Repurposing Sterling Cord End Findings
by Judy Larson
To help renew creativity and excitement, try something new that has nothing to do with finishing projects on the work surface-or in my case, stacked in trays waiting to be started! A short chain does not take long to construct so I usually search out a video chain maille project that is new-to-me.
Instructions
I recently constructed a short new-to-me peacock chain using Argentium wire instead of fine silver. Since I did not want to use it in any of my current projects, I decided instead to finish the ends and give it away. Many times findings are attached to chain ends with jump rings and called done. A chain will look a little more professional, however, if the chain ends are finished in some manner. It is even better when the chain end cover relates to the chain design. Since my chain featured a balled wire end in each link, that was my design idea starting point.
I found two cord ends found in my stash that would work with the chain but did not really tie in with the design of the chain. The cord end on the left from wirejewelry.com is one I use all the time on many of my hand made chain ends. Years ago I ordered quite a few of the ones on the right from a different vendor not realizing that both ends were open, meaning a chain or cord end would always show no matter if it was glued or soldered in place. They had not been used often because of this but there was now an opportunity for a creative solution to the problem. Note: Both these cord ends feature a center ring that can be pinched/squished tightly against a leather or fiber cord to hold it in place. Most people use a bit of glue to further secure the cord when using the cord end in this manner.
Judy Larson's Repurposing Sterling Cord End Findings - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, repurpose sterling cord crimps
Idea 1
I had several different size silver disks that could be cut back to fit around the loop ends, but that was too much fiddly work. I wanted fast and easy.
Idea 2
The loop ends could be cut off the cord end and then a flat or domed disk with a center hole could be soldered over the end. Since I did not want the look of a wire wrapped loop on the ends of the chain, I nixed this idea but it is in the back of my mind for a later remodel of some of the other cord ends. AND this idea can be used to make a cord end with a short piece of silver tubing!
Idea 3
A bead cap might work but again, the loop ends created a problem as well as too much work making it fit the opening without falling through. A smaller bead cap would work and not fall through the cord end opening if the top of the cord end was squished into a bit more of an oval shape. This was the idea winner!
Judy Larson's Repurposing Sterling Cord End Findings - Idea 3, Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, repurpose sterling cord crimps
A bit of medium paste solder was put on top of the cord end on either side of the opening. The bead cap was placed upside down on top of the opening.
Pro Tip: It is easiest to place the bead cap on top of the cord end opening by coming in from a corner because this keeps the end cap from falling through the opening.
Judy Larson's Repurposing Sterling Cord End Findings - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, add a little solder paste
Judy Larson's Repurposing Sterling Cord End Findings - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, put a bead space cap into the top of the crimp
Judy Larson's Repurposing Sterling Cord End Findings - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, put the bead cap onto the top of the end crimp
Heat the pieces until the solder flows. Pickle and rinse the pieces.
Judy Larson's Repurposing Sterling Cord End Findings - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, solder the cord crimps
The cord ends can be used with only the bead caps covering the top hole, but I wanted to cover the bead cap hole as well as tie the cord end design into that of the chain. A balled piece of wire was soldered into place over the bead cap hole using medium paste solder. After pickling, rinsing, and drying, the pieces were refined a bit where needed. Since shot can get stuck inside the end caps during tumbling, polishing would wait until the cord ends were soldered into place on the chain ends.
Judy Larson's Repurposing Sterling Cord End Findings - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, a balled piece of wire covers the whole in the bead cap
The chain end links were shaped to fit inside the end caps and soldered in place using easy paste solder. Bonus: That little bit of flattening the top of the cord end makes the profile of the chain ends a bit more sleek and smooth.
Judy Larson's Repurposing Sterling Cord End Findings - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, chain ends soldered inside the crimp
The clasp, charm, and extender chain were then attached to the cord end loops. The dangling heart sports a small ball embellishment, which ties it into the chain design. The last little bit tying the whole thing together is the small ball of silver soldered to the last oval link of the extender chain.
The finished chain was pickled, rinsed, and tumbled for several hours to bring up a nice shine.
Judy Larson's Repurposing Sterling Cord End Findings - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, repurposed cord crimp
Judy Larson's Repurposing Sterling Cord End Findings - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, repurposed cord crimp
Judy Larson's Repurposing Sterling Cord End Findings - , Findings & Components, Toggles & Clasps, Earwire & Headpin, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, repurposed cord crimp

Materials

Sterling Silver Fancy End Cap 4mm - Pack of 2
K3-82
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $12.32
  • Gold Club Price: $9.24
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Sterling Silver Fancy End Cap 2mm - Pack of 2
K3-80
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $5.32
  • Gold Club Price: $3.99
Out of Stock
Sterling Silver Fancy End Cap 1mm - Pack of 2
K3-79
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $2.76
  • Gold Club Price: $2.07
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Tools

Silver Solder Paste Soft SS65- 1/4 T.O.
SOL-822.10
  • SOL-822.10
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $16.95
  • Gold Club Price: $12.71
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  • Category: Findings
  • Technique(s): Butane Torch Techniques