3 Tips For Getting the Best Jewelry Making Tools For Wire Work

Anyone that wants to make great wire work jewelry needs to have the right tools. Many newbies to jewelry making — and even some of us who have been doing this for awhile get a bit intimidated when it comes to the world of tools. Some jewelry makers actually get a bit stubborn, and attempt to make one single tool work for every possible configuration. It just doesn’t work! You really do need a variety of tools for best success.

Here’s my best beginners’ tool list (and a frugal minded one at that) for wire work jewelry:

* The most important first: your pliers- flat-nose, chain-nose, round-nose

* A good quality pair of side flush cutters

* A good, smooth steel plate (this is a terrific substitute that is less expensive than a steel bench block)

* A hardware store hammer

* A small nylon or rawhide mallet

* A flat file (can find this at either the hardware store or a hobby store)

* Fine steel wool (for cleaning and polishing)

These tools will help you master wire work jewelry and create many beautiful pieces of jewelry.

Now that you know what you need, you might be wondering where to get these things. Here are some tips so you don’t waste your money:

Tip #1:

Great tools can be found at the hardware store. “The hardware store?” you may ask, “that’s where the light bulbs and ladders live.” But no my little chickadee, you can find some of your jewelry making tools at the hardware store. Remember that you’ll be working with wire and that wire is stiff and hard. It makes perfect sense that your perfect tools would live at the hardware store, just waiting to be found. Get a hammer, flat file, steel wool and a nylon mallet — all at the hardware store! Best of all, often your hardware store jewelry making supplies will be less expensive than traditional craft store supplies!

Tip#2

Pay for quality so you don’t pay for mistakes. This may seem funny to say after tip #1, but there is a time to spend the money. Here’s where to spend your money: pliers. Never EVER get your pliers from the hardware store. Here’s here you need to splurge on the specialized stuff.

It seems like many wire work jewelry makers scrimp a bit on their pliers (been there, done that!) so they have extra money to spend on supplies. But this is just like charging something on your credit card so you don’t pay cash: not really a great bargain. You need quality pliers to see you through every wire work jewelry-making project that you do. If you purchase the cheapie pliers, you’ll soon have trouble getting them to perform for you. There is nothing more frustrating than working on a great piece and having your tools not work as well as you do. The key to cutting costs is to know when – and pliers ain’t the place to save. When it comes to pliers, you’re wise to purchase quality tools that keep up the pace!

Tip #3:

Wire work jewelry making kit tools can be a great deal. But you do need to investigate exactly what is included in that kit. Many craft kits are created so they can be given as gifts or purchased by a beginner who may not completely understand what they need. We’ve already talked about exactly what tools you need. So if you see a wire work tool kit that includes lots of great pliers and a hammer or other tools for a top-notch price, then that is a good deal. But if it doesn’t have the above tools and includes different types of tools then it is created for doing different types of jewelry and will not be useful for what you want to do.

Wire work jewelry making is very dependent on having the right tools. The more informed you are about your tools — the stronger your jewelry making skills become.

Happy wire working!

Christine Gierer is a self-taught jewelry maker and web master who enjoys sharing her knowledge with others. For great jewelry making and business articles, tutorials, tips and ideas, visit http://www.how-to-make-jewelry.com

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Jewelry Making Tips – Getting Started With Wire Jewelry Making

 

Making wire jewelry is a popular and rewarding hobby for many people. It can however be confusing to beginners who are just starting out. This article will introduce you to the various tools and materials you will need to get your jewelry making hobby started.

 

SETTING UP YOUR JEWELRY WORKSHOP

 

Whether you are making your own wire wrap jewelry as a hobby or you are starting your own business making wire jewelry, you will need to have an area that will promote creativity and enable you to concentrate. Spend some time planning and organizing your jewelry making workshop now so that you will be more productive when you get started.

 

Many of us do not have the luxury of a private workshop where we can escape from the noise and interruptions of our busy homes. This doesn’t mean you should lose hope and give up on your wire jewelry making dreams, it just means you will need to be a bit more creative with your space.

 

Try to find a place that is as private as possible, away from phones, televisions and other interruptions. Perhaps you can clear a space out in your garage or attic. Maybe you have a corner of a guest room or a spot in your basement.

 

Next you will want to consider lighting. Lighting is very important in jewelry making. Find a room near a window with lots of natural light if you can, but if you cannot find such a location, you will need to invest in a natural lighting alternative. There are special types of lighting and bulbs available that simulate natural sun light. Just do a search online and you will most certainly find something. Full spectrum bulbs are close to natural sunlight.

 

You will also need a way to organize and store all of your jewelry making tools and supplies as well as a surface or bench to work on. Professional jewelry benches can be expensive, so if you cannot afford one, visit a used furniture outlet, flea market, or good will outlet and purchase a bench there. Look for a sturdy solid wood desk that is wide and deep enough to give you plenty of space to work on. If it doesn’t have drawers, you can purchase an affordable organizer with drawers at any home improvement store. This can be used to store your supplies.

 

You will also need a chair. You should take your time when shopping for a chair as you will spend a lot of time sitting at your desk. You will want a chair that is comfortable and has wheels so you can conveniently slide around your workspace.

 

If you are unable to invest any money right now into buying your furniture, don’t let that stop you. Your kitchen table will work as a descent substitute. Many beginners get started that way.

 

WIRE JEWELRY MAKING SUPPLIES

 

Pliers

 

There are a wide assortment of pliers and cutters available for wire jewelry artists and each tool has its own purpose. Most professional and experienced wire jewelry artists will normally have a big collection of these tools on hand, but for a beginner it is not necessary. You will only need a few to get started. Pliers are made with various nose shapes and some are made fitted with springs. Springs enable the artist to control tension on the wire. Pliers are also available with nylon jaws that prevent scratching on the wire.

 

Flat Nose Pliers

 

These are excellent for holding, flattening and straightening wire. You can also use these pliers to make angular bends.

 

Round Nose Pliers

 

Round nose pliers are great for making bends, curves and for forming loops. They are also great for detailed and delicate work.

 

Flush Wire Cutter

 

A good flush wire cutter will cut through gold, silver, brass or copper wire and give you a flush even cut.

 

WIRE

 

Wire comes in a variety of different sizes, otherwise known as gages. Smaller wire has a higher gage number. For instance a 28 gage wire has a smaller diameter then a 14 gage wire. For your first wire jewelry pieces, it is probably best to begin with a higher gage wire, which will be easier to work with. Once you become more skilled at this, you can then start working with thicker and stronger wires.

 

Wire also comes in a variety of different shapes: round, square and half round. Round wire is a more popular choice amongst wire jewelry makers, but the other shapes can give your jewelry pieces a unique and interesting look.

 

Wire also comes in different degrees of hardness. Obviously softer metals are more pliable and easier to bend where as hard metals are stiffer and more difficult to bend and shape. Wire hardness is available from dead soft to extra hard. Dead soft wire is very soft and easy to work with. It is excellent for sculpting , but be careful with this wire. It is very soft and it can be easily damaged if not handled carefully. Hard wire is the most difficult to work with and manipulate, but it does have an advantage over the others as your jewelry pieces will be more durable and last longer.

 

Wire is also available in a variety of different metals. You have your choice of copper, silver, gold or brass. Copper and brass are cheaper than gold and silver. It may be best to start out with the cheaper materials until you become more experienced.

 

CREATING YOUR FIRST PIECE OF WIRE JEWELRY

 

Once you have found a good work area and have your basic supplies, its time to start practicing and creating your first piece of jewelry. In the beginning it will certainly be challenging to come up with your own designs, but thankfully there are many accomplished wire wrap jewelry makers out there to help you along the way. Go online or to your favorite book store and purchase a beginner book on wire jewelry making or invest in a home study course. There are great courses online that come complete with all the tools and instruction you will need to get started. You can even start your own lucrative home based business making wire jewelry.

 

I hope this introduction to wire jewelry making has helped and has gotten you excited enough to explore this craft in more detail. Happy jewelry making!

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