Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3, Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin. Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder. This all started with a challenge to myself to use tools that I had not used in a LONG time and to use only what I had on hand - mostly wire.
Bracelet Links 1, 2,3
by Judy Larson
  • Category: Findings
  • Technique(s): Butane Torch Techniques
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
This all started with a challenge to myself to use tools that I had not used in a LONG time and to use only what I had on hand - mostly wire.
Over a year ago I made a bunch of boho style links for a bracelet for a friend, and that was the inspiration for the link series that started because I had leftover rings from another design.

Materials

16 Gauge Round Half Hard Argentium .930 Silver Wire
H19-16H
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1FT
  • Price: $7.04
  • Gold Club Price: $5.28
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18 Gauge Round Half Hard Argentium .930 Silver Wire
H19-18H
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1FT
  • Price: $4.17
  • Gold Club Price: $3.13
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4mm Round Sterling Silver Snapset for Faceted Gemstone - Pack of 2
K2-1
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $1.97
  • Gold Club Price: $1.48
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4mm Round Cubic Zirconia Complete 12 Birthstone Set
E10-1G
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $20.97
  • Gold Club Price: $15.73
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Tools

Wubbers X-Large Round Mandrel Pliers
G2-1304
  • G2-1304
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $35.97
  • Gold Club Price: $26.98
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Wubbers Medium Bail Making Pliers
G2-1302
  • G2-1302
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $27.95
  • Gold Club Price: $20.96
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Wubbers Large Bail Making Pliers
G2-1303
  • G2-1303
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $27.97
  • Gold Club Price: $20.98
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Baby Wubbers Flat Nose Pliers
G2-1136
  • G2-1136
  • Lesson Quantity: 2.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 2.00 each
  • Price: $23.97
  • Gold Club Price: $17.98
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5 1/2 Inch Nylon Flat Jaw Pliers with Replacement Jaws
G2-1
  • G2-1
  • Lesson Quantity: 2.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 2.00 each
  • Price: $9.97
  • Gold Club Price: $7.48
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Solderite Soldering Board 6 Inch by 6 Inch Soft
SOL-421.10
  • SOL-421.10
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $12.95
  • Gold Club Price: $9.71
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Magnesia Soldering Block
SOL-455.00
  • SOL-455.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $7.95
  • Gold Club Price: $5.96
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Single 3rd Hand with Tweezer and Base
HOL-165.00
  • HOL-165.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $18.97
  • Gold Club Price: $14.23
Out of Stock
Blazer Big Buddy Turbo Torch, Black
TRCH-8010
  • TRCH-8010
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $40.00
  • Gold Club Price: $30.00
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Premium Steel Bench Block 2 1/2 X 2 1/2
G17-9
  • G17-9
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $15.97
  • Gold Club Price: $11.98
Out of Stock
7 Piece Mini TruStrike Hammer Set with Stand
HAM-520.70
  • HAM-520.70
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $140.54
  • Gold Club Price: $105.40
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WET/DRY PAPER 9 X 11 ASST- 20PC- 2EA GRIT 180-3000
ABR-500.90
  • ABR-500.90
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $24.95
  • Gold Club Price: $18.71
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Pickle Pot, 16 Ounces
CLN-584.00
  • CLN-584.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $29.95
  • Gold Club Price: $22.46
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Sparex Number 2 Pickling Compound
SOL-802.10
  • SOL-802.10
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $5.95
  • Gold Club Price: $4.46
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Multi Angle Cutting Jig
VIS-512.00
  • VIS-512.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $84.95
  • Gold Club Price: $63.71
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Silver Solder Paste Medium SS70 - 1/4 T.O.
SOL-822.15
  • SOL-822.15
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $18.95
  • Gold Club Price: $14.21
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Instructions
Step 1:
Link 1
Read through all the directions before starting the project.
To make the "flower" petals, make a coil with 16 gauge round Argentium wire on the smaller side of a Wubbers Medium Round Mandrel Pliers. Cut the coil into jump rings using your preferred method for cutting jump rings. Because heavier gauge wire is harder to make into a perfectly round coils on any smaller mandrel pliers some of the rings may end up a bit oval. Don't worry. The shape will look more like petals. Four jump rings are used to make each flower.
Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - Link 1, Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, bracelet links
Step 2
Use a method you are comfortable with to cut the jump rings.
Step 3
Use two flat nose pliers or a flat nose and chain nose pliers to close jump rings. It is important that the cut ends of each jump ring are perfectly flush or the jump ring seams will not connect well with solder and will show if not hidden under the flower center.
Step 4
The flower center was made with a leftover 16 gauge ring made on the large side of a Wubbers Extra Large Round Mandrel Pliers. It was cut into pieces and balled made on a magnesia soldering block. 2ΒΌ" of 16 gauge wire cut into pieces and stacked will make the ball as well. Clean and flatten the back of the ball on 320 grit sandpaper placed on a bench block.
Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, bracelet links
Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, bracelet links
Step 5
Arrange the jump rings with the seams facing in toward the "flower" center on a Solderite board. Note where the rings touch each other. It may be helpful to mark those points with a Sharpie.
Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, bracelet links
Step 6
Place medium paste solder under each ring seam and between the rings where they touch. Don't worry about the mess. This will be covered later with the large flower center. Heat until the solder flows. Pickle, rinse and dry the flower petal unit.
Pro Tip: If you are comfortable with layering pieces before soldering, skip to Step 7 before soldering. The whole unit can be soldered together at the same time. Soldering the rings together first can be a bit easier.

Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, bracelet links
Step 7
Place medium paste solder on the back of the flower center ball. Position it in the center of the rings and press into place. If the rings were not soldered together in Step 4, be careful when pressing the center into place as too much pressure can move the jump ring petals out of place. Heat until the solder flows.
Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, bracelet links
Step 8:
Link 2
Make a coil on the smaller side of a Wubbers Extra Large Round Mandrel Pliers. Hint: The completed size of rings made by different people using the same tools will never be exactly the same. The finished size depends upon the temper and spring of the wire, the tightness of the coil on the mandrel, the method used to cut the rings and whether the large jump ring seam was fused or soldered. Because of this, it is a good idea to wait until the large ring is cut and textured before making the small rings.
Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - Link 2, Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, bracelet links
Step 9
Cut the coil into jump rings using your preferred method for cutting jump rings.
Step 10
Close the jump rings. Two flat nose pliers or a flat nose and chain nose pliers are usually used to close jump rings. However, it may be easier to use two inexpensive wide flat nose pliers to close the large jump rings used here. It is important that the cut ends of each jump ring are perfectly flush or the ring seams will not fuse or connect well with solder.
Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, bracelet links
Step 11
Space the rings out on a Solderite board. Fuse the jump ring seams or use a small bit of medium paste solder under each seam and heat until the solder flows.
Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, bracelet links
Step 12
Lightly flatten all the fused/soldered rings on a bench block using a Mini TruStrike Designer/Texture Hammer or any flat faced hammer. It does not matter if the hammer face is not smooth because each ring will be textured. The slight flattening helps keep the texturing hammer from sliding off the rounded top of the ring when texturing. Use the Mini TruStrike Sharp Designer Hammer to texture around the ring.
Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, bracelet links
Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, bracelet links
Step 13
Three 3.5mm ID 18 gauge round rings were used inside this textured link because they were already in my stash, they fit, and they were similar enough in thickness to the large ring to not melt when soldering. These rings could be made on the smaller side of the Wubbers Medium Round Mandrel Pliers. The three smaller rings do not need to fit tightly inside the larger ring. If the center ball is large enough to connect to the three rings, the joins will be secure enough.

Check your jump ring stash for three rings that fit inside the large ring or make new ones. Do not use wire finer than 18 gauge or twisted 20 gauge square. Close each jump ring.
Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, bracelet links
Step 14
Ball one 3/8" piece of 18 gauge wire on a magnesia solder brick for each link. If this ball does not cover the inner edges of the small jump rings in the center, make a larger ball. Clean and flatten the backs of each ball on 320 grit sandpaper placed on a bench block.
Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, bracelet links
Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, bracelet links
Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, bracelet links
Step 15
Place a small amount of medium paste solder exactly opposite the seam on a small jump ring. Push the jump ring and solder up against the inside of the larger ring. Repeat with the other two jump rings. The seams of the small jump rings will be facing the center of the assembly. Heat until the solder flows. Pickle, rinse and dry the unit. Hint: If you are comfortable with layering pieces before soldering, skip to Step 15 before soldering. The whole unit can be soldered together at the same time. Soldering the rings together first can be a bit easier.
Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, bracelet links
Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, bracelet links
Step 16
Place medium paste solder on the back of the ball. Position in the center of the rings and press into place. If the rings were not soldered together in Step 4, be careful when pressing the center into place as too much pressure can move the jump rings out of place. Heat until the solder flows.
Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, bracelet links
Step 17:
Link 3
Make a coil on the smaller side of a Wubbers Extra Large Round Mandrel Pliers.
Pro Tip: Do not set the stone until the final tumble of the bracelet is done. Generally, tumbling will not hurt a CZ, but there is no harm in waiting. Even though patina may not have been originally desired, when the bracelet is finished, you may find that you would like it. If the stone is already set, the bottom of the snapset cannot be reached to be cleaned out and polished. That shiny surface can help the CZ sparkle just a bit more.
Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - Link 3, Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, bracelet links
Step 18
Cut the coils into jump rings using your preferred method for cutting jump rings.
Step 19
Close the jump rings. Two flat nose pliers or a flat nose and chain nose pliers are usually used to close jump rings. However, it may be easier to use two inexpensive wide flat nose pliers to close the jump rings used here. It is important that the cut ends of each jump ring are perfectly flush or the ring seams will not fuse or connect well with solder.
Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, bracelet links
Step 20
Place a small amount of medium paste solder inside the larger of the two rings. Push the smaller ring into the solder inside the larger ring. Heat until the solder flows. Pickle, rinse and dry the unit.
Pro Tip: Soldering the rings together first makes it easier to solder the snapset in place. The snapset is made of much thinner metal than the rings and can easily melt. If you are comfortable with soldering all in one step, skip to Step 21 as the whole unit can be soldered together at the same time.
Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, bracelet links
Step 21
Place a small bit of medium paste solder where the snapset will be positioned inside the smaller ring. Push the snapset into the solder until it touches the smaller ring. Heat until the solder flows.
How to add a loop on the outside of the link: Many of the links in this series can be made into earring dangles or be used as charms on the bracelet. Jump rings can be added to both ends of a link to extend its length. Note: The CZ is set on top of the snap set for reference only. Wait until the project is completed before setting the stone.
Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, Hint:  Soldering the rings together first makes it easier to solder the snapset in place.  The snapset is made of much thinner metal than the rings and can easily melt.  If you are comfortable with soldering all in one step, skip to Step 21 as the whole unit can be soldered together at the same time.
Step 22
Using 16 gauge round wire, make a coil on the smaller side of a Wubbers Medium Round Mandrel Pliers or the larger side of a Wubbers Small Round Mandrel Pliers.
Step 23
Cut the coil into jump rings using your preferred method for cutting jump rings.
Step 24
Place a component in a Miter Cutting Jig and Vise with only a very small portion protruding. File off the excess metal. Repeat with the other piece. The miter jig helps keep the filed portion perpendicular so it will fit perfectly against another filed piece. The flattened area on each piece allows for a larger soldering surface, making for a stronger connection.
Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, bracelet links
Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, bracelet links
Step 25
Place paste solder between the parts to be joined. Press them together. Heat until the solder flows. Notice that sterling silver components that are not rhodium plated turn black with fire scale but the Argentium becomes a matte silver with the heat. It is a good idea to use a fire scale barrier spray when soldering if using many sterling components.
Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, bracelet links
Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, bracelet links
Judy Larson's Bracelet Links 1, 2,3 - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, bracelet links
Step 26
Now that all the links are made................

Pickle and rinse all the links to remove any fire scale or light discoloration. Rinse and dry.
Use 320, 400, and then 600 grit sandpaper or sanding pads to clean and refine the solder joins where needed.
Tumble in shot, water and a drop of dish liquid for several hours.
Remove the links from the tumbler and rinse. If the all the parts of each piece are still attached, the solder joins are likely permanent. If not, the old solder should be filed off and the pieces soldered together again.
Pro Tip: Wait to patina until all the links are connected in the desired manner and before any stones are set.