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How to make your own wire: Part II

With the ingot made from the recycled silver, I next proceed to draw it down to the size I want and while doing so, lengthen my wire considerably!
I start off by rolling the wire through the wire section of the rolling mill. I generally pass it through between 2 and 3 times before I anneal the metal again. If this isn't done, the metal WILL crack and start to flake off. I've learned through experience that it isn't worth it trying to pass the metal through "just one more time".  After rolling the metal down to about the diameter I want, I move to the draw plate because the wire section of the rolling mill made the wire diamond shaped and I want circular wire.
Note: While the rolling mill isn't necessary to drawing down wire, it will make everything go MUCH faster. As in, shaving off as much as an hour or more of your time. But, if you don't have a rolling mill, don't live in Phoenix where you can visit Harold Studio and use ours, or just want a good workout, you Can make wire without a rolling mill by following the next few steps.

The 4 things needed to draw down wire are: 1) lubricant(I recommend bur life),  to ease the friction when drawing down the wire 2) A draw plate, which has holes going in small increments from big to little. Draw plates can come in circular, square, triangular and half round shapes. 3) A vise to hold the draw plate 4) Draw tongs which have teeth to grasp onto the metal. Draw tongs mar the metal but are necessary because they keep a grip on the wire. Anything else will slip.

The first thing you will need to do is taper the wire. This can be done by filing it down or by using the rolling mill. It is only necessary to taper about an inch.

Tapering the wire allows it to go through a smaller hole than the wire would be able to go down at its current size. It takes a little bit of muscle to draw wire because you have to make sure the tongs stay clamped while pulling something through a hole that is too small for it.
Repeat the  process of annealing and tapering after every 2-3 holes. Annealing allows the metal to go through the holes in the draw plate easier and prevents  the wire from breaking off due to brittleness or work hardening.

My wire I made from recycled silver! The whole process took me about 30 minutes and was greatly reduced due to the fact that I had a rolling mill.

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