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December 3, 2012
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tools :D

Didn't fit in the title :D


It is not difficult and it does not cost a fortune. All you need is a strong will to create, any other problems can be solved :)
You may find some of the advice written here ridiculous but this is how i began so i'm speaking from experience
- intro over :D -


MATERIALS

If you are a complete beginner i would highly recommend using cheaper metals such as copper, aluminum, anodized aluminum or lacquered copper. You will ruin some to substantial quantity of wire while learning. Don't let that bring you down; it is normal and everyone who makes jewelry has gone through that phase :) So, unless you are wealthy, get the cheapest wire possible and experiment. Learn how it behaves. If you bend it 3 times will it break? What pressure is the best to hold it tightly without marring it with pliers? I learned on the cheapest wire available so i did not have to think THAT much about the money i was ruining with my failed attempts. You can get these in most craft or hardware stores. And online.

Another benefit of the cheaper wires is that if you use lacquered copper and manage to make something beautiful without damaging the lacquer you will be great with precious metals because you will learn how to work with the wire without damaging its surface. If you get good at that it will save you loads of time (you will not have to file and polish the damaged parts and your pieces will look neat and uniform).

TOOLS

1. Pliers
Another thing you can get from any hardware store. I got mine for about 18$, a set of 5. I would recommend the ones from the hardware stores because they are sturdier for this price than the ones you can get in craft stores. But that's true for Croatia, you should check in your town if you are not sure. My point is that they are cheap :boogie: And for starters you do not need all 5 of them (flat nose, flat bent nose, round nose, combination and the ones for cutting). You only need the flat nose and round nose pliers. That is quite enough for a beginner and should not cost over 7$
Just check that they're not flimsy (squeeze them as hard as you can and if they don't bend - buy them)

2. Cutting tools
You have them already :D You can cut thinner wires with old scissors and the thicker wires with plain nail clippers. If you need to buy nail clippers get the bigger ones and check that the blades are flush. There should be no over or underbite. I used a bunch of cutting tools so far and nothing has beaten the plain nail clippers yet

3. Hammering tools
Also known as hammers :slow: haha :D You do not need an anvil. You need a bigger, flat faced hammer and a smaller one. They are cheap in hardware stores. Try getting the ones which have smooth faces because every groove on them will transfer onto your wire while you hammer it. Use the bigger hammer as an anvil. Don't get the insanely big one but a reasonably sized one so you can use it later when you do get a proper anvil. If you can get a cheap anvil or a smooth block of metal by all means do buy it, if not - all jewelry i ever made was hammered with nothing but two hammers :)

4. Filing tools
Again to the hardware store! :la: A set of 5 or 6 needle files (the ones used by locksmiths) can be bought for as little as 5$. You can go crazy and invest 100$ but you do not need that just yet. You will need these files to smooth out the edges where you cut the wires, to make earwires, to file out any marring on plain copper or aluminum, etc. Cheap ones will do just fine. I know because that's what i still use and you can see it works :D You can also buy sanding paper but i have no experience with it so i can't tell you anything helpful about it.

5. Polishing tools
A cheap nail polisher! :typerhappy: They start at about 6$ on dealextreme.com and you get several drill/polish bits with it. You do not need an expensive drill or polisher right away. This is all i used for years and i still do when i don't feel like setting up the big evil drill (i call it evil because it can't go under 15.000 rpm so it is quite dangerous to use). These small nail polishers run much slower so you can not hurt yourself while you learn how to use them. You will get one or two fleece bits in the set - those are used to get a high polish. They do work by themselves but you really should use a polishing compound or you will ruin them very quickly. Polishing compounds can also be found online in small packages for several $. I think i'm using jewelers rouge but i'm not sure because a friend gave me a chunk of it and it had no labels on so i'm just guessing. Another thing that is useful and can be bought for not much are polishing cloths. That's the final touch. There are many out there and each jeweler prefers one or the other so you have to see which one you like the most. But if you do the job correctly with the polisher you will not need these right away.

These are all the important tools a beginner should have. Well actually you don't even need the hammers or the polisher at first, that depends on what do you want to make. You know what they do and you can decide if you need them or not :)

If i think of any more (or if you do just tell me in the comments) i will add them here
Or if you guys have any advice for beginners just write them in your comments and i'll add them here


So, this ends our 'Materials and tools' part of helping people who'd like to start being creative and make wire jewelry :hug:

Other topics will be covered in other journals. If you have any requests just write them in the comments, i'll note them down, see which questions are most popular and write more journals
Also, when i finally finish all the commissions and aliens i will make some tutorials and there will be freebies! :la: YAAAAAY! :typerhappy:

Ooh, and if you have an uncontrollable urge to follow me elsewhere you can do so on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IMNIUM , Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/IMNIUM and pretty much all other pages on the internet where you can have a profile :D I'm always Imnium

Have a great day! :glomp: :heart:
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:iconlost-in-the-day:
Lost-in-the-day Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2013  Professional General Artist
Really useful to know, thank you very much!
Reply
:iconxenaris:
Xenaris Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012
Very well explained. And even if you are not a beginner: For those of us who don't want to make high-class-jewelry but something of the cheeper kind the coloured wires are a wonderful (and affordable) thing to play with. :)
Reply
:iconmakerofshinythings:
makerofshinythings Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
I'm not exactly a beginner, but this is very helpful! I have problems with tool marks and it never would have occurred to me to practice using lacquered wire. Also, nail clippers = brilliant. they're so much less expensive than good wire cutters, and having just tried it, they seem to actually work better!
Reply
:icongadiena:
Gadiena Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
Very interesting. Especially the nailclippers and using the big hamer as an anvil!
Reply
:iconhharleman:
HHarleman Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I'm just starting to get my feet wet with this kind of craft. There's a lot I don't know, so thanks for the help! :D
Reply
:iconbodza:
Bodza Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
Very useful!
I've shared it on my FB!!
Reply
:iconidlemoment:
idlemoment Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
This is wonderful! And kind of you to share so much info. I'm not a beginner, but not nearly as good as you. About sandpaper, 400 grit wet and dry works well in place of a file (for deburring the ends of earwires, etc.). I use some bead reamers I got free, too, for filing.

I also use a hammer for, well, hammering! A sturdy slate tile works well to hammer on. And there are lots of things you can hammer on for texture, too. Coins, porous but hard rocks, tiles, and so on.

I started out with a pair of round nosed pliers (after I learned normal ones with teeth were BAD) and a pair of side cutters lying around from an electronics shop. I love the idea of nail clippers, though, since mine are getting really dull.

Thank you so much for sharing this! :D
Reply
:iconastridbruning:
AstridBruning Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
thankyou for the information :hug:
Reply
:iconmagpie-poet:
magpie-poet Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
That's awesome, I've a second or thirdhand drill that I'm nervous using, I might look into a nail polisher, thanks!
Reply
:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Most informative. :)
Reply
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