How to Fuse Wire Links: Video Tutorial and Guide to the Micro Torch
Join Denise Peck, editor of Step by Step Wire Jewelry and senior editor of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist, in a free video tutorial on how to use a butane micro torch. This simple technique will help take your jewelry to the next level, allowing you to add yet another personal touch to your designs. All you need for this straightforward technique is a 6 inch butane torch and butane fuel, fine silver wire, and a fireproof work station.
Whether you’re new to torch work or not, this free jewelry making video tutorial is sure to teach you the best practices while using a jewelers torch. If you are using a micro torch for the first time, you’ll discover how convenient this small, portable torch is. If you’ve never used any kind of torch, you’ll learn how to get started with a micro torch plus discover the basics of annealing and fusing—and then you’ll learn the simple technique of how to fuse wire links, too. Access your free video tutorial on how to use a micro torch, grab your wire and mini torch, and get started creating today!
Getting Set Up and Annealing Wire
Once you have gathered your supplies and have your safety equipment ready, you can begin. To start, Denise demonstrates how to fill your torch with fuel, and explains the important reasons for using fine silver wire. If your wire is half hard, you will want to anneal it first to allow it to be workable. In this video, she demonstrates basic annealing techniques to prepare your wire for use. Using your torch and “heat” pliers (the ones you’re willing to expose to a flame), start heating the wire. The key is to watch for it to dull to a fuzzy, gray look.
Coiling and Cutting the Wire Links
Next, Denise shows you how to coil the wire around a ring mandrel or object of your choice to create a coil of wire. Then cut the coil with flush cutters into rings. You want flush cuts on both sides so they will fuse easily. Even after using flush cutters, it is best to file the edges, because without edges that are perfectly straight the heated metal will not flow and the ends will separate. Just like you would do with a jump ring, move the wire back and forth until the edges spring against each other. Be sure your wire ring is flat before moving forward to more even heating of the entire piece.
How to Fuse Wire Links
The most important rule to remember when you’re learning how to fuse wire links is to heat the entire piece, not just the join. Focusing on the join alone may result in just burning away the metal there. Instead, begin to fuse by slowly rotating the torch around the entire piece until it is very hot, then at the very end, focus the butane torch on the join to make the metal flow. Pick up the links using your “heat” pliers, quench in a bowl of water, then check to be sure the wire has fused.
You won’t regret streaming this free video tutorial on how to fuse wire links.
Now that you have gathered all your tools and materials, you are ready to begin creating fused wire links. Denise explains the entire process of fusing wire links, from how to form the links to why you want to be sure to create a straight edge. She also shows you how to fill the butane torch using a canister of butane fuel. Most micro torches have a burn time of about 30 minutes, so if it starts to take noticeably longer to heat, refill the torch. Place the first of your links on the solderite board and light your butane micro torch. Denise then demonstrates how to heat links properly, so each link fuses correctly. Her helpful tips will guide beginners through the process of learning how to use a handheld butane torch, and will introduce experts to the jewelry uses of this simple tool.
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