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|Final Step on Jig: When you have added the last peg to the pattern and
wrapped the wire against this peg as required, you are ready to remove the
wire from the jig. If you have done this correctly, when you remove
the wire from the jig, it will remain in the shape set by your pattern.
If you haven't done this correctly your wire might spring into a new
shape. If you get the new shape, start over and remember that you
need to push the wire then release your grip on the wire to test to see if you pushed
it far enough, then push some more if necessary until the wire stays where it is
supposed to with no pressure on the wire. Now you are ready to cut the excess wire. Using your flush
cutters, with the flat side of the cutter toward the finished piece, cut
the excess wire and using your bent chain nose pliers close the final loop.
The technique for opening and closing loops is
described in page 6.
At this point we need to measure how much excess practice wire we just cut off. If you have only 1/2", your length of wire is perfect. If you have significantly more, adjust your length of wire for your next piece so that when you are done you have only 1/2" of excess wire. It is important when using your practice wire to learn how much wire to cut. When you graduate to your good wire, you should have only 1/2" excess wire.
In general, it is a good idea to make at least three of your wire components out of practice wire before starting to use your good wire. If the last component comes out perfectly, you are ready to use your good wire. If they don't come out perfect you need to make a few more practice pieces. We frequently make as many as 7 pieces out of practice wire as we perfect our approach to making a new design.
When you can consistently make your wire components with practice wire then you are ready to begin using your good wire. Please note that for many designs, it may actually be easier to make the design in your good wire. Practice wire is almost universally soft wire. Wire components that do not include a spiral are often easier to make in 1/2 hard wire. Frequently we find that it is easier to be consistent when making your wire components with 1/2 hard gold, gold-filled or sterling silver wire rather than your soft practice wire.
In the following web page we will discuss how to finish wire components after the wire has been removed from your jig.
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