When the new line of Wubbers tools came on the market a while back I was really intrigued. I haven’t done much wire work in the past, but after watching several of the videos on YouTube I really wanted to try them out. We finally got in a couple of styles last week so I snatched them up to play with. We have two sizes each of both the square and oval shapes.
Wubbers Designer Mandrels are a premier line of unique jewelry making tools created for shaping, coiling and wrapping wire and sheet metal. The large size Wubbers are designed to be used with wire as large as 12 gauge and sheet metal that is 20 gauge.
Another great tool worth investing in is a pair of Lindstrom Shears. These shears will precisely cut 16 gauge soft wire and 18 gauge sheet metal. Unlike most cutters, these shears will leave each side with a smooth surface. They are comfortable to use and are quickly becoming a tool I can’t live without.
A few other necessary tools for working with wire are a good hammer and bench block. I like this interchangeable hammer with 4 difference faces that will easily suit all of your hammering needs. A wire rounder or cup bur is also essential for making your own ear wires.
I put together this tutorial to try out the tools I mentioned above. As I said, I haven’t done much (okay, any) wire work before, so if you are a beginner, this is a great place to start!
Wubbers Designer Mandrel – Meduim Square – FI4301-SQ1
Wubbers Designer Mandrel – Large Square – FI4301-SQ2
Hammer – MS153-2
Wire Rounder – FI435
Lindstrom Shears – FI4006-LS
Bench Block – MS147-S
6 Step Round Nose Looping Tool – FI401-3A
In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to make both the double diamond shape pendant and ear wires from scratch. The diamond pendant is pretty enough to be used alone, or it can be embellished for a fabulous statement piece.
To make the pendant:
1) Cut two 3.5 inch pieces of square copper wire. (I used 4 inches of wire in the pictures above and there was quite a bit of excess.)
2) Grasp the wire in the large square mandrel so that the edge is flush with the largest side of the plier. (Image 1)
3) Slowly and carefully wrap the wire around the mandrel focusing on the corners to keep them sharp. Be sure to keep the square wire flat against the surface of the mandrel. (Images 2-4)
4) After finishing the first square, grasp the wire with the medium square mandrel. (Image 5)
5) Slowly wrap the wire around the small side of the tool focusing on the corners. (Images 6-9)
6) Trim excess wire with the Lindstrom Shears. (Image 10) If the squares are not fully closed, use a flat nose plier to shape them into place.
7) Place the pendants onto the bench block and gently tap with the hammer to flatten and work harden the piece. Be sure to use either the rawhide or plastic face to prevent the wire from being marred.
To make the Ear Wires (I found this tutorial via Pinterest and it is seriously one of the most genius things I have ever seen!!)
1) Cut one 6 inch piece of 20 gauge wire and fold it in half. (Image 1) I initially used 8 inches of wire and that ended up being way too much.
2) On the folded end, make a loop. (Image 2)
3) At the base of the loop, grasp the wire with the largest part of the 6 step Round Nose Looping plier. If you don’t have this tool, a Sharpie marker is also a good size for an ear wire. (Image 3)
4) Wrap the wire around the tool. (Image 4)
5) Trim the wires to the desired length. (Image 5)
6) Use your shears and snip off the folded part of the wire. (Image 6)
7) Place the end of the ear wire into the wire rounder to smooth out the sharp edge. (Image 8)
8) Set the ear wire onto your bench block and gently tap the wire to work harden it. (Image 9)
9) Gently bend the end of the wire. Not only does this slight bend help keep the ear wire in your ear, but it also flips the end out keeping it from poking you and making it more comfortable to wear. (Not pictured)
Slip the pendant onto the ear wire and gently close the loop. You can stop here for a simple and elegant pair of earrings, or you can add some beads to further embellish them.
Instead of creating a double diamond, I finished this pair by just making a loop on the top of the small diamond. Then, I wrapped wire around the corner and added a row of pink beads. Note with this pair, I was not paying attention to the wire as I folded it around the square mandrel. The earring on the left was done correctly, with the wire laying flat. With the earring on the right, the wire was laying on an angle when I wrapped it around the mandrel. As you can see, the angles of the square wire is facing up instead of flat. Now, I kind of like the look of this but when you are making your pair of earrings, you want to make sure they match up.
I also recommend that you take a moment to visit the Wubber’s University website. They have lots of instructional videos and design ideas. Registration is free with the purchase of a pair of Wubbers tools!