Using a Cup Bur Tool to Round the End of Jewelry Wire

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For most wire components, it is very important to cut the wire properly, so that the sharp end of the cut wire ends up in the trash and the flat end of the cut wire remains on your jewelry wire component.  With most jewelry items, just cutting the wire properly will be enough.  Most of the jewelry designs that we make do not require us to file the cut end of the jewelry wire, either because the cut end is hidden within a loop or wire, or because the cut end is wrapped around itself.  The exception to this is that when you are making ear wires it is very important that you remove the burs from the cut end of the ear wire.  In the picture below-left, you can see the cut end of the wire, that was cut properly and is flat, but has sharp edges.  In the picture below-right, you can see how the end of the wire was filed until it is rounded.  This is what you need for your ear wires.
Before After

Now that we have established that it is important to remove the burs and round the cut end of the wire when making earrings, let's discuss how we do this.  The tool we use to round the cut end of the wire is called a cup bur, or alternatively a bur cup.  We sell two different styles of cup bur tools, our item 0303, economy cup bur and our item 0387, cup bur premium.  Item 0303 comes on its own wooden handle.  Item 0387 requires that you use a pin vise, item 0388 as the handle.  You can view these two tools below.

Item 0303 Item 0387

Using the cup bur tool is rather simple, as shown below you fit the cup end of the cup bur tool on the end of your wire and then you rotate the tool with your fingers.  You don't need to rotate in only one direction.  It is much more efficient if you rotate clockwise as far as your grip will easily allow then rotate counter-clockwise back to the starting position.  Repeat this process for about 20 to 30 seconds and you should notice that the end of your jewelry wire is rounded.  When we use the tool, we like to rotate the cup bur both on the axis of the wire and at a 30 degree angle to the axis of the wire.  We also like to rotate the 30 degrees to be up, down, left and right to help round the edges of your wire.

On Axis 30 Degrees Off Axis

In summary, for most wire components, we don't take any steps to round the cut end of the wire, but we are careful that we cut the wire with the flat end of our flush cutter toward the finished wire component.  This leaves a flat end on the wire.  For ear wires, that flat end of the wire is too sharp and we use a cup bur tool to file the ends of the cut wire until it is rounded. 

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