Wondering what else you can do with those links?
You remember the ones.
Well fret no more.
To find the post with instructions on how to make these click HERE, however, I will recap.
First make the links.
This time I used 16 gauge sterling silver wire and I worked on them in a slightly different way than the first post – just to keep it exciting.
Cut 1″ lengths and hammer each end as before.
Then bend them over your super neat pliers and bring the ends together with flat nose pliers.
You will notice, with some frustration, that the two ends wont come together completely flat. Things like this bug the bejeezus out of me,
gently squeeze together the round end of the loop just enough to bring together the flat ends.
It doesn’t seem much but this solves the problem. Just be sure not to squeeze the loop so much that you flatten the round end too much, you still want a nice looking loop at the finish.
This is where I changed it up.
The first time I made the links I drilled the holes in the ends before I made the loop. This worked very well for me but you have to make sure the holes line up after you bend the silver into the link.
This time I drilled the hole after I made the link.
Now, apparently I drill the same way I fish.
When I get a bite I reel the thing in as fast as I can until the fish is almost speared on the end of the rod, then I whack the hell out of it with the priest until it’s absolutely dead. Not the mostly dead as in my last post you understand. All dead. I can’t stand playing with it by casually reeling it in. I can’t stand its not knowing I’m going to whack it on the head. I just don’t want it to see it’s coming.
This is why I don’t fish any more.
Back to the jewelry.
When I drill I tend to push that bit down into the silver like there’s a race on. There’s no messing around, I just spear that thing like I don’t want it to see it’s coming.
Yesterday I found out, once again, that my fishing technique is not necessarily the best approach to drilling.
Feel free to learn from my mistakes, they might just save your life someday.
If you are not holding the link tightly enough (I use an old pair of pliers so as not to get my fingers too close) and you jam that bit down like someone who wants to get catching a fish over with as soon as is earthly possible, you will likely take your eye out.
In this instance the bottom end of the link didn’t want to stay put as the drill came down through the first end. Because I was happily going full guns with the drilling the link caught up in the bit and whipped itself out of the pliers. This has happened before (I’m a slow learner), but this time, and I don’t really know how, the link flew off into the room. A Final Destination moment for sure.
I quickly found out that, in this instance at least, slowly but surely wins the race and that, however much I don’t want to admit it, my high school metalwork teacher was right. Always respect the machines, however small and innocent they appear.
Once the holes have been drilled take out your preferred sanding tool and even out the ends into perfect rounds.
This is my tool of choice,
Next you will need some 18 gauge sterling silver wire which you cut into just under 2.5 cm lengths and bend in half.
Thread the loop into two of the links.
Now comes the tricky part, although if I did it, you can too.
Hold the links in your soldering tweezers and ball up the ends of the wire with your torch.
This is only tricky because you have to be careful not to heat up the flattened ends of the links too much else they melt too.
It’s also tricky if you have short tweezers. Then you’ll find you burn your fingers constantly until you wise up and buy a longer pair. Took me a year. Told you, slow learner.
Hold the new link with a pair of round nose pliers and bring together the balled ends slightly with a pair of flat nose pliers until you have a good shape
Carry on joining the links
until you have a bracelet length, or a length for whatever else you want to use a chain for. (See that link that hasn’t come completely flat together? Annoying).
Now, if you had thought ahead you would have already made your clasp before you closed up the last link. If you’re me, however, you wouldn’t have,
find some 16 gauge wire and wrap a small loop from the end of it around the last link.
Solder this together making sure not to solder the loop onto the link. You want it to move freely.
Now make your hook clasp, pickle the chain, dunk it in liver of sulphur and polish to a nice sheen.
Just for you.
0 thoughts on “The tale of two links.”
This is a very tricky and intricate detail of your works. I would like to see this piece in person.
hey beth, i will bring it on wednesday if you’re coming.
Really enjoyed this tutorial and can’t wait to try it! Thank you again. I first hit your site to look at your beautiful jewelry…staying to look at more. Thanks again!!
You should, it’s very easy 🙂
love it thank you so much for doing this, and i love your personality!!!