General Rosary Information
Welcome to the construction section: wire wrapping instructions page!
This page of the Construction Section is currently under development, and will be available by mid-October, 2014.
Thank you for your patience.
Wire wrapping is a very useful skill to master in rosary making. Not only can you wire wrap entire rosaries, but this technique can be used to deal with artistically shaped beads, to deal with small drill holes without redrilling the beads, to deal with various styles of bead caps, and to firm up the structure of beads with extra large drills.
First, we'll start with the basic wire wrapping method, then move on to how your tools affect your wraps. Also on this page are instructions for creating bowtie wraps, which you may use in lieu of chain in your rosaries, or to attach centers and heavy crucifixes.
For an 8mm bead, cut 4 inches of 22g wire.
This should be a comfortable length of wire for you to start with. After some practice, you should be able to cut a slightly shorter length to save on wire costs, but be sure to take into account the length of any beads caps you use.
The first loop of a wrap is made in the air, with no bead on the wire!
Take hold of the wire about 1/3 of the way down with a pair of chain nose pliers. Wrapping takes quite a bit of wire, so don't short yourself here or you may not have enough wire to complete the first loop, which wastes all 4".
Make a 90 degree bend in the wire away from you, across the flat edge of the pliers. Keep hold of the wire with your chain nose pliers after you make the bend. You will now have an "L" shaped wire with a shorter wrapping end and a long stem.
Take hold of the wire with round nose pliers close to the bend. Gently walk the wire toward you until it is formed into a circle.
Use your fingers to pull the wrapping end the last bit around your round nose pliers, with the excess crossing over the stem wire.
Make a quick check of the loop you've created. With your imagination, visually extend the line of the stem wire -- it should bisect the loop you've made. If you've pulled the loop too far to one side, take hold of the original bend and rebend it gently away from you.
This check step will result in pretty wraps and lessen the tendency for your connected wraps to "catch" on each other.
Before moving on to the actual wrapping, add any soldered element you might need, such as a segment of soldered chain or a 2-hole connector here.
Thread the element onto the wrap end and into the loop.
Take hold of the loop you've just made with your flat nose pliers.
With your fingers, grasp the wrapping end wire. In a circular motion, wind the wrapping end around the stem wire, keeping the wraps perpendicular to the stem. Two wraps work well, but the number of wraps you make will depend upon your tools, as you will see further along in these instructions.
Trim the excess of the wrapping end and press the cut wire down against the stem with your chain nose pliers.
With thin wires, this pressing should be enough to flatten any sharp edges at the cut. If you still feel a sharp edge, you can file the end with a diamond reamer, or use a cup burr tool to grind the sharpness away.
Now you're ready to add a bead, or bead caps and a bead!
Thread a cap, then the bead, then a second cap onto the stem, or just the bead if you're not using caps.