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Wire Working 101 - Flush Cutting Wire
Flush cutting refers to making a flat cut on a piece of wire.
Sounds basic right? Well it is. This basic, essential technique is a must-know skill for any wire worker.
Cut your wire wrong and you get a sharp point. Good for staking vampires maybe, but not so nice for jewelry making.
** About Side Flush Cutters/ Wire Cutters
Wire cutters are pliers with sharp, scissor-like edges for cutting wire (naturally!)
There are two main types of wire cutters:
- Bevel: These leave an angled-cut edge that usually requires filing during finishing. This is the kind you'll find at the hardware store
- Flush cut: These create a less angled cut that requires less filing to finish. They’re generally pricier than bevel cutters - but a must-have for jewelry makers.
- Side Flush Cutters **
- Wire (any kind)
On to Flush Cutting....
These are side flush cutters.
Flush cutters have two sides to them.
This side is the wedged side.
This side is the flush side.
To make a FLUSH CUT, grasp the wire in one hand, and cut the wire.
Always use the flush side of the pliers on the "good" side of your cut.
Here's what a good flush cut looks like.
I know it's a little hard to see, but the end is flat.
A cut made with wedged side of the cutters.
Here are a few tips:
- Making a flush cut on an end will cause little wire bits to fly through the air if you're not careful. You can prevent this by holding your thumb over the end as you cut the wire. (I didn't do this in the picture - Bad Christine!)
- It's a good idea to use a flat file to smooth the end of the wire after you cut it. Run a finger over it - you'll be able to feel if the edge needs filing.
The tips and techniques on this page are excerpted from my e-book Wire Work Secrets for Jewelry Makers:
Making wire jewelry is so much more fun when you know exactly what you're doing - and what to do when things go wrong!
Learn the wire work techniques in more detail, with tons of pro-tips and not-found-anywhere-else troubleshooting tips in my eco-friendly e-book, Wire Work Secrets for Jewelry Makers.
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