Hi, you have a great site! My question is, in wire wrapping stones with 22 gauge argentium wire, can you successfully tumble them to harden them without bending the heck out of the setting? Would you use the plastic shot for that? I appreciate your help!
You should be able to successfully tumble them in regular Stainless steel tumbling medium as far as the wire is concerned, but be careful about the gemstones! Are they non-porous and not dyed? Are they tough enough to be tumbled? Even in plastic pellets, dyed or porous stones such as pearls, corals and turquoise can be damaged. Porous stones are often dyed also.
As long as you're not tumbling fragile wire wraps that are away from instead of tight to the stones they're wrapped around, and if the gem material can be tumbled, you should be fine! Argentium tumbles beautifully! And yes, tumbling does help to harden it somewhat.
Remember to tumble like-with-like. Meaning don't tumble the 22 gauge wire wrapped items together with a heavy item that could damage them. If in doubt, experiment and try one first.