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Making a "P" loop with step jaw pliers is very similar to making a loop with round nose pliers. The steps are shown below:
Step 1: Grip the wire with the step jaw pliers. Hold the pliers in your non-dominant hand. Allow about 1/16" of wire to show through the jaws of the pliers.
Step 2: Using the thumb on your dominant hand, place your thumb under the wire, as close to the pliers as possible, and push the wire up and over the jaw of the pliers.
Step 3: You will not be able to complete the loop in step 2 and will need to relax your grip on the wire and reposition the wire so that you can push the wire to close the gap in the loop. Reposition the wire as shown here.
Step 4: Now grip the wire firmly in the jaws of the pliers and again, using the thumb on your dominant hand, push the wire until the gap in the loop is closed. Use care to make sure that you don't push the wire too far. Stop pushing as soon as the gap in the loop is closed. When you have pushed the wire far enough it will appear as shown at right.
The advantages to using step jaw pliers are 1. each loop is the same size and 2. the flat jaw of the step jaw pliers does not mark the wire so you will not have any marks on the outside of your loop. When making jewelry on a jig, it is always a good idea to make the initial loop for your piece using the step jaw pliers.
Step jaw pliers aren't perfect for every application and can not replace round nose pliers when making bead dangles, wrapped loops or eye loops.
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