff that needs bending a lot and half hard for anything that needs to hold it's shape like clasps and ear wires. You can easily harden this wire in the same way.

    Melanie

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    • #3
      Wire

      I use dead soft sterling silver wire for wire wrapping gemstones as it moulds easily but silver plated copper wire to make cages for them. I think you would need a hard wire for your figure of eight but sometimes hard wire can be a bit brittle and snap so you may need to experiment a bit.
      Chris W.
      x
      Gemstone Jewellery and Gifts

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      • #4
        For a start, I wouldn't bother using anything higher than sterling silver as I don't see any major advantage and the general public are only familiar with 'sterling'
        As for the softness/hardness issue, I'm not sure what you mean when you talk about fig. of 8 connectors, I'm assuming you mean just a loose shape (fig. of 8's are safety catches to me) If that's the case, then I wouldn't recommend the soft wire as it doesn't have much strength. I use it all the time but I am looping the ends and spiralling them down to secure so have no problem. I hope this makes sense and helps a bit
        www.silverrainbowjewellery.co.uk

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        • #5
          If you are only bending the wire once or making larger loops I would go with half hard. If you are doing wrapped loops or making small spirals then you would be better with soft.
          I use pure silver - generally sold as fine silver - for my own earrings because I have a severe allergy to anything else. It does not get as hard as sterling and will bend out of shape quite easily. I don't mind re-shaping them but no good to sell.
          I usually use .8mm for most things - like ear wires - and it will go through the holes of most beads and 1mm for connectors or S clasps.

          Melanie

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          • #6
            Out of interest Silvermaid, what is your allergy to? The reason I ask, is that I've not sold anything in the last 6 years or so to people with severe allergies, that have had any problem with sterling silver. An EU directive was brought out in 2000 restricting the amount of nickel(which allergies are usually from) within metals inserted through the body and this seems to have helped.
            www.silverrainbowjewellery.co.uk

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            • #7
              I bought mainly soft silver and one metre of half hard for earrings. The HH ican be a bit springy and I prefer the soft for smaller loops, It really is easy to harden the soft wire, and a lot of the time it will harden as you uncoil and use it just like your copper wire. So if you only want to get one, soft wouild be my choice.

              Teallach - I'm not really sure what my allergy is. I had my ears pierced at 21 with gold studs and wore SP, GP, sterling and gold quite happily. Then I started to have itchy weepy ears with SP so I switched to GP and sterling mainly with occasionaly 9ct gold.
              About 15 years later I started to get a reaction with GP and even 9ct gold. then five years on Sterling as well. If I put a pair of SP earwires in by mistake for only a minute I get a reaction ( itchy weepy holes for a few days) but found I can wear fine silver for a few days with no problems at all. I have no other allergies at all, just my ears. A lot of the time I don't wear earrings.

              Melanie

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              • #8
                Originally posted by silvermaid View Post
                Teallach - I'm not really sure what my allergy is. I had my ears pierced at 21 with gold studs and wore SP, GP, sterling and gold quite happily. Then I started to have itchy weepy ears with SP so I switched to GP and sterling mainly with occasionaly 9ct gold.
                About 15 years later I started to get a reaction with GP and even 9ct gold. then five years on Sterling as well. If I put a pair of SP earwires in by mistake for only a minute I get a reaction ( itchy weepy holes for a few days) but found I can wear fine silver for a few days with no problems at all. I have no other allergies at all, just my ears. A lot of the time I don't wear earrings.

                Melanie
                I've never given it much thought before but I'm actually the same, lol. I very rarely wear ear-rings and when I do, it's usually 18ct. But now you mention it, whenever I push silver ear-rings through the hole and take them out again, it becomes irritated and yucky Can't believe how little thought I've ever given that
                www.silverrainbowjewellery.co.uk

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                • #9
                  For the figure of 8 in sterling I would use hard, its safer when pulled it is less likely to come apart, but I think most would find hard difficult to work with so half hard will most likely do the job. You could always use soft and solder the joint.
                  At the end of the day its best to get all three in small amounts and experiment

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