Tech Team Tips: Rounding Wire Ends, DIY Drill Sharpening, and Argentium Tarnish Removal

Learn how to round wire ends with a cup bur, sharpen a drill bit with a separating disk, and easily remove tarnish from Argentium®.

Last edited: 10/28/2019
cupburs
LYNX cup bur set

Rounding Ends of Wire with Cup Burs

Sometimes you need to round off the end of a wire so that it’s not so sharp. While a file and sand paper is one way to do that, using a cup bur makes the job much easier. Something like this would do the trick. But choosing the right size of bur can be something of a mystery.

Pick one that has a diameter that is slightly larger than the diameter of the wire in millimeters. The gauge and millimeter size of the wire is listed in the catalog and on the web for each wire. Or you can use a set of calipers and measure the wire to get the right size cup. So if you have a 22 gauge wire (.65mm), get a .9mm cup bur. If you have an 18 gauge (1mm), get a 1.2 or 1.3mm cup bur.

Sharpening Drill Bits

Irwin wire-gauge twist drills, set of 60
Irwin wire-gauge twist drills, set of 60

Ever get a dull drill bit? Ever have it be the ONE drill bit that is the perfect size and the last one you have, but you need a sharp one right now?

Good news! You can sharpen drill bits with a separating disc mounted in a flex shaft. It takes a little pratice, but it sure can save you time and money. We recently found this video on one of our favorite jewelry sites: Ganoksin Bench Tube. The people at GIA put together a wonderful little video explaining how to do it. Check it out!

Removing Tarnish from Argentium

Jeffery Herman, founder of the Society of American Silversmiths, told Ronda Coryell, who told us, that you can use Windex or hand sanitizer to remove tarnish from Argentium.

coryelldvd
Argentium, Volumes 1-4, Complete DVD Set

Want to learn more? Bookmark Ronda’s article on argentium tarnish removal. And the Society’s website is full of very useful information and well worth the time exploring.

And if you’d like to learn more about working with Argentium from a master, be sure to check out Ronda Coryell’s 4-disc set!