What Is Annealing? / How to Anneal 20G-Gold Wire?

by Renee
(New York City)

Hi, I would like to learn how to make wire-wrapped rings using 14k Gold wire/20 Gauge. I was told I would have to anneal the wire.

How exactly do you do that? What exactly is involved? I would appreciate any help possible.


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by: Anonymous

Annealing smaller wires, such as the 20 ga. you are working with (really anything 14 ga and smaller) should be done in a kiln. I usually anneal very heavy ga. wires and I do it with a plumbers type torch.

Use dead soft wire and you won't have to anneal it. If you already have half hard wire you may be able to use it if the design is simple without a lot of bending. It's not what you want though.

by: Tammy

Depending on the pattern you're using if you use dead soft wire you might not have to anneal the wire at all.

I've been wrapping for awhile and haven't had to do it yet. I use dead soft wire for all my projects. My hands can't take working with the harder wires.

Gold is a very soft wire and easy to work with. Be careful and don't over work the wire. Try not to bend it too much. Just do the bends the pattern calls for.

I'd practice the pattern in copper till I was very good at it before doing it in gold. Not knowing what pattern you're doing that's my best advice.

Other than that there are good tutorials for annealing, "Google" for them and if you need any help I'll be glad to help. You can e-mail me at- jagfann@cox.net I love doing rings they are one of my favorite projects.


Annealing Wire
by: Anonymous

I make jump rings for in both gold and sterling and I buy the wire in dead soft, that way there is no need to anneal.

The reason you are annealing it in the first place is to make it soft enough to make your coils, if you buy it soft to begin with you don't have to mess with any of the rest. Once you cut your rings be sure to tumble them to make them hard enough to make your jewelry.

Annealing - Hope This Helps.
by: Vicki

Hi Renee,

I make silver jewellery and assuming the process is the same and without going into the whole chemical process (which I can't remember anyway), the reason you anneal something is to make the metal softer. This allows you to bend it and work with it more easily.

You heat the metal using a blow torch or for wire, I would be more inclined to use the small hand held torches (the type that chefs use to make creme brulee). Because with wire, there is a fine line between annealing and melting something if it's not something you have done before.

You heat it evenly to a very dull red. (not sure the colour you need to look out for with gold, it may be good to test it out on a piece of scrap if you can, although you don't really want to test out much on gold as it's expensive). Then with stainless steel tweezers, pick it up and quench it in cold water. This allows you to handle it. Do not attempt to pick it up until you have done that.

After you have annealed it, you have to pickle it in a certain acid (I can't remember the name off the top of my head, if you email me direct, I will look tonight for you) this removes all the staining caused by annealing.

You then bend it, hammer it or whatever you are doing in the usual way. However, once you start working it and hammering it etc, it toughens up again. Annealing can be repeated if necessary, but the more times you heat it up and work it, the more brittle the metal becomes and can eventually snap.

What is the size of the wire, you are working with?

My email address is vicki@silverlicious.com. I'm certainly not an expert and I haven't worked with gold but I was taught the above and it works for me anyway!!!

Hope this helps - take care Vicki

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