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Thread: silver wire bracelet

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    16

    Default silver wire bracelet

    Hello,
    I am new to jewellery making and in the process of ordering materials for a bracelet, but I don't know whether to buy annealed or hard silver wire. The main body of the bracelet I want to us 2mm round and the detailed design I was thinking of 1.2mm and thinner. Since I will be soldering throughout the design is there any point in using hard wire if it anneals when I solder?
    Also, if I use annealed wire, what is the best way to harden it so it keeps its shape when finished?
    thanks guys & gals,
    Geoff

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central London
    Posts
    8,419

    Default

    You are quite right in thinking that the wire will become annealed with the various soldering stages, so you might as well buy it in the soft state.

    The way to harden it if it is to be a cuff, that is to say rigid with a space to insert the wrist, is to make it in the flat and then bend it around a bracelet mandrel or rolling pin type object when finished.

    A complete bangle or jointed bracelet will remain soft, unless you want to try precipitation hardening as my attachment below.

    Two warnings:
    Get some copper wire to make a prototype first, and avoid expensive waste.
    You will need a large torch for a cuff or bangle, A hand held mini torch will not be hot enough. Dennis
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails P1 Precipitation Hardening (Ganoxin).jpg  

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    16

    Default

    hi Dennis, thanks for the info, it is much appreciated, Geoff

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Hello there. I am a new member, and delving into attempting to make sterling cuff bracelets.

    I have bought 5mm wide, 1.2mm thick rectangular wire, to which I am soldering/welding a light over clip, so that I can then later threat leather and horse hair through. Sort of like a top decorative layer - but I need to do this last so not to burn it of course.

    My question is, how do I harden the cuff? The curved ends aren't too bad, as they are quite stiff, but the rest of the cuff is still too easy to bend out of shape. I tried it in my oven at max temp (maybe 270 - 290 degree celcius) , it did bring the copper to the surface , but still didn't harden .

    I also tried hammering, but all it did was distort the shape, and leave a hammered finished, and again, wasn't any harder :-(

    I am about to order a piece of 7mm x 1.9mm sterling rectangular wire, but not sure if I will have better luck.

    Any advise is appreciated (and I unfirtunately do not have access to any fancy or industrial equipment - I use a butane hobby torch to my welding at the present on jump rings and the like).

    Thank you

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    2,068

    Default

    Do you have a cuff mandrel?
    I just shape mine with a nylon or hide covered mallet on the mandrel and find they are pretty work hardened by the time Im finished?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central London
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    Default

    Silver has a maximum hardness beyond which any further working will cause it to crack, particularly at solder joints.

    Now that you have had all that practice, it will be best to complete all the soldering on your new one, before bending it to shape , as Sara says, on a banlgle mandrel or other round object, such as a rolling pin.

    My recent example below was made of quite thin wire, but ended up sufficiently strong.

    You would also benefit by trying out unfamiliar designs first using copper, so as to reduce waste. Dennis.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails lc2  Lotus Cuff Flat.jpg   lc3b Lotus Cuff.jpg  

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    2,068

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