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Daily Wire Tip Feb. 13: Best Way to Make Jump Rings
Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
February 13, 2010
I was wanting to know what is the best way to make jump rings, what tools would you suggest? I have come across many and some quiet expensive, but I need manderals that are of different sizes.
There are a variety of different ways to make lots of jump rings at a time. One of the least expensive is to use a variety of found items as mandrels, such as knitting needles, old radio antennas, long screwdriver or drill bit, pencil, etc. and an electric drill. Coil the wire around the chosen mandrel shape in the drill, remove the coil from the mandrel and place it into a vise with padded sides (we glued industrial felt inside the vise jaws). Use a jeweler’s saw to cut through the rings, lubricating it occasionally (I like bees wax). (We place a towel on the floor under the vise, so when the rings are cut and drop off they don’t bounce around.)
If you prefer a machine, then choose the one that will do all of the processes you need, like coiling and cutting. Doing a search for ‘jump ring maker’, I found a variety of products priced from $70 to $300 and not all of them perform in the same way or do ‘everything’ you may be looking for, but most products do have both good and not-so-good reviews, which will help you find exactly what you are looking for that fits your budget. (I’ll stick with the drill.)
Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong
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February 15, 2010 at 1:20 pm
You can make jump rings from copper, silver or gold wire. Choose a guage that will compliment your piece, not too heavy, but not so light that they wil bend and distort. Choose a wooden dowel in the thickness you want your jumprings to be. Clamp the dowl and the end of the wire in a vice, or a pair of strong self locking pliers and wind the wire around the dowel with the turnings as close together as possible. Draw a straight line down the length of the dowel with a permanent marker. Use a jewelry saw to cut along the line, sliding the wire turnings to the end as you saw. Voila! Perfect jump rings.
You could also use a really sharp pair of flush nippers to cut the rings off the end of the dowel, but this sometimes distorts the rings if the nippers are not strong enough. If you want oval rings use a piece of metal tubing found in hobby shops and drw the line down the center of one broader side.
Best of luck. Also look on the internet under how to make jumprings. There are some videos out ther showing you exactly what I have described.
February 16, 2010 at 11:53 am
If I may I would like to add my two cents as the old saying goes. When using a pencil for the jump rings if you use a standard pencil you get the shape which adds interest to your piece. I also found several years ago doll hair curling tool. They are long like a knitting needle with a slot at the ends. The slots are good for holding the wire so getting started is easier. They also came in three different sizes. Most of the time I use my round nose pliers. I make coils and cut off the rings as I need them avoiding storage issues and then the rings dropping and getting lost. Also this way allows me to have jump rings that match the color wire I’m using. I use a lot of things from around the house for helping me to shape my wire.