View Full Version : steel or silver links

25-07-2020, 08:31 AM
I'm wanting to make an oxidised necklace for a beach found piece of pottery with bar links (eye pin ends) that are 1mm to 1.5mm in thickness, 1.5" long. I want a slightly industrial look. Either I go for steel wire or silver. I've never worked in steel, my worry would be that it would be incredibly difficult to work but on the other hand it's cheap in comparison to silver. I could get the wire from Wires.co.uk What do you think?

25-07-2020, 11:12 AM
If you want to try it in stainless steel, Sheena, then Smiths have it off the reel or in ready straightened Pieces.
If you anneal it , you will get a greyish look, but it will still be plenty stiff enough, particularly if you get it a bit thinner than you would silver. You can also polish it back to a brighter colour.

The last time I bought plain steel wire, it was from the 4D Model Shop. I haven't looked now, but they used to have it in thin rods. Annealed it gets very soft. Dennis.

25-07-2020, 01:18 PM
I never really thought you could anneal steel :) I'm tempted to have a go and see how it turns out. I want it to have quite a black look. Might check out the 4d model shop as it might be easier to handle if it's already straight, I think.

25-07-2020, 07:49 PM
I was called away, but now that I have verified my reply, I can say that You are right in that if you take the wire to red heat and quench it, it will become hard and brittle as you wouldd expect of steel.

However if you heat it to just dull red in a darkened place and let it air cool, it becomes softer, blacker, and much easier to work with.
The wire for my origami birds above measures 0.77mm and is stiff enough to resist accidental bending.