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Tumbler for hardening wire shapes

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  • Tumbler for hardening wire shapes


    I'm hoping to start making some of my own findings and frames/shapes out of wire. I obviously need to harden the wire in some way to keep the shapes I make. I know I can get myself a steel block and chasing hammer to hammer it lightly to harden it, but I've read that you can use a tumbler to harden the wire as well. I don't know anything about tumblers at all except that I think they're mainly used for polishing jewellery. I don't know where you can get them from, how much they cost or even what they look like!

    Bearing in mind that I don't really think I *need* something for polishing in particular, do you think it's a bit OTT to get one just for wire hardening or will I be fine just with a block and hammer?

    Thanks for any info you have as I am totally clueless about this!

  • #2
    A tumbler and shot will cost you over £100. A block and hammer (if it's just for hardening you need a nylon headed rather than chasing hammer) will be less than £15!

    You can also just put your pieces between the pages of a book or mag and whack them from the outside


    • #3

      I've tried the wacking between book pages method and it didn't seem to have any effect at all. I think I will just bite the bullet and get myself a hammer and block then.

      The only reason I was considering a tumbler was seeing some posts on an american site with people mentioning prices like $45 for a cheap one. I guess as with everything else the americans get everything much cheaper than us!


      • #4
        just found this.
        "You've Got to Keep Your Mind Wide Open" - AnnaSophia Robb
        my Folksy shop Goldy'sclearoutblog debaynewebdesign


        • #5
          If its only for small items Ive used a small kids rock tumbler that you can get from Argos, a National Geografic one, I think there about £20. you would have to get some shot to go with it, but the tumbler is supprisingly efficent. The bigger rock tumblers I have are noisy and messy to use.

          I also use a isotonic cleaner on metal and sometimes to split rocks with fractures, Ive been told in the past that these also harden metal, not positive maybe msgeorge can help to confirm whether this is true. But its a very handy piece of kit
          Last edited by urbtaf; 04-04-2009, 10:54 PM.


          • #6
            Or you could use a burnisher on a steel block. That works better than hammering cos it doesn't alter the shape of the metal. All you do is rub the metal burnisher hard along the length of the metal, turn it over and do it again. I expect you could do the same thing with the back of a teaspoon or any smooth rounded shape metal item.
            Best wishes



            • #7
              I was wondering about tumbelers as well after reading that they cut down on polishing and harden your wire, but I too know nothing about them or what you put in with them or anything. When I was a child I remember I used to have a small one that was for smoothing and polishing rocks and being facinated at how smooth and shiney they came out.


              • #8
                You could try nylon jaw pliers on flattish things. Bit time consuming but inexpensive. And before I got those I folded the wire in some material to protect it and then squeezed it a few times with my flat nose pliers and that seemed to work!