Tag Archives: jewelry tutorial

I have a new link, and I’m not afraid to use it.

Start by cutting the wire. This time I used 18 gauge sterling silver which I cut into 1″ strips. This makes a small link just under half an inch long. I did want a chunkier feel but I’ve run out of 16 gauge wire, and 14 seemed too thick. I’m still bummed out that they don’t have 17 or 15 gauge at Rio, they obviously don’t know that I need wire in every size.

Hammer the ends of the wire slightly,

and sand them.

As 18 gauge wire is fairly thin I used this nail file,

which I stole from my daughter. It works perfectly for small jobs, especially sanding the ends of ear wires. I have noticed, however, that the black ordinary ones seem better than these decorative ones. I know, weird, right.

O.K. now follow closely.

With round nose pliers or your super cool multi whatever pliers turn the end of the wire as in the photo.

Now bend the wire in the opposite direction using a slightly larger part of the pliers.

Now do the same at the other end.

Notice that the curve at the new end looks as though I’ve done it the wrong way round. Don’t be fooled.

Now complete the next curve, as you did the second at the other end, to make the link.

Confused?

I’ll draw a picture.

 Rest assured, once you’ve done the first one, or three as in my case, it gets easier.

You might find that the link has bent out of shape somewhat depending on how well you managed to push the wire over the pliers with your fingers hurting so much, (there’s just something about bending those hard little pieces of wire that does a girls hands in), but, you can take your flat nose pliers and easily straighten the link up.

Now gently squash the middle part together with your round nose pliers.

and use that special little trick to bring the link together more if the ends don’t completely touch the middle.

Now make it a friend.

I joined my links together with a small jump ring

 but you could also join the two together before closing the link.

Then I hung aquamarine beads from it and made it into a bracelet.

But!

Before you get excited,

here’s the thing.

This chain is really nice but I had to do a lot of sanding to shave down some of those curved ends.

See them?

As I ran my finger over it I could tell that without eliminating some of the end curves the chain would constantly catch on your clothing and it would be really annoying.  It took me a long while to get the chain to the point where I was satisfied that it wouldn’t catch. As a consequence this bracelet is 5 billion dollars and cheap at half the price. (Does anyone even know what that means … )

As well as sanding I used my flat nose pliers to push the end flatter to the middle part of the link and that seemed to work quite well. I was thinking of balling up the ends of the wire next time to see how that turns out but I’m not sure if I’ll like it as much.

Stay tuned, I can feel in my bones that there’s more link excitement to come.

Here’s B beginning her second day at work.

And no, her desk is not in the toilet. At least I don’t think so …


How To #4 – More links.

Cut 1″ lengths of 14 gauge sterling silver wire.

This produces a fairly chunky link – you can experiment with different lengths and gauges to suit your taste.

Now put the music on and bring out the christmas present you got from your middle child who thoughtfully wants to protect your hearing from the hammering – that’s if Florence hasn’t got to it yet.

Hammer each end of the wire until flat then take your center punch, punch the silver and drill a hole in each end.

You can use your fordom but I like to use my drill press (so handy).

But, don’t do this,

because it will bug the %^#@*!! out of you that you got the hole off-center and, however much you try to ignore it, you know you’ll just have to start all over again and the top of your hammer will come off for the gazillionth time and it will all be very, very, annoying. Probably because the hammer you bought only cost you $12 and you know you should always invest in the best tools you can afford …

Still, you can whack the head back on and it will be fine but you’ll more than likely be experimenting with some interesting super glue scenarios in the near future.

Don’t let this get you down.

Take a deep breath then anneal the silver.

Because this softens the metal so that you can bend it more easily, and, playing with fire always relieves frustration.

Now get out these really neat pliers.

(If you don’t have these you can use regular round nose pliers. I wont mind).

Center the length of silver across the third or fourth smallest diameter prong,

and bend.

This will hurt your fingers but hopefully you will end up with all those innocent looking little curved silver pieces that are lurking in the background.

Take your flat nose pliers and bend out the very ends of the silver and then close the loop together.

If you have punched and drilled your holes consistently, i.e., in the same position at the ends of each length of silver, when the two ends of the loop come together the holes should line up. You could drill the holes after you join the two ends together. I find this a little trickier. Experiment to find which technique suits you better. If the holes don’t exactly line up you can fiddle with the loop somewhat. If the worse comes to the worse, however, just abandon the whole thing and try again.

What? It happens.

Now, join the loops together as in the pic below.

Voila!

Links.

This is what I did with mine.

And with only the smallest of injuries.

Then, you turn off your torch and go and see, The Bourne legacy.

Which was brilliant.

Enjoy.

For more How To’s see – HERE.

Note: The links to the tools used are only examples of the ones I use. There are many different types available of the same tools, some better than others. If you are beginning your jewelry adventure, please don’t just buy the ones in the links here. Research until you feel comfortable that you are purchasing the right tool for you.

Remember the $12 hammer problem?

Disclaimer: I am just a somebody muddling through. This is the way I do things. I am a wing it, try it, do it wrong, try again, sort of person. I do not maintain that I know what I am doing, only that I am trying to do it. Please feel free to enjoy my discoveries but follow your own research for professional advice and to perfect your skills. Above all, enjoy. Life is short.


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