The third project my students make is chain. It's usually the project they look forward to the least. But, making chain is an excellent way to improve soldering skills and gain confidence with the torch. Often students think of chain as boring, I disagree; a well designed chain can greatly enhance a pendant or stand on its own. In this basic chain tutorial I'll go through how to:  make jump rings, link up, solder and finish a simple round link chain.

I like to think of chain making as "production", there aren't many steps but each step is repeated many times. Go slowly and do the best job possible; it is no fun fixing the same mistake in 100 links!

For the purpose of this tutorial I am using  3 feet of 18 gauge sterling silver round wire and a 9 mm wooden dowel, as a mandrel to wrap the wire around to form jump rings.

Step 1: Annealing the Coil

1 Annealing the coil

Wrap the wire into a tight coil, taking care to "tuck" in the ends. While annealing, the ends of the wire will be very vulnerable to melting, tucking them in will help protect from the flame. First move the cloud of the flame slowly around the entire coil, the first time the coil is annealed, the sterling silver will turn golden (image 1) then blue-black (image 2), at this point concentrate the flame in a smaller section of the coil until the sterling silver turns a dull (not bright) red; move to the next section and repeat until the full coil has, at some point reached a dull red (image 3). When finished the coil should be completely black (image 4). Pickle and rinse. When removed from the pickle, the coil should be white (image 5) not bright silver. If the coil comes out bright silver the metal did not reach annealing temperature; repeat and properly anneal.

It is possible to anneal some sections of the coil and not others; I recommend beginners anneal the coil twice, just to be sure it has been fully annealed.

To learn more about annealing sterling silver and how to pickle, turn to page 46 in the July Creating Linus Jewellery, 2012 issue or click here.

Creating Linus Jewellery is a free on-line magazine packed full of Jewellery making tutorials, interviews and articles. Come visit us at: www.creatinglinus.com
<p>Followed step by step and my chain came out perfect, excellent tutorial!!!</p><p>Want to subscribe to your on line magazine but can't find you</p>
thank you, great tutorial.
Very good instructable, the photography in particular much be commended. Does anybody know if 3ft of wire is enough to make a necklace of these jump rings?
wow this is a very well written and photographed instructable. i myself have not done anything like this but if i did choose to do it, i would follow this :) <br>it is a very good and educational instructable <br>well done!
Thank you for your kind words. <br> <br>N.
VERY impressive 'ible. Well written, lots of experienced insight. great pics. i will use this for sure in my class. thanks! -stu
Hello Stu, <br> <br>what class is that? <br>n.
thanks a bunch.
Fantastic instructable!!

About This Instructable




Bio: I've been making jewellery for 22 years and teaching jewellery making classes for 13 years. Recently I've started an online jewellery magazine packed ... More »
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