Daily Wire Tip Mar. 6: Strengthening Jump Rings

By on March 5, 2011
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
March 6, 2011

Question:

Hi Dale, I am making my own jump rings with 20-gauge round half hard gold filled wire. How can I harden these jump rings? I need to make them stronger, because I am making a necklace for a man, and they won’t hold the way they are. Thanks for any help.

-Jackie in North Branch, Minnesota

Answer:

Hi Jackie, although my daughter makes a lot of chain maille, I only make a few rings at a time when I need them. WS Faculty member Lena Bugrimenko makes lots of gorgeous chain maille though, so I asked her to help me with this one.

After you complete each piece of chain maille jewelry, you should toss it in a vibratory jewelry tumbler. This not only makes the jewelry clean and shiny, but it also hardens the wire rings and makes the piece stronger. I don’t know which weave you are planning to use to make this masculine piece, but I might suggest that instead of using 20-gauge, that you try making it from 18-gauge for a heavier, and very strong chain. -Lena

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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4 Comments

  1. avatar

    Jerry Beeman

    March 6, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Not knowing the type of chain, for a Byzantine Chain, I use 18ga for a ladies necklace/bracelet and 16 for men. That’s just my preference. I also use a tumbler to work harden the chain to finish.

  2. avatar

    Dharlee

    March 6, 2011 at 8:54 am

    I would also tumble the rings. If they are SS I would in fact tumble them overnight. Personally, I wouldn’t tumble GF that long however.

  3. avatar

    Helen

    March 6, 2011 at 9:07 am

    my sig other makes lots of chain maille neck chains and bracelets. for a man he uses 16 or even 14 gauge wire. for a woman he usually uses 18 gauge, 16 gauge for a larger bracelet, maybe 20 or 22 gauge for a delicate neckchain.
    the advantage of using heavier gauge is the work goes faster.
    he tumbles all for 3 hrs in a rotary tumbler with steel shot. it takes off burs and leaves an incredible shine.

  4. avatar

    DeLane

    March 6, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I use an alternate method. I place the rings between two layers of leather, then pound them with a rawhide mallet. No distortion, no loss of surface coating, strong jump rings. ‘Course, this is a simple tip for using only a few rings. Many rings? Go to the tumbler!

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