Judy Larson's Rustic Silver Links, Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin. Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder. Short pieces of heavier gauge Argentium wire-14, 16, and 18 gauge-can be formed into circles to make these rustic boho style connector links.
Rustic Silver Links
by Judy Larson
  • Category: Findings
  • Technique(s): Butane Torch Techniques
  • Skill Level: Beginner
Short pieces of heavier gauge Argentium wire-14, 16, and 18 gauge-can be formed into circles to make these rustic boho style connector links. Leaving off one of the small rings turns this link into the "O" ring for a toggle. Since these links are so versatile, you may want to make multiples at one time.

Materials

14 Gauge Half Round Dead Soft Argentium .930 Silver Wire
H19-14HRD
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1FT
  • Price: $4.47
  • Gold Club Price: $3.35
Add to Bag
16 Gauge Round Half Hard Argentium .930 Silver Wire
H19-16H
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1FT
  • Price: $5.55
  • Gold Club Price: $4.16
Add to Bag
18 Gauge Round Half Hard Argentium .930 Silver Wire
H19-18H
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1FT
  • Price: $3.29
  • Gold Club Price: $2.47
Add to Bag
Add All Items to Cart

Tools

Multi-Size Wrap 'N' Tap Pliers, Large Barrels
PLR-746.03
  • PLR-746.03
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $29.95
  • Gold Club Price: $22.46
Add to Bag
Xuron Double Flush Wire Cutters - 4-3/4 Inches
PLR-469.10
  • PLR-469.10
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $17.25
  • Gold Club Price: $12.94
Out of Stock
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
Add to Bag
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
Add to Bag
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
Add to Bag
Steel Bench Block 4x4 Inch - Pack of 1
G17-10
  • G17-10
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $21.95
  • Gold Club Price: $16.46
Add to Bag
Nylon Bracelet Bending Plier
PLR-840.00
  • PLR-840.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $19.97
  • Gold Club Price: $14.98
Add to Bag
Add All Items to Cart
Instructions
Step 1
Read through the tutorial before starting the project. Follow all safety precautions pertaining to the tools and supplies being used and the space you are working in.

Whenever I have heavier gauge (14, 16, and 18 gauge) short pieces of Argentium wire left at the end of a coil or off cuts from a project, I make them into coils and cut them into rings. I don't bother to get out my calibrated mandrels, drill, and jump ring cutting system. I just use the two sizes of Wrap N Tap pliers on my tool rack and cut the coils into rings using my Xuron Double Flush Cutters. The rings are bagged, labeled, and set aside until I add to them again. Since these bags are on a corner of my worksurface, they are easy to pull out to "play" with.

For this project, the rings used are:

Small Wrap N Tap Pliers-18 gauge wire rings made on the largest barrel; 16 gauge wire rings made on the smallest barrel

Large Wrap N Tap Pliers-18 gauge wire rings made on the smallest barrel; 16 gauge wire rings made on the smallest barrel
Judy Larson's Rustic Silver Links - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, rustic Argentium links
Step 2
Working on a magnesia soldering block, set two small rings made on the smallest barrel of the Small Wrap N Tap Pliers on opposing sides on the edge of a large 16 gauge ring made on the smallest barrel of the Large Wrap N Tap Pliers as shown. Make sure the seam on the large jump ring is not under the small rings. The seams on the small rings should be just inside the inner edge of the large jump ring-shown at the top of the photo. Place another large 16 gauge ring on top of the unit, making sure that the ring opening is opposite the large ring opening below it-shown at the bottom of the photo. Notice I did not go out of my way to close the seams in the rings. Seams can be closed or left open. Either way works.
Judy Larson's Rustic Silver Links - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, rustic Argentium links
Step 3
Fuse the rings together using a Butane torch head on a butane canister. Remember, throughout this tutorial, the small side rings will have a tendency to melt when the center ring become thicker, so don't concentrate heat in that area.
Judy Larson's Rustic Silver Links - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, rustic Argentium links
Step 4
Place an 18 gauge wire ring made on the smallest barrel or the Large Wrap N Tap Pliers on top of the unit. Heat until the rings are fused. Be careful to not melt everything down.
Judy Larson's Rustic Silver Links - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, rustic Argentium links
Step 5
Place an 18 gauge wire ring made on the largest barrel of the Small Wrap N Tap Pliers on each unit. Heat until the rings are fused. Be careful to not melt everything down.
Judy Larson's Rustic Silver Links - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, rustic Argentium links
Judy Larson's Rustic Silver Links - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, rustic Argentium links
Step 6
Placing the links on a bench block will cool them quickly.
Judy Larson's Rustic Silver Links - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, rustic Argentium links
Step 7
Use a soft bristle steel brush to remove bench block residue from the back of each unit.
Judy Larson's Rustic Silver Links - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, rustic Argentium links
Step 8
Turn the units over and place them back on the magnesia soldering block. Place an 18 gauge wire ring made on the smallest barrel of the Large Wrap N Tap Pliers on top of each unit. Heat until the rings fuse. Be very careful with those small side rings as by now it takes more heat to fuse the center rings together so the smaller rings can easily melt.
Judy Larson's Rustic Silver Links - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, rustic Argentium links
Step 9
Cool the links on a bench block. Clean off the solder block residue from the front side of each unit using a soft bristle steel brush.
Step 10
One at a time, place a link right side up on a bench block and hammer with a slight domed face hammer or a flat faced hammer.
Judy Larson's Rustic Silver Links - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, rustic Argentium links
Step 11
Use a Mini TruStrike Large Embossing Hammer or the ball head of the hammer used in Step 10 to texture each link.
Judy Larson's Rustic Silver Links - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, rustic Argentium links
Step 12
Texture around each link and the side loops using a Mini TruStrike Sharp designer hammer.
Judy Larson's Rustic Silver Links - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, rustic Argentium links
Judy Larson's Rustic Silver Links - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, rustic Argentium links
Step 13
Optional if using the link that may be seen from both sides, such as in a necklace or earring: Place a small piece of heavy plastic on a bench block. Hint: A magazine will work for this step, too. The plastic will protect the texture on the front side of the link from distorting. Texture around the back side of each link and the side loops using a Mini TruStrike Sharp designer hammer.
Judy Larson's Rustic Silver Links - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, rustic Argentium links
Step 14
Use files and sanding sponges to clean and refine the edges and center of each link where needed.
Step 15
Optional if the link will be used on a bracelet: Anneal and cool each link. Slightly curve the link using a bracelet bending pliers.
Judy Larson's Rustic Silver Links - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, rustic Argentium links
Step 16
Tumble for several hours to polish, if desired. This is not necessary as this link is meant to have a more rustic look to it.
Adding patina will enhance the rustic nature of the link.

The photo shows the link in use on a bracelet.
Judy Larson's Rustic Silver Links - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, rustic Argentium links