Working with wire for beading or jewelry making can be easy and fuss-free, especially if you have the right tools for the job. Although some types of beading wire are easy to bend or twist, special tools can help you finish the job more conveniently. Traditional tools such as cutters and pliers are still helpful, but tools especially designed for wire work allow you to explore more design possibilities.
To give beading enthusiasts an idea on the different tools for wire work, here's a quick guide on tools for wire manipulation.
Planishing tools for wire beading
Planishing is a wire working term that refers to the process of tampering and shaping a length wire using special types of hammering tools. Altering the shape and appearance of beading wire can help enhance its strength and durability, making it more functional.
A special hammer with a two-sided head is commonly used to pound the wire into the desired shape. The brass side is used to flatten and reshape the piece of wire. The other side of the head is made of nylon, which will help harden the piece of wire without flattening it too much.
These hammers are usually made to be durable, but, over time, the heads may wear out. Dents on the heads can affect a hammer's performance; fortunately, worn-out heads can be easily replaced at home.
Another interesting tool for planishing is a ball-peen hammer. This hammer also has a two-sided head. One side of the head has a flat surface, while the other side has a rounded surface made from dent-resistant hardened metal. The rounded side of the head is effective for creating decorative dents on beading wire.
A square, steel block is used as the pounding surface during hammering. The steel block makes it easier to flatten and shape beading wire, while reducing the risk of breaking it. The solid structure of the block receives the force during the hardening and reshaping processes.
Other special tools for wire work
Aside from planishing tools, other tools for wire work are available. A dremel tool is similar to a drill, but is smaller compared to conventional home drills. This tool is perfect for drilling small holes on beads for beading wire to pass through. Dremel tools come with different drill attachments to make these more versatile.
Some beading enthusiasts also use polishing cloth to remove smudges or dirt from lengths of wire. Some types of polishing cloth are made from a special fabric that's effective in removing small flecks of dust and dirt on beading wire.
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