How to Hammer or Flatten Wire for Jewelry Making

by Sue D.
(Pittsburgh, PA)

Flattening Wire with Hammer Head

Flattening Wire with Hammer Head

Can I make 'hammered' wire, or flatten wire with a simple hammer, or do I need a special tool and work surface? Do I pound the wire directly, or cushion the wire with paper or fabric?

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How to Hammer or Flatten Wire
by: Wanda

Hi Sue,

You can use a regular household hammer (a.k.a. Ball Peen Hammer) to flatten your wire for making jewelry. No special tool required...isn't that fantastic!

You may hammer the wire directly using flat end, or head, of the hammer to flatten the wire. There is no need to cushion the wire.

For the best results use a steel bench block and place it flat on your work surface. Holding it in place with your fingers, place the wire on the bench block to flatten it with the hammer.

Using the flat side of the hammer to hammer the wire will flatten the wire and leave a smooth texture on the surface of the wire and using the round (or peen) end will create a somewhat lumpy, or divet texture

Most tools will leave some type of mark on the wire. If you don't want tool marks then by all means use a thin cloth to help protect the wire from marks. This however is totally unnecessary.

In most cases, tool marks add character to the wire and are considered as a plus by wireworkers.

For more complete instructions, check out how to make a wire pendant.

Best of results with your wire jewelry making adventures!

Use Barbell Weights to Hammer Jewelry
by: Sherman Duke Jewelry

I'm creating on a budget and look for creative alternatives for jewelry making. I can get barbell weights for about $2 each. A ten pounder sits on my thigh while flattening/hardening wire. The center hole makes maneuvering items easy. I'm sure there are many other cheap work surfaces available.

How to Flatten Wire for Jewelry Making
by: Sue Fanielson

Thanks so much for the wire flattening tips!

Hardening Wire foe Wirewrapping Jewelry
by: Lori

I just started working with anodized aluminum wire. (1) It is wonderful in regards to shaping, but will it be strong enough to hold it's shape over time?

I'm using 20 gauge to make leaves and flowers and wrapping 26 gauge non tarnish gold over copper wire with beads into the shape. You had said to use a rubber or leather mallet to harden the wire. (2) Would nylon work as well?

I'm finding it challenging to wrap the copper wire around the soft aluminum wire. (3) Should I be wrapping with the soft aluminum wire as well?

(4) Fire Mountain doesn't carry aluminum wire less than 20 gauge, is that because it's too soft?

Need help as soon as possible as I have a lot of ideas I want to get out. :) Thank you!

Wire Wrapping Jewelry Using Aluminum
by: Wanda

Hi Lori,

Great questions! I numbered your questions and my responses below correspond to those numbers.

(1) Aluminum is a soft metal so it may lose its shape over time. This may depend upon how large you make the piece of jewelry and how it is handled. If you are rough on your jewelry, maybe the shape will become distorted.

2) Yes, nylon will work too.

(3) That's probably because copper is a harder metal than aluminum. Wire wrapping with the soft aluminum will make wirewrapping easier to do. And, the more you work the wire the harder it becomes.

(4) I don't know why they would not carry aluminum wire less than 20gauge. You may want to contact Fire Mountain directly.

Have fun!

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