Mass Making Earwire Findings

Had another fellow craftsman/woman ask me how I mass make earwires for earrings. I like to make them for the entire season at one time. I make a zillion sizes and shapes that I enjoy from oval hoops, to square to dainty little hooks. I load them on a piece of stainless steel wire in pairs so you don’t have to hunt for them in the tumbler. Now, I have a GI-Normus vibratory tumbler so my loop of wire is big. You can down-size this to fit the tumbler you own. The tumbler stiffens the earwire to be nice and sturdy and de-burrs the cut ends of the wire to they are nice and smooth. Go ahead and patina some too if you wish and toss them in the tumbler for a good 20 hours plus. Do not put anything else in your tumbler with these or a tangled up ball is the result.


About Wild Prairie Silver

Silver and Goldsmith for Wild Prairie Silver Jewelry View all posts by Wild Prairie Silver

7 responses to “Mass Making Earwire Findings

  • kim nogueira

    thank you for sharing this joy! this looks like my set-up when I make ear wires, but I never thought to pair them up and put them on a wire before they go in the tumbler. great idea!

  • Georgette Woo

    Love it! But can you share how you shape so many? You must have jigs, right? I have tried to make a few jigs … with little success. I’m not sure why. I used wood, nails, nylon washers. Would you mind sharing your mass method?

    • Wild Prairie Silver

      I use a very fancy jig…a sharpe marker. I also use a half flat half round nose pliers for the smaller loop. I make two at a time so the pair of earwires are exactly the same. I cut 2.5 inches of 20 guage wire, two pieces. I make the small loop first with a half flat/half round nose pliers, mark your pliers with a marker so you make the loop the same size everytime. After the small loop is made I bend the wire in a ‘U’ shape around a sharpe marker. Each pair is a little different so I don’t want them free floating in my tumbler ~ you would have to match each one together after that. Hold them up on the sharpe marker together and snip the ends so they are equal. All done!

  • Lauren

    Will a rotating tumbler work as well? Every time I’ve tried putting ear wires in they come out deformed. Am I doing something wrong?

    • Wild Prairie Silver

      When all I had was a very small rotary tumbler I put about 6 pairs of earwires in it at one time — 12 pieces and they have to be loose or they get to snarled up. Also I used 20 sterling wire that I hammer just a little bit around the curve of the earring so it stays stiff and in better shape… I did not forget about doing a tutorial for the headpins. I will get on it for you!!!!

      • Lauren

        Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. I will try hammering them to spring hardness before putting them in the rotary tumbler. I would love to have a vibratory tumbler but they are quite expensive. I’ll give small numbers of (more) work hardened ear wires for now.

      • Wild Prairie Silver

        Just made the head pin video. Hope it helps!

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