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A good butane microtorch is a great tool to have on hand. Ball head pins can add an extra element of artistry to your piece of jewelry. Using fine silver wire, you can make head pins with 20 to 26 gauge.
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20, 22, 24 or 26 gauge fine silver wire. Fine silver is 99.9% silver, while sterling is 92.5% silver. Fine silver wire does not oxidize the way sterling would.
Butane Micro Torch
Cool Cup Soldering Cup w/ Tweezers
An old pair of chain nose pliers. Do not use your good pliers.
Always point the torch away from you.
Work on a heat-safe surface and away from any flammables.
Work in a well-ventilated area.
Always use pliers to grab the wire. The metal may not be cool even if it looks cool.
To turn on your torch, pull down on the safety to release.
Push trigger to ignite the torch. Hold trigger in to keep flame on.
For a continuous flame, push the "continuous" button in while holding the trigger in.
To make the headpins, cut fine silver wire in equal lengths.
Turn on the torch, keeping it facing away from you. Using the continuous flame will allow you to keep your hands free.
Grab a piece of cut fine silver wire at the tip with your chain nose pliers. Slowly put the other end of the wire into the flame.
As the wire heats, the end will start to ball up. This can happen very fast especially if it is thin wire.
When you have made the size ball that you want, take the wire out of the flame and drop it into your quenching bowl. Congratulations - you have made a ball headpin!