Building on Snake Style Chain
by Dale Armstrong
Question:

I have some lovely sterling snake-style chain that I would like to experiment with. I want to open up one link so I can add a jump ring or wire to this chain. How do I open one link of this chain which seems to be pressed closed?

-Joanne in Sound Beach, New York
Instructions
Answer:

Hum, snake-style chain. It must be the very final, soldered-on link that you wish to open, Joanne. Am I correct? In a situation such as this, why open it at all? Reclosing it would make a major weak point in whatever you are making, because it would be hard to match the original factory closure.

Why not just add to this link by using a piece of wire to make a wrapped loop (be sure to include the chain link in the loop before wrapping it closed), and then connecting it to your jump ring or wire, and then make another wrapped loop at the opposite end. Or you could attach the chain to jump ring or wire by adding a larger wrapped loop, and then add things to the larger loop. At Wire-Sculpture, we encourage "traditional" wire designs, using no solder or glue. By adding components to your chain with wrapped loops, you'll avoid possible weak points (such as a simply closed jump ring) and create a durable piece of jewelry.

Answer contributed by Dale "Cougar" Armstrong
Here's a picture of a suggestion from one of our readers, LadyMockingbird:
"When I use fine snake chains I purchase for them a special sort of crimp style clasp or end cap with a loop. I use the crimp style clasps when I just want to finish off the chain ends. When I want to include shorter lengths of chain I use the ones that just have a loop or closed ring at the ends. These crimp closures are similar to one used for satin cords, leather cords, or tiger tail. However, they are more sturdy in nature." -LadyMockingbird
Dale Armstrong's Building on Snake Style Chain - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, , Crimp Chain Ends

Materials

Sterling Silver Crimp End Cap Fancy 8.5mm / .85mm Inner Diameter - Pack of 6
K10-26
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $3.87
  • Gold Club Price: $2.90
Out of Stock
Sterling Silver Crimp End Cap Fancy6.4mm /.95mm Inner Diameter - Pack of 6
K10-27
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $2.28
  • Gold Club Price: $1.71
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Gold Filled Bright End Caps 1mm - Pack of 2
J10-10
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $2.07
  • Gold Club Price: $1.55
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Gold Filled Bright End Caps 2mm - Pack of 2
J10-11
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $3.37
  • Gold Club Price: $2.53
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Gold Filled Bright End Caps 3mm - Pack of 2
J10-12
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $3.37
  • Gold Club Price: $2.53
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Sterling Silver Dia. Cut Snake Chain 1.62mm - 10 Feet
C8-233U
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $80.97
  • Gold Club Price: $60.73
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Sterling Silver Dia. Cut Snake Chain 2 Tone (Gunmetal / Silver) 1.62mm - 10 Feet
C8-234U
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $145.37
  • Gold Club Price: $109.03
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Sterling Silver Dia. Cut Snake Chain 2 Tone (Rose / Silver) 1.62mm - 10 Feet
C8-235U
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $123.87
  • Gold Club Price: $92.90
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Sterling Silver Snake Chain 1mm - 10 Feet
C8-358U
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $56.97
  • Gold Club Price: $42.73
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Tools

Chain Nose Wire Plier
G2-508
  • G2-508
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $32.95
  • Gold Club Price: $24.71
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Flat Nose Wire Plier
G2-506
  • G2-506
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $32.95
  • Gold Club Price: $24.71
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  • Category: Findings
  • Technique(s): General Education