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Thread: Ear wire hardening

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Ear wire hardening

    What is your favourite method for this and what can you expect wires to hold up to? I mean trod on sure it'll bend but heavy headphones? (At least that's what she said).

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  2. #2
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    Ugh Tapatalk won't let me edit the subject misspelling or delete and repost! Too early, too much wine yesterday.

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  3. #3
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    Default

    I mainly use Argentium so I cook them in the oven until tender, oops that should be hard

  4. #4
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    The traditional way is to twist them with smooth pliers, a quarter turn every 3mm or so. They will then be resistant to bending under moderate pressure, but continuous flexing would eventually cause a stress fracture.

    If they are being stressed while in place, it would probably stretch the ear lobes in time, so dont go crying to me if it does, tell her.
    Dennis.

  5. #5
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    Perhaps she should take them out for big headphones, I’m not sure that falls under the responsibility of the jeweller in the handbook of normal wear and tear

  6. #6
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    Jul 2017
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    I usually bash ear wires with a rawhide hammer, sometimes with a planishing hammer if I want them to look different as well as be hardened.

    But, given enough stress/pressure ear wires will bend.

  7. #7
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    They were a present and I don't know how they got bent as she was being sheepish but they felt firm to me but I probably should have hardened a different way not just the tumbler. I'm finding it tricky to get the shapes I want and keep them that way for the new ones I'm making. Doesn't help I've misplaced my flat nose pliers, just waiting for pay day.

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  8. #8
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    I use a hide mallet and form them over a triblet of a big drill bit for uniformity. Once there is a ping when I pull them slightly apart then I think they are hard enough

  9. #9
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    Jul 2009
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    A tumbler really doesn't harden at all - perhaps a little on the top layer, but certainly not all the way through. The 'bashing' action of the shot isn't enough, even if tumbled for a long time.

    Work hardening, either by hammering or twisting is the only real option, especially if they've been annealed - and those in the picture look like they've got balled ends, so have been very much annealed!

    Like others, I tend to go for argentium and heat harden - nicer balls too!

  10. #10
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    Mar 2011
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    Time to try some argentium then I think! I've not done much of the ball ends before

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