Professional Deluxe ManualThe Coiling Gizmo®
Welcome to the world of coiled wire jewelry. In the spring of 1996 I saw my first example of beads made with coiled wire. I was shown how to make them by holding an 18 gauge wire in one hand and winding a 20 gauge wire over and over it with the other hand. I tried this method and spent the better part of a day making twelve beads. This was far too much work. I visualized a system using a chuck, a hollow shaft, and a crank. It surprised me when my vision worked so well. In a short time you will be making beads of coiled wire to add to your jewelry creations or sell at bead shows. The Gizmo can also make jump rings or twist strands of wire together. The use of twisted wire is very common in jewelry making and add a pleasing look to designs.
SAFETYThe tools described below seem harmless, however, it is highly recommended that you wear safety glasses when using them. Tools can break and send metal flying. This has happened to me with some pliers as I was squeezing a piece of wire. My glasses stopped the metal from going into my eye. Keep your outrigger clamped to the table at all times. This protects you from running into a rod with your leg when you are walking around the table.
UNDERSTANDING TERMSWire and metals that come in sheets are measured with the term "gauge." The higher the number, the thinner the metal. For example, a 6 gauge wire is .162 of an inch thick and a 20 gauge wire is .032 of an inch thick.
TOOLS THAT YOU NEED
A NOTE ABOUT FLUSH CUTTERSTake a wire and cut it as shown in Figure G. Now look at Figure H. The wire on the right has a diamond shape. The wire on the left is cut flush. When you cut wire, you want the flush cut side to face the piece you are working with.
WIRE SUGGESTIONSBegin with copper wire and get a feel for it before moving to precious metals. You can use an assortment of gauges. With sterling, try starting with 20 gauge wrapping wire. You can use the same 20 gauge wire for the core, or do it with 18 or even 16 gauge.
SETTING UP THE PROFESSIONAL DELUXE GIZMOFigure 9 shows how to clamp the Gizmo and the tail stock using two "C" clamps.
MAKING A COILED WIRE BEAD
STEP 1 - The Mother WireAfter you have obediently braked the Gizmo (Figure 7), cut a piece of 16 gauge wire a foot long.
REMEMBERI will be referring to the first wire placed in the chuck as the MOTHER wire. It remains straight while the coils are wrapped around it. A 16 gauge Mother wire will be easier to start with and enables you to get a feeling for how this works. Later you can use thinner Mother wires.
Make marks on the wire with a felt pen (Figure 8). Make one mark two inches from one end and another mark four inches from the other.
Shove the end wire that has the four-inch mark into the tail stock (Figure 9) far enough so that you can move the wire right into the chuck until the two-inch black mark (Figure 10).Now tighten the chuck.
OOPS!Which way do I turn the chuck to tighten it? If the direction to turn isn't instinctive for you, remember this handy phrase: "Lefty loosey - righty tighty."
STEP 2 - Beginning to CoilUse 20 gauge wire for the outer coils. Put this wire on the floor. If the wire is in coil form and not on a spool, get a cylinder like a quart jar. Put this on the floor and place your coil around it. Coils of wire are like unruly children and need structure to keep them separated. I use a metal thermos.
Figure 11 shows a right angle bend on the wire in the left hand. Insert that wire between the cracks in the jaws of the chuck. One of those cracks will have more space than the others. On some occasions you may have to loosen the chuck slightly to shove the wrapping wire into the crack and then tighten it firmly (Figure 12).
Crank four to five coils by hand (Figure 13).
Loosen the chuck, pull the wire out and cut the tail of wire close to the Mother wire (Figure 14).
FOR SAFETY'S SAKECover the wire with your hand as you cut (Figure 15). If you don't cover the wire, that small piece of cut wire could fly off dangerously.
Insert the wire back into the chuck and tighten it around the coils. Coil about six to seven coils by guiding it with your hand (Figure 16).
STEP 3 - Continuous CoilingFigure 17 shows how to set up the ring clamp. This is the funny looking wooden shaped item found in your kit. Feed the wrapping wire through the right side, then push the wedge into the bottom. Figure 18 shows how to hold the ring clamp below the Mother wire.
Crank until you hit the black mark (the one that's four inches from the end) (Figure 19). You will need that extra length for doing the second coiling, because as you coil, the coiled section will lengthen.
Remove the coiled wire from the chuck and snip the coiling wire close to the coil (Figure 20). Use your chain nose pliers to curve the wire that you snipped around the Mother wire (Figure 21). You may have to move it back and forth so that the sharp edges are rounded. Do this on both ends.
STEP 4 - Second Coiling and ShapingStick the ¼" jump ring rod in your kit into the chuck. Make a ¾-inch right angle bend on the shortest bare wire end of the coiled piece and insert it into one of the spaces in the chuck (Figure 22). Begin cranking (Figure 23). Crank to the end (Figure 24).
Pull the bead off the rod. Now insert a thinner rod into the chuck. Knitting needle make wonderful mandrels.. Make right angle bends on the bare wire on both ends of the bead (Figure 25). Slip the bead on the rod and shove the right angle bend into one of the spaces between the chuck jaws. Grab one of the coils as pictured in Figure 26. Now crank. First you will notice that the diameter of the bare coiled wire will decrease in size. Then the coiled area will begin to decrease to the spot where you are holding the bead. Flip the bead over and do the same thing on the other end. Your bead will look like the bead in Figure 27.
STEP 5 - Shaping by HandSnip the bent ends (Figure 28). Pull the rod out of the chuck and slip the bead back onto it. Locate the center ring (Figure 29). To enlarge this ring, twist your left hand counter clockwise and your right hand clockwise (Figure 30). Isolate the next ring to the right and enlarge it to match the middle one. Then monkey with all the other rings will you have the desired shape. At this point the bead still isn't ready to show your mother (Figure 31), but she may suggest that you do the following magic.
Push the bead with your thumb (Figure 32). Then push it with your forefinger (Figure 33). Roll the bead a quarter turn and do this again. Continue this process until the bead is a nice shape (Figure 34).
STEP 6 - Adding EyesYou can now string your bead, or you can make eyes for it (Figure 35).
To make eyes, slip a wire into the bead (Figure 36). Take a round nose pliers and make circles as you see in Figure 37. Snip the wire and finish off the other end (Figure 38).
COILING LONGER WIREOne of the most intriguing aspects of the Gizmo design is its ability to coil long pieces of wire. If you have never gone fishing, you probably have no idea what the little black thing is that you found in your kit. This is a fishing swivel. It is used on the end of a fishing line for the purpose of keeping the line from twisting. Figure 39 shows how to attach the tail of the Mother wire to one of the swivel eyes. The other eye is attached to a separate wire.
Figure 40 shows how to connect the fishing swivel to the tail-stock. It also shows a stretch of Mother wire that has been coiled. If you want to do an even longer piece, connect the swivel assembly to a chair. (You must set this up so that when the wire turns, it is straight from the chuck. If it is crooked, it may break during coiling.)
When the wire is pulled tight, you can actually coil a stretch of several feet. To coil an even longer section, loosen the chuck and move the outrigger inward. Then shove the wire into the chuck. It will come out of the hole in the crank wheel. Fashion a hook on the end of the Mother wire (Figure 41). Hook the wire over one of the black plates that you find inside the spool.
Crank the spool to store the length of wire (Figure 42). Tighten the wingnut and the chuck. Position the outrigger so that the Mother wire is tight and crank another section. Don't kink the wire when you store it. Figure 42 shows a nice curve on the right side of the spool.
IDEAS FOR THAT LONG PIECE OF COILED WIREActually, I trust you may already have some ideas. Here's one of mine. Get a thin rod like a welding rod. (Look in the yellow pages under Welding or Oxygen to find a welding store.) You can do the second coiling with rods 1/16 of an inch. Set up your Gizmo and rod as you see in Figure 44. By coiling around this rod, you will have produced a wonderful coiled necklace. These are absolutely stunning in sterling.
Figures 45 and 46 show some interesting patterns achieved if you coil this spring a second or third time.
TIPSLeave about two feet of bare wire on the tail of the Mother wire for a seven foot length of coiled section. During the second coiling, this coiled wire will creep down considerably. Also, leave about four to five inches of bare wire at the beginning. You will need that amount to make a nice hook.
MORE OPTIONSA bead with a larger diameter coil A larger diameter coil gives your bead a different flavor from the one shown above. You can achieve this simply by using the larger diameter crank to make the first coiled section.
Decorative shapesYou can also make wonderful shapes, like the Celtic coil in Figure 47. This was done by using a round-nose pliers on the core wire to make the eye in the middle, then both hand coiling and using chain-noise pliers to form the rest.