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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2013-04-08, 9:07am
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songe songe is offline
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Default Hard or Half Hard Sterling Silver?

Hi everyone,

I realize that there has been discussions in the past on this topic but my question is specific. I have been using plated silver wire to date but would like to upgrade to sterling silver wire for my jewelry. I am not sure if I should get hard or half hard wire. Below are examples of the type of bracelets and necklaces I make using wire (normally 18G). I also make my own jumprings (either 18 or 20G).

What is your advice?



Thanks!

Lyne
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  #2  
Old 2013-04-08, 9:54am
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I woul use 1/2 hard or soft...it will work harden for you.
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  #3  
Old 2013-04-08, 10:00am
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Hard is a bit difficult to work with - very springy. I agree that half hard or even soft is a better choice since metal does work harden.
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  #4  
Old 2013-04-08, 3:49pm
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I am, by no means, a silversmith, but the guys in the silver supply place explained that half hard has been annealed a bit making it easier to work with. They anneal it in a gas kiln which means it comes out shinny. Soft or dead soft has been annealed at a higher temp. and, like the name suggests, it is very soft. Both the half hard and soft become hard once you've worked it.
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Old 2013-04-08, 4:30pm
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You want "dead soft"-- IMHO.
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  #6  
Old 2013-04-08, 5:39pm
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I'd use half hard to make the jump rings, then tumble them to harden them after forming into jump rings. 20 gauge is thin for jump rings. The thinnest gauge I go is 18 gauge for non-soldered jump rings. Normally, I tumble (with stainless steel shot) a finished bracelet if I don't have any fine silver wire on my beads. If there is fine silver on the outside of glass beads, it either wears down or makes a tiny fracture in the glass.
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Old 2013-04-08, 8:22pm
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songe songe is offline
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Thanks everyone for your responses.

Susan (mewkittie), you say that you tumble your finished bracelets. Do these bracelets have crystals and lampwork beads on them? Is do, don't they get etched in the tumbler? Please forgive the questions .. this is all new to me )

Lyne
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  #8  
Old 2013-04-08, 8:42pm
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Hi Lyne, tumbling with stainless shot doesn't etch, it just hardens the wire, makes it super shiny and knocks off any small burrs. I tumble finished pieces with crystal and glass no problem, avoid tumbling turquiose, amber, pearls, opals and any other soft or porious stones ...
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  #9  
Old 2013-04-09, 4:44am
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And don't tumble lampwork beads that have unencased silver on them, you will tumble the silver off.
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