Hopefully you’ll be able to see what I’m doing in these videos as the first time I tried to make it for you everything at the end was out of the camera line and so was kind of a non starter 😉
For this particular chain I’ve used 20 gauge fine silver. (You can use sterling silver, but it might be harder on your fingers). I’ve used a 9mm diameter mandrel to make the jump rings.
I’m pretty sure that I have seen some charts that will tell you which gauge of wire to use with which diameter jump ring to make different sizes of chain, but I haven’t been able to find them yet. If you’re like me, however, good old trial and error works just as well. You can make some test runs with copper first to save messing up with your silver. Your main concern will be to avoid using a diameter ring which is too small for the wire gauge as you want the chain to move well and not be too stiff.
This time I only focused on making the actual chain and not how to make the jump rings. If you would like me to make a video on how to make and solder the jump rings just let me know
For 6″ length of chain
30 x 9mm, 20 Gauge Fine Silver Jump Rings.
Round nose pliers
Awl for jewelry, leather or bookmaking
This first video stops abruptly because my son came into the studio. It was kind of irritating, but we did have a nice chat about how I could edit him out…
NOTE: You don’t need to solder fine silver. If you make sure that the two ends of the jump ring are lined up perfectly and there isn’t a gap where you’re going to join them you can slowly and evenly heat the ring until the silver fuses itself. This just needs practice.
Pepe Jump Ring Maker – riogrande.com #110189 – I have the older version of this tool. I really like it as it has a huge number of mandrels to choose from. You don’t need a jump ring maker, however, to make jump rings as you can wrap the wire around a length of dowel or something similar that is the width you’re looking for. Just be sure to wrap the wire as tightly as you can around the mandrel.
I think the word I was looking for at the end of this video was ‘fluid’, but you get the idea. I haven’t found the need to anneal the chain once I’ve finished it, but perhaps if I used sterling silver I would. It just softens the silver up after you have worked with it so that all of the links move more easily. As I said you have to be careful when you anneal it if you have soldered the joins together because you don’t want the solder to re-melt. This is another good reason to fuse the fine silver instead of soldering.
Draw Plates – HERE – There are many different kinds of draw plates out there, but these are the ones I use. I’m sure for this purpose you could even make your own by drilling holes in a piece of wood.
Awl – HERE – Again there are loads of different needle tools out there. This one seems most like the one I use.
And that’s it.
The only thing that might put someone off making this chain is that it’s fiddly, but once you get the hang of it it’s a breeze.
There are a few variations on this chain, such as the double Loop in Loop and also a triple one, but I haven’t made either of these yet as I’ve got to build myself up for extra fiddly.