Can Enameled Coated Copper Wire be tumbled

by Betty
(London, UK)

Can Enameled Coated Copper Wire be tumbled? If so, will it lose the coloured enamel? How long would I tumble for?

Stacy's Answer:

Hi Betty!

There are different types of "enameled" wire. Traditional enamel on metal is glass. I don't recommend tumbling glass enameled metal. The glass coating could get damaged by the shot, especially any exposed edges, chipping away at it and allowing moisture to get between the metal and glass.

Colored wires for wire-wrapping such as Zebra brand wire are made from copper material which is electroplated, then sprayed with a colored enamel coating and then finished with a protective lacquer. I don't know what the color coating is made from, but t is supposed to be very durable.

I've never used enameled wire so I can't say how it would hold up. However, if you can scratch the finish off, it would not do well in a tumbler. There are different qualities of coated wire, so test some of yours by tumbling a few jumprings or scrunched-up or coiled bits of scrap wire and see how they hold up. Check on the pieces every couple of hours to see how they're doing. I know that the colored/enameled wire is becoming quite popular and I would love to hear back from you with the results!

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