PLEASE NOTE—The following instructions were written for the old Econo Winder Model that had only two crank rods. The instructions will still work for you however when it refers to the thinnest rod in you kit that means the second smallest crank rod. The thinnest crank rod in your kit is designed for thin wires.
EconoWinder 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.
Although you can coil about seven feet of wire with the Basic Model Gizmo and about 30 feet with the Deluxe, the design of the Econo Winder Gizmo limits the length of the coiled wire. With this model, you coil on a coiling rod, and coiling length is limited to the rod's length. The end product looks like a coil spring. You slide a core wire into this spring to make a bead or use for another design.
The Econo Winder was designed to be very affordable. Fewer parts need to be machined, which cuts production costs. We hope you are delighted with the results. In a short time you will be making beads of coiled wire to add to your jewelry creations or sell at bead shows.
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.
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 4. Now look at Figure 5. 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 side to the good.
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 Econo Winder
Double Coiled BeadsA bead using the thin crank rod
For this bead, use a wire 20 gauge or thinner. Since wire comes in coils, you need to keep your coil from getting tangled. In Figure 8 I am wearing the wire like a bracelet. You can also put it on the floor, but put it around something like a quart jar. I use a metal thermos.
STEP 1Position the wire as you see in Figure 8.
STEP 2(Figure 9): Wrap the end of the wire around the eye.
STEP 3(Figure 10, 11, 12): Insert the thin crank into the two smallest holes of the bracket frame and begin to crank (Figure 10). Notice how the right thumb is placed over the wire and against the bracket. As you crank, the wire will automatically feed itself and produce a coil spring. Continue cranking (Figure 11 & 12). The length of the coil spring in Figure 12 is 5 inches. (You can make shorter coiled lengths for smaller beads.)
STEP 4(Figure 13, 14): Snip the wire on the right side of the crank at the beginning of the coil (Figure 13), then pull the coil spring off (Figure 14).
STEP 5(Figure 15, 16, 17): Look at the end of the spring that you just snipped. You need to do one more snip to make it look good. Insert the tip of the cutters into the spring (Figure 15). You want to snip just one wire. Remember to have the flush side toward the coils.
WarningYou don't want little pieces of metal to fly off when you cut, so cover the whole thing with your hand before snipping the wire (Figure 16). Now go to the left end of the coil and snip the long wire from that end (Figure 17).
STEP 6(Figure 18): Slip a core wire into the coil spring. It can be the same gauge as you were using or thicker. For a bead with a 5-inch coil spring, a core wire of 20 gauge or thicker is recommended. (Thinner core wires make beads of this size too soft.) The core wire can remain uncut until Step 9.
STEP 7(Figure 19, 20): Take the thicker cranking rod and thread the core wire into the eye as you did previously in Figures 8 & 9. Begin to crank, holding the crank shaft in your left hand and coiling the core wire a few times (Figure 19). To create a tight coil on the end of your bead, take your chain-nose pliers and grip the crank (Figure 20). Push the wire toward the pliers with your left hand.
STEP 8(Figure 21, 22, 23): To start the double coil you will need to twist the previously coiled section of wire around the crank with your left hand (Figure 21). Then grab that coil with the thumb and forefinger of your right hand (Figure 22). Turn the rod with your thumb and forefinger and coil to the end. You can now grab the crank and make some additional coils on the left side of the bead with the core wire (Figure 23). Match the number of coils on the left end with the number on the right.
STEP 9(Figure 24, 25, 26): Snip the wire on the right (Figure 24). Go into the coil and snip as you did in Figures 15 & 16. Remove the long wire on the other end (Figures 25 & 26).
STEP 10 - Shaping the bead(Figure 27, 28, 29, 30): You now have a cylinder bead, but you may want a bi-cone shape like the one in Figure 33. Slip the bead back onto the crank (Figure 27). Grab the bead as you see in Figure 28, exposing the center ring. Twist your left hand counter clockwise and your right clockwise (Figure 29), and the center ring will expand. Make this ring as large as you want. Then repeat this expanding process on the rings to the right and left of center, expanding each ring a little less than the last. The bead will look like Figure 30.
STEP 11(Figure 31, 32, 33): Push the bead together using your chain-nose pliers (Figure 31). The next process helps even out the oval shape. Take your right thumb and push the bead toward the crank shaft (Figure 32). Push the bead in the other direction with the forefinger of your left hand. Continue this pushing back and forth while turning the bead around the shaft. In a short time you will have a nice oval bead (Figure 33).