- Round Dead Soft Wire in 12-, 14-, and 16-gauge
Measure around the widest part of your hand with your thumb folded tightly under your palm toward the little finger.
2. Note where the tape overlaps, and this will be the length of wire needed to make your bangle. If you desire a slightly looser fit, add approximately 1/8” to ¼” to the measurement.
The width of the bangle will affect the size needed to fit comfortably over your hand. Bangles that are narrow are easier to get over your hand than bangles that are wide.
MAKING THE BANGLE
Cut the determined length of wire for the bangle. Using a dome-faced chasing hammer, flatten the wire evenly while avoiding distortion and curves in the wire. Using metal stamps or a texturing hammer, add texture to the wire.
Flush cut one end of the wire, then re-measure and flush cut the second end. You will notice that flattening and texturing the wire has made it longer.
Anneal the wire. Then quench, pickle, rinse, and dry the wire.
Form the wire into an oval shape, making sure that the two ends meet perfectly on the longer side of the oval. File the ends if necessary for a good fit. There should not be a gap between the two ends of the wire, and tension should hold them in place.
Using a soldering pick, apply paste solder across the seam and heat until the solder flows, using a pick to manipulate the solder as needed.
Quench, pickle, rinse, and dry.
Place the bangle on a round bracelet mandrel. Using a rawhide hammer, shape the bangle. Flip the bangle over and continue to shape, flipping it several times.
Check to make sure that the bangle lays flat on the table (i.e., is not warped). If needed, gently even the bangle out.
Open the bangle press. Center the rounded bangle in the press, making sure that the solder joint on the bangle is centered in one of the grooves of the bangle press rather than on a ridge. Replace the top of the bangle press.
Hammer gently with a weighted rawhide hammer. It works best to hammer evenly, alternating strokes on opposite sides of the press methodically. Check the progress frequently to make sure that the bracelet is forming evenly.
When the bangle has been formed, remove it from the press and add the finishing touches. Brush with a brass brush to even out the finish with a slight burnishing. For a high polish, a tumble polisher works wonders! For a brushed, antiqued finish, apply a liver of sulfur patina. Remove the desired amount of patina using a green scrubbie pad, #0000 steel wool, or a polisher with a satin-finish buffing wheel.