Flattening silver wire

I've been making simple stuff for years, hammering away at 16-20 guage silver wire. I've got a neck injury now and every time I pick up the hammer, I set myself back about 2 months in my healing. I hate to give up my jewelry making - any ideas about how I could flatten wire without using a hammer? Are there any hand cranked tools or electric flatteners that aren't for industrial use? thanks in advance... !

Reply to
Loading thread data ...

A rolling mill would flatten wire for you (see

formatting link
for an example). Similar to a ring roller except they only have two rollers that are inline. You could probably make something similar for a lot less than what they want. I think there are some plans in the drop box for ring rollers that you could modify to work. Paul

Reply to

rolfsing fired this volley in news: snipped-for-privacy@i13g2000prf.googlegroups.com:

If the wire is a soft alloy, I think a stock "Pasta Queen" noodle roller would suffice.


Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh

Hey Rolf,

If you have been using a hammer for effects, then why not get a small drop hammer or trip hammer, or even a larger one.

Have a peek at:

I didn't do a Google for anything a bit smaller or less money, but I have seen home-made types at hobby shows, most using about a 3 foot long lever with an interchangeable "hammer" at one end, lifted and dropped by an variable speed motor driving some type of cam. The longer the "lever", the straighter the arc and the "heavier" the blow is when contact is made.

Take care. Good luck, both with the topic, and with your health.

Brian Lawson, Bothwell, Ontario.

Reply to
Brian Lawson

Back in the days when I was making jewelery there was a roller made just for that job. It would be fairly easy for a home machinists to build. Mine would flatten round wire and take round wire and reshape it to half-round.

Reply to

Take a look at Harbor Freight. Not cheap, but likely cheaper than other places.



Reply to

On Fri, 21 Sep 2007 07:55:55 -0700, with neither quill nor qualm, Gerry quickly quoth:

formatting link
$189 new (sometimes on half-price sale) or try finding a used on on eBay.

Reply to
Larry Jaques

"rolfsing" wrote: (clip) any ideas about how I could flatten wire without using a hammer? Are there any hand cranked tools (clip) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I clipped the part about electric flatteners, because my comment doesn't apply to them. Before you go ahead with any hand-cranked roll setup, I suggest you set up a hand-cranked food grinder, and find out whether it is any better for your healing process than a hammer. It uses many of the same muscles and motions.

Reply to
Leo Lichtman

If you get a roller like that make sure that you never try and put anything harder than the rolls through it.

I've never forgotten how stupid I felt when, about 60 years ago while hanging around my dad's jewelery factory, I tried to flatten a jeweler's saw blade in the shop's hand cranked rolling mill. Why? I dunno...Just because...

All it did to the blade was put a sideways curl in it, but it screwed up the rolls so that the next time someone used them to reduce the thickness of some metal it came out with a debossed image of that saw blade on its surface.

IIRC it took a trip to a local machine shop to have the rolls smoothed.

Sorry again, Dad.


Reply to
Jeff Wisnia

The gang over at rec.crafts.jewelry may be able to offer some other creative solutions. Try posting there (if you haven't already.)


Reply to
Jeff Wisnia

I'd add my vote for the Harbor Freight roller. I bought one a couple of years ago, and it works as advertised for soft metals. You still have to be able to turn the crank, but you won't get the percussion effects that you got from hammering. I could flatten about one foot of 14 ga copper wire into a ribbon about 6 feet long and less than 1/4" wide and maybe 0.005" thick in 3 passes within about 2 minutes. In blacksmithing, we would call this "fullering" since we lengthen the work, but don't widen it much. If you want move the metal equally in all directions, this isn't for you. The tool costs about $190 new and comes with 3 or 4 embossing dies which may be of interest to you.

Pete Stanaitis


rolfs> I've been making simple stuff for years, hammering away at 16-20 guage

Reply to

And if that is a problem, you could try their planishing hammer. You would probably want to reduce the air pressure, but you would still end up with hammer marks, if that is the effect you want. jk

Reply to

You can find a nice set of rollers in larger copiers, with a gear to drive one of them. I am converting a set to crush the insulation on scrap copper wire. The motor used in the copier runs too fast, but a gear reduction or a few pulleys and drive belts would slow it down, without a VFD.

Old copiers are usually available, free for the asking.

Reply to
Michael A. Terrell

Why aren't you getting flat wire to begin with? Hammering or putting wire through a rolling mill is going to work harden it and probably needs to be annealed. There are power pullers used with draw plates which is another solution to consider, but work hardening issues remain. Unless your goal is to change the profile of the wire AND make it harder.

Of course if you have a lifetime supply of wire, I can see your desire to use what you've got rather than spend for the ever increasing costs of silver.


Reply to

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.