Hammered wire is filmy

by Dawn

Lately, when I hammer a piece of wire, I have been using Argentium Sterling wire, there is a film on the hammered portion, I tumble it and still I can't get rid of the filmy look on the wire. Is it the ball pein hammer or what am I doing wrong? Someone told me it may be the hammer, it needs to be polished? How do you do that?

Stacy's Answer:

Hi Dawn! I hate it when that happens! LOL

Actually, I think the problem may be caused by one of two simple things. First, what does the face of your hammer and block look like? If your block or hammer or block has a grain or slight texture to it, that will transfer itself to your metal, creating exactly the look of your flattened wire. If you find this to be true the fix is very simple:

Take a sheet of 500 grit sandpaper, lay it upon a smooth surface like wood, and quickly rub your hammer face back and forth along the surface. Then move to a finer grit like 1000 or 1200. (these are available in the paint department of home improvement stores) Be sure to roll the hammer face slightly so you have a smooth transition between the face and the sides. Rounding those sides will help to prevent unwanted hammer marks as well - you know the dents that can sometimes appear on your flattened areas. :) Then, hold the sandpaper in your cupped hand and smooth out the ball part of the hammer also.

Reason 2:
Sometimes items are not oriented properly in the tumbler barrel and don't get evenly polished. You may not have enough shot in your tumbler (I recommend using the entire one pound of shot for a 3 pound tumbler) or you may be using the wrong amount of water. Use just enough water to cover the items or if only tumbling small items, then about an inch over the shot.

For really great results for polished silver and copper NOT OXIDIZED ITEMS! use a deburring solution (available at Rio Grande) instead of the Dawn dish soap. The deburring solution will clean your shot up nicely too! Just be sure to thoroughly clean and rinse the shot and rubber barrel before adding items with a patina.

Let me know how it goes!

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