How to Harden Soft Wire

by Anonymous

How to Harden Jewelry Wire

How to Harden Jewelry Wire

How do I temper (harden) soft wire, 20 gauge, to make it stronger for jewelry findings?

Comments for How to Harden Soft Wire

Click here to add your own comments

Two Ways to Harden Jewelry Wire
by: Wanda

First, make your jewelry finding.

Making jewelry or jewelry findings with soft wire will automatically work harden the wire to some degree.

Here are two easy ways to further harden soft wire:

Method 1: Use a Rubber Mallet and Steel Bench Block

(A) As seen in Photo 1 above, place your finding on the steel bench block.

(B) Use a rubber mallet and firmly tap the around the entire finding.

Tapping the jewelry finding will firm up or harden the wire and make the finding lie flat.

If you don't have a steel bench block, use any hard flat work surface.

You can also use a mallet made of leather.

Use a steel head hammer only if you want to both flatten and harden the wire.

Method #2: Use a Rock Tumbler to Harden Wire

(A) Place your findings in the tumbler (Photo 3) along with the steel shot and a little burnishing compound or liquid Dawn dish washing detergent (acts as a degreaser).

(B) Let the tumbler run for at least one half hour.

(C) Remove your findings from the tumbler and wipe jewelry findings dry.

Remember to follow the manufacturer's directions when using a tumbler.

These two methods will harden the wire of your findings even more and suffice for most of your jewelry making needs.

Have fun making wire jewelry!

When to Harden Wire
by: Jana

I make necklaces with wire and sea glass. I have noticed after I finish my wire wrapping (around the glass), the wire does not seem to be strong enough. This causes the sea glass to fall out etc.

My question is, how do I harden the wire on the pendant without damaging the pendant?

Should I harden the piece of wire before creating the pendant? Or, is the only way of accomplishing this (hardening the wire) is to use a rock tumbler?

I have always been confused as to "when" to harden the wire on any projects I do.

Thank you all for your help!

Everett, WA

When to Harden Wire
by: Wanda

Hi Jana,

Wire hardens to some degree as you work it when you are making your jewelry (see above comments).

If you find that your wire is not hard enough for what you want to accomplish, try using half hard wire for your wire jewelry making. However, many wire jewelry artists use dead soft wire for wire wrapping because it does not harden as quickly as half hard wire.

In your case, it may not be that the wire has not hardened. Instead, you may not have tighten the wire enough around the sea glass to hold it into place.

Try making more bends in the wire using your pliers. More bends (or "prongs") equal greater security. Also, make sure that your bail wires are tight too.

If you find that your wire is too soft, you may want to work with half hard wire instead of soft (if that is what you're using). Of course, putting the piece in a tumbler will harden the wire.


Click here to add your own comments

Return to Wire Jewelry Making with Beads FAQs.

XML RSSSubscribe To This Site

Visitor Comments

I really find that (of) all the beading sites on the web, yours is the best!

You show simple, straight to the point photos that are EASY to look at. BRAVO!

I have bookmarked your site onto my Firefox toolbar and will stop in a LOT! Thanks again!
Maryfrances Botkin
Columbia, MD

This site has been so helpful and inspirational to a beginner beader like me.

I have learned so much and appreciate knowing how to make my pieces look really professional.

You have done well!


Thank you for an awesome website, it has been very useful and informative!

I have just started my hobby in jewelry making and whenever I come across a hurdle, your website shows me how to get over it.

Thank you again.

Merishka B.
Ladysmith, South Africa