Sunday, February 5, 2012

Jump Rings Tutorial - Basic Wire Working Technique Series

Jump rings are readily available and fairly inexpensive so most of the time it makes sense just to purchase them. However, there are times when I find a need to make my own. I often times work with dark annealed steel wire and cannot purchase jump rings that are from the same wire. By making my own, I can match the wire perfectly. Also, there are occasions when I want a size - usually very large - that I do not have and need to make it myself.

Tools and Supplies:
Two pairs of chain-nose pliers
Flush cutters (one side of the cutters are flush and make a straight cut, the other side makes a "V" cut)
Knitting needle in various sizes or any round object to wrap the wire around
Small jewelers file
Wire: I've used copper for my photos. I suggest you begin with copper; it's malleable which makes it easy to work with and it's inexpensive.

Wrap a long piece of wire several times around a knitting needle or other object that is the same diameter that you would like the finished size or your jump rings to be.

Remove it from the needle. Use the flush cutters to trim one end of the coiled wire (make sure to place the straight edge of the cutters inward facing the coils).

 Place the cutters (with the flush side the opposite direction as before) onto the next coil and trim even with the first cut to create a round circle of wire.

Place the cutters (flush side towards the coils) and trim off the rough cut edge left from the previous cut. You are now ready to make another jump ring as before. Use the jewelers file to smooth out the edges. Use two pairs of pliers to open and close the jump rings.

Your finished jump rings should look like this.

Here are few examples of where I have made my own jump rings.

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