Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A tutorial!

Now you can make your own sterling silver earwires.  Handmade!  By YOU!

Here is a down-n-dirty tutorial about how to make your own earwires. Please note that I photoshopped my fingers to remove all cuts/abrasions/hangnails that are all part of being a jeweler.

You will need:

22ga sterling silver wire
1 pair chain nose pliers
1 pair flat nose pliers
1 pair flush cutters
1 pair flat nose pliers (not shown)
1 pencil
1 small piece of 400 grit sandpaper (not shown)

Step 1:  Cut off 1" length of 22 ga wire using flush cutters.  These are the flush cutters and wire, be careful when you cut, the wire likes to fly across the room.  Make sure it is pointing down at your workbench (or someone you don't like very much.  did I just say that?)

Step 2:  Sand the sharp edges of the wire flat.  Do this by holding the wire perpendicular to the sandpaper.  Hold it toward the bottom or else you will bend the wire where you don't want to.  Like so:

Step 3:  Make a loop at one end of the wire.  Put the tip of the round nose plier to the tip of the wire and hold it firmly (but not so firmly that you crush the wire-- this will take some practice).  Turn the plier so you make a circle out of the wire like this:



Step 4:  Almost there!  Put your pliers down and hold the loop in between your fingertips.  Take your pencil and wrap the wire 2/3 around the pencil like this:

Step 5:  Take your flat nose pliers and make a slight bend in the long tail part of the earwire, I usually make mine so it is slightly below the original loop.  Check it:


Step 6:  I promise, you're almost done and for being such a good reader I will give you a cool tip at the end.  Now clip it:

Voila!  You have made an earwire!  You can either sand it as I showed you before:




OR... you can use a neato tool that rounds the wire ends in a flash!  SURPRISE!  A cool tool trick, it's called a (duh) Wire Rounder and it is basically a cup bur that has been mounted in a wooden handle:


That's it!  Thanks for reading, hope you liked my tutorial.

6 comments:

SilverSmack said...

Great instructions! Thanks!

cooljewelrydesign said...

Steph, I even HAVE all those tools...loved it! Thanks... :-)

AdroitJewelers said...

Very good instructions!

Lisa @thebeadgirl said...

great tutorial. clear AND funny!

Made By Tammy said...

Very Cool! Great Job!

Claire said...

Hi Stephanie! We met last night at Etsy :) Just wanted to say, it was great meeting you and your work is really lovely. Have a fun weekend! - Claire