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Want To Make Your Own Jump Rings?
It Is Very Easy!
When you make jewelry, you close to always need jump rings. They connect links, are used to attach pendants to chains, to make chain mail and so much more.
You can get jump rings in every possible thinkable size and type of metal. You can get them round, twisted, oval, square and heart shaped, hard, soft and half hard and in different thickness.
You can also make your own, and it is quite easy too.
What you need is this:
- Jewelry wire
- Hand vice
- wire cutters
Cut a piece of silver wire about 60 cm, and start coiling it around your mandrel. Hold onto the beginning of the wire, to keep the tension.
Be careful so that you don't by accident let the beginning come loose. It is very sharp and may cut your hands or face. If you have safety glasses, it can be wise to use them, just in case.
When you have coiled about 4-5 rounds, insert the mandrel in the hand vice and fasten it tightly so the end of the wire cannot come loose. You can of course also use a bench vice if you don't have a hand vice. Hold the hand vice with your left hand and coil the wire onto the mandrel with your right hand.
When all the wire is coiled onto the mandrel, release it from the hand vice and remove it from the mandrel.
Again, be careful. Don't let go of the wire to fast. The tension will cause the wire to spring back, and it may cut your fingers doing so. So try to control the way the wire releases the tension.
It is not so easy in the beginning, my hands are a testimony to that, but after a few cuts, you will get the hang on it.
Use your wire cutters to cut rings from the coil. You can also saw the rings with a hack saw if you prefer that. The rings cut by saw have a flat surface on both sides of the ring, so they will close tighter than those cut with a wire cutter. If you make Chain mail, I would not recommend you to cut the rings with flush cutters, but to saw them or buy commersially cut rings.
On this picture you see a jump ring cut with wire cutters. Notice that one end is flat while the other one is slanted. This may prevent the rings from closing properly. Depending on what you will use the rings for, it may be necessary to file the slanted end flat to get a proper closing of the ring.
Ok, so now you have made jump rings, but how do you open and close them?
I didn't know that when I made my first pieces of jewelry, so they all contained misshaped rings that didn't close as they should. Luckily a friend showed me how to do it right, and thanks to her, I can now show you.
How to open and close a jump ring:
You will have to use two pliers for this. I use two chain nose pliers, but use what you have. Hold the jump ring with the two pliers like shown in the picture. Then move them simultaneously one forwards and the other backwards. You do not pull the ends apart sideways, like I did before I was enlightened, since that will misshape the ring.
To close it, simply reverse the movements until the ring is closed. Easy or what?
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