Instructables

How would I make this metal bangle bracelet/arm bangle?

I am wondering what materials I would need to make this bangle and how to make it. I know I could probably use a variety of different metals. I am looking for something that will be sturdy and durable but also lower in cost. The bangles pictured are made out of copper and 24K gold plated.

Thanks!

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iceng5 months ago

Any electrician will have a piece of #12 gauge wire he can cut 18" for you for s smile.

rickharris5 months ago

If your a beginner than I would suggest making a prototype out of something cheap like copper or brass that way you learn the skills on a cheap material but for the real thing you need to use a precious metal.

Silver is the lowest cost and easiest to use.

You need to find out how to make a bezel mount for the stone, then how to silver solder, the about tempering and hardening the silver.

You need a local or internet supplier for the tools and materials you need other than that it just depends on your skill and ability.

http://portalgc.knowledgebase.net/display/2/index....

may help you or at least give you an idea of how and the costs.

iceng5 months ago

12 gauge wire is not capable of bracelet springiness in my experience.

Perhaps a metal that won't color your skin due to natural skin chemestry.

CabbitCastle5 months ago

For the wire itself you can go with aforementioned stainless steel or copper. Additional options include aluminum wire (rather easy to bend), silver-plated copper wire (looks higher-quality), the used gold-plated copper wire and a variety of others.

Keep the basics in mind:

The thicker the wire, the sturdier it will be.

Also, in general: steel > copper > aluminum in terms of bending strength, though there are a lot of variations and alloys which may change this order.

Here's how I'd make such a bracelet:

There are a bunch of stores where you can get all sorts of stones, which is where you'll get some of your choice. If they are not the right size, use a hammer and possibly a chisel to form them the way you'd like them to be, at least in general.

Try to buy stones with a smooth surface as sanding them down yourself is a really arduous task which usially requires water- or oil-cooled belt/disc sanders, buffing wheels and such. Trust me on this one - it's really a lot of work, and so is cutting them. At least if you don't have the proper tools.

Next you get some metal of your choosing, preferably same/similar to the wire used.

You will need a slightly thicker back plate, and a thinner metal band which should be easy to bend. Cut out a back plate fitting the stone fragment from the thicker metal using a metal saw, dremel or something similar.

Attach it to the back of the stone with some glue (crazy glue or hot glue should work for now). Take the metal band and if thin enough, use fingers to bend it around the stone as a frame. If it's too stiff, use a small, lightweight hammer and do so carefully.

Once the frame has been made, use a blowtorch and silver solder the frame to the back plate. Use a small hammer to hammer the edges of the tape to smooth them out, then use a belt/disc sander to grind it down until it's really smooth.

Again, use blow torch and silver solder to attach the back plate to the wire.

Be sure to use a hammer to taper the wires' end down a bit and have it smoothed down on the belt sander beforehand (note: this will reveal the core metal if plated wire is used).

Now sand and buff, then bend into shape.

You should be done.

I recommend reading a couple of the tutorials written by MrBalleng, he has a lot of metalworking/jewellery ones where you'll learn all about smithing, sanding, buffing and welding. Usually he's using pretty basic tools, too.

xokailey23 (author)  CabbitCastle5 months ago

Thank you for all your input! I was looking into gauges of wire, do you think a 12-14 gauge would be suitable? I think I'm going to go with the copper wire

No problem.

I think even 12 gauge might be a little too easy to bend, especially if it's copper. Remember that a bracelet does provide quite some leverage.

I'm not quite sure from the pictures, but that might very well be a 6-8 gauge. It's probably for the best if you go to a hardware or to an art supplies store and check out how easy the 12 and below gauge wire they have can be bent. Use the one that you feel will fit your needs better. Ultimately it's your arm it's going to be on, so choose whatever you're comfortable with.

Also, remember that copper rusts (well, it gets a patina) and can cause staining on clothing and I think sometimes even on skin (non-permanent).

You might want to look into something to seal the copper with, though at the time I have to idea as to what would be best. Probably nail polish as it sticks to almost anything and is flexible. Or some kind of flexible polyurethane or so.

rickharris5 months ago

To be honest Silver isn't all that expensive and will suite your purpose much better.

Certainly stainless is an option but is quite hard to work.

Copper or brass would do at a pinch.

mpilchfamily5 months ago

It's just a thick copper wire. As for the pendant on it you can do that with copper tape around the edge of the stone or piece of glass of your choice and solder it to the copper wire. Then you can look up the various plating instructables and learn how to nickle plate it so it won't tarnish too much.

Kiteman5 months ago

You can buy thick stainless steel wire, or just use copper without the plating.