Posts filed under ‘Wire’

Straightening Headpins and Wire

When you order headpins in bulk, they can arrive looking like a bird’s nest.  To straighten them out, you can roll them between two surfaces.  The Wire Whacker is a good tool for this, as it is made of a heavy plastic which will not mar the headpins.  Another great tool to straight headpins (or any wire for that matter) is the nylon-jawed pliers that I call “Mr. Smoothie.”  For light headpins, a nylon-jawed chain-nose plier would be fine.



January 27, 2008 at 6:53 pm Leave a comment

Twisting Wire with a Pin Vise

Prin Vise

A pin vise is a handy tool – above is a picture of a typical 2-ended pin vise.  Each end is capable of holding wire, one end will hold thicker wire than the other.  In my eBay store you will find this pin vise, a micro drill bit set which not only works as a pin vise but comes with  tiny drill bits you can use for enlarging the hole on pearls and other beads, and there is also a 3 piece pin vise set which will give you more size options.  Here is a “how to” from the now-defunct Wire Artist Magazine:

Twisting Wire

(From Wire Artist Jeweller – April, 2004)


Understanding that wire hardens as you work explains the two different techniques used to twist wire. To twist a length of soft wire, place about ¼” of one end into a pin vise and hold the other end with your flat-nose pliers. While keeping the wire straight and moving the two tools together in the same direction, roll the pin vise down the length of your thigh. Pick the pin vise up and repeat several times until you have the degree of twist desired. The wire will twist evenly along its entire length. (In effect, you have taken a soft wire and worked it to about half-hard wire.)


However, starting with a 2# (half-) hard wire requires a different technique. Beginning at one end, slide your pin vise along the length of the wire, stopping about 2” from the other end. Tighten the vise and hold the top of the (small) end with your flat-nose pliers. Twist the section between the tools by turning the vise until you achieve the degree of twist desired. Open the vise and slide it back along the wire about 1-1/2”, tighten the vise and then move the pliers over on top of the last few twists in the wire. Again, turn the vise until you have the same degree of twist between the two tools. Repeat this process along the entire length of the wire. Be careful not to over-twist the wire, as it may work-harden to spring hard and break.


January 19, 2008 at 3:48 pm Leave a comment


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