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Daily Wire Tip Mar. 18: Premade or Handmade Jump Rings?
Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
March 18, 2011
I am interested in making chain maille jewellery, and I see there are chain maille jump rings for sale. I can make my own jump rings out of 20- or 18-gauge wire. Is this acceptable, or should I buy these chain maille jump rings because they are better? If so, what is the difference between those and the ones I make? Thanks!
-John-Paul in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Hi John-Paul, although I am able to make chain maille, this art form is not my area of expertise, so I asked our Faculty member Lena Bugrimenko for her advice. Lena replies:
Of course it’s acceptable! Depending on how much you value your time, it may be less expensive overall to get premade rings, but winding your own rings gives you that extra sense of satisfaction. I recommend that you use half hard wire (in the gauges you mention) because it makes nice, heavy jump rings that are easier to close!
Here are a handful of tips related to cutting your own jump rings: Strengthening Jump Rings, Flush Cutting Jump Rings, Cutting Hundreds of Jump Rings, One Jump Ring Gauge…, and Jump Ring Measurements.
Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong
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March 18, 2011 at 8:57 am
I just started making chain maille bracelets. My teacher had us use aluminum rings to start. They are cheaper, very light weight & work as well as silver.
March 18, 2011 at 8:53 pm
You can use copper, brass, bronze, stainless steel, titanium, niobium…there are a host of great material for chainmaille. Good luck!
Making your own rings requires tools you may not already own. If you are not sure chainmaille is for you, i suggest buying pre-made rings and working with those. Decide how much you like it and then jump into ring fabrication. It is much cheaper in the long run!
March 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm
It is also way cheaper to make your own jump rings than to buy them pre-made…rather than paying $40 or $50 for 100 rings in a specific size, you can get way more than that for the same amount of money spent for the wire. (I don`t make my own personally, but I am looking for options to begin doing so myself).
March 21, 2011 at 12:46 pm
I buy my rings from wholesalers, simply because there is so much of my time put into making the chain mail, that I feel it’s not worth it to put more time into the rings and have to charge even more for my finished product. Plus, others have better equipment and are more experienced at making rings than I am, so I feel more confident in their rings. My favorite choice for rings is the Ring Lord (theringlord.com), because he has so many materials and size available. Hope this helps!