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Bavarian Beads
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Author Topic: Copper wire  (Read 2162 times)
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Nikki
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« on: October 20, 2014, 03:37:06 PM »

Not sure if I am putting this in the right place so feel free to move it.

I have been asked to make some headpins with glass at the end to match some beads for a customer, I have seen other people make a bead right onto the end of copper wire but I have no idea what wire to use and if I would be able to hold the wire or will it get too hot. They are not going to be big so I don't want thick wire. Can anyone suggest the best wire to use?

Thanks
 Smiley
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dinah46
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2014, 04:54:50 PM »

For headpins on copper wire I use between .8 and 1mm copper wire ( I generally get it on the reel from wires.co.uk)
I have previously used a small pin vise to hold the wire but my favourite holder is a cheap craft knife with the blade removed as I find it easier to release the wire to get the headpin in the kiln.
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GaysieMay
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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2014, 05:49:20 PM »

I use .8 copper and use a crocodile clip on the end of a thick mandrel.  Smiley
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Nikki
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2014, 07:05:00 PM »

Thanks for your help. I have some copper wire and I think I have found a vice that might work, will have a go.  Smiley
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the lady with the lamp
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« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2014, 05:26:00 AM »

Hi there is a tutorial on a blog called isinglass that shows you how to make them,very clear pics and directions im sure its on blogger you should have a look hope that helps you regards Parin.
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Nikki
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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2014, 08:17:57 AM »

Thanks Parin, that is a great blog some really interesting things and a great tutorial for the head pins. I am looking forward to having a go.
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Nikki
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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2014, 06:40:30 PM »

Okay I have made the head pins and am very happy with the results but I have heard I need to tumble them, I have a tumbler but was wondering what you use in it. I was thinking of stainless steel shot but its quite expensive, does anyone use anything else?
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Enchanted Cobwebs
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2014, 07:20:51 AM »

tumbling will make the wire shiny but you need to get rid of the oxide on the metal first, I use safety pickle from cooksons but  I'm sure there are other alternatives. I use stainless steel shot, mild steel is cheaper but you need to dry it thoroughly or it goes rusty (hairdryer works a treat). Just remember that all this motion will harden the wire. I find the glass headpins stand up to this well too
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Nikki
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« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2014, 07:28:35 AM »

Thanks for that, I have cleaned the wire so it looks clean but not very shiny and it is very soft so the main thing is to harden the metal and I hope add a bit of shine. will give it a go. Thanks
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Shirley
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« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2014, 07:55:57 AM »

Have a look at Manchester Minerals for the shot. It's a lot cheaper than some other places, although you need to watch out for shipping costs.
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myrica
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« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2014, 10:14:36 AM »

Could I jump on your thread and ask a related question please?

Is it best to garage headpins and other items made on metal or is it safe to cool as usual and batch anneal? I wondered if the addition of metal would cause more stresses in the glass and/or different rates of cooling.
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Nikki
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« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2014, 05:29:51 PM »

I garaged my first lot and batch annealed the second lot to see what happens, I will let you know if they survive the tumbler.
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myrica
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« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2014, 07:45:13 AM »

Thanks; I hope they survive!
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spexy
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« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2014, 09:29:30 AM »

I pickle mine and then just wipe the wire with a brillo pad to make it shiny. I don't harden them as it makes them easier to wire wrap if they are soft.
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Nikki
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« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2014, 07:56:59 PM »

Headpins have now been cleaned and tumbled and all survived even the tiny raised dots so very please. I didn't find any difference between the batch annealed and the garaged all survived the tumbler so very happy.
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