Hi all I have just joined this forum ( 5 min ago ) so here is a quick intro and my first question. My Name is Lockie from Australia I am a retired opal miner of 45 years mining and cutting all types of opals and gemstones. Please be patient with my typing and spelling as my mining and cutting trade far out way my Literacy and computer skills In the last few years I have started making my own jewellery to help sell the last of my collection, I am slowly getting the hang of things but need help getting that professional end result. I live in a remote part of Australia and advice is in short supply around here, so here goes. My work shop is extensive with most tools sourced online and are second hand but over the years have put together most things I need including a quality rolling mill.
My first question....Pulling 925 Stirling silver and gold wire: I have melted down from off cuts and old jewellery bits and pieces then rolled annealed until I have square lengths small enough to pull through draw plates to make my desired sized wire. This is no problem but when inspecting and working with the wire I am finding bures or barbs on the wire and some splitting when bending into jump rings and pendant making. Can some body help me as to what Im doing wrong or a better technique.
Thanks in advance and as mentioned I have professionally mined, cut and graded all Australian opals and gemstones most of my life and happy to give any advice if asked or when reading through this forum. Cheers Lockie
I have never pulled my own wire, but I found something in a German jewelry forum about this kind of problem
- check your original material for problems - metal you melt yourself may need annealing "between holes" (of the draw plate) more often than "store bought" - if there are burrs or little cracks in the metal strips, melt and anneal again because the burrs will stay in the wire - deburr the metal strip corners with sandpaper before pulling the wire - check your drawplate for mistakes
Like I said, these are tips from silversmiths and jewelry makers whom I don't know, so I have no idea if this is going to help you, but maybe it can lead you into the right direction
And please don't worry about typing and spelling!
Last but not least ... I'd love to see some of your work (and OPALS! ) in Show & Tell.