Metal springs and coils are easy to make with a few simple tools. You can incorporate them into a variety of craft projects such as mobiles and jewellery. You can create metal springs with any kind of malleable wire and in an assortment of diameters. Heavy wire is better for mobiles and other sculpture projects where weight must be suspended. You can use finer, softer wire for jewellery, such as dead soft 20 gauge sterling silver.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Wire cutters
- Flat nose pliers
- Metal files
Select the appropriate wire for your project. Use less expensive steel, copper, brass or craft wire for sculpture projects in a heavy gauge, such as 10 or 12 gauge. Choose a more delicate and malleable wire for jewellery projects, such as sterling silver or copper.
Hold your wire around your mandrel or other cylindrical object with one hand. Twist the wire with the other hand. Keep the wire close to the mandrel and the coils evenly spaced. Cut the wire with your wire cutters when the spring is the desired length.
Slide the spring off the mandrel. Adjust the spring by gently pulling it apart to lengthen it if you prefer a spring with looser coils. Sand any rough edges with metal files, especially if the spring is going to be incorporated into any jewellery or accessory that may come in contact with the skin.
Tips and warnings
- Keep in mind that the diameter of the wire decreases as the number of the gauge increases, making a 10 gauge wire much thicker than a 26 gauge wire. Metal wires come in three categories of hardness: dead soft, half hard and full hard. Choose a dead soft wire for projects that don't need a lot of strength and durability, such as earrings. Go with a half hard wire if the spring is going to be subjected to weight and wear.
- If you are making many coiled metal springs, you can purchase a coiling tool to make the job go faster.
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