Introduction: Celtic Knot Pendant

Picture of Celtic Knot Pendant

The never-ending knot dates way back to the late Roman Empire. Probably even sooner. It can be found in several cultures within their art and architecture. I’m most familiar with it within the Irish, Scottish and Welsh culture. This pendant can be difficult to make but a couple well placed notches makes it possible.

Step 1: AutoCAD Jewelry Design

Picture of AutoCAD Jewelry Design

To begin I copied an image from an internet search and pasted it in AutoCAD. I placed 3 arcs right over the image and moved them off. With the help of the trim tool I cleaned it up to just the simple symbol. I used the rotate tool to move each arc back into a circular form. Finally, I marked the circle where the arcs break and overlap.

Step 2: Work the Wire Into a Circle

Picture of Work the Wire Into a Circle

The trefoil is made form 14 gauge zinc coated steel wire. You can find it at any hardware store. With a 13/16 Craftsman socket, I formed a coil using a pair of pliers. This size socket made the coil the exact size of the template. I find it works best to wind the wire against the curve. I cut a section of coil so it overlaps according to the lengths of 3 arcs. I then used a triangle file to mark where the bends are going.

Step 3: File the Notches

Picture of File the Notches

When it comes time to fold in the pendant, it won't be in a straight line. To get the right offset you have to file in the notches at an angle. I didn’t measure, but my guess between 45 and 90 degrees. I used a square file a notch about 3/4th of way into the wire.

Step 4: Folding in the Endless Knot

Picture of Folding in the Endless Knot

This is the tricky part. First I bent two of the arcs together just like it is going to end up. In order to place the arcs like folded arms, you have to open the middle arc. If you look closely at the 5th picture you can see how much I opened it. Once that is done, you can bend the last arc in and slip it under as you see in the picture.

From this point I used pliers to close the wire together and re-close the opened arc. The socket itself works well to check for proper reshaping.

Step 5: Weaving in the Circle

Picture of Weaving in the Circle

The inner circle is formed with the same socket and pliers method. This wire is 16 gauge which is just a little thinner than the 14 gauge. After cutting one out, I filed the ends so they would meet nicely. I twisted each part of the trefoil just a little to open the way for threading the circle. The joint is hidden behind one of the arcs.

Step 6: Solder and Polish

Picture of Solder and Polish

I made a jump ring by wrapping 16 gauge wire around the handle of my hobby file. I then filed both the jump ring and connecting arcs flat. This makes for a better soldering joint. I also filled the notches with solder as well as the joint in the circle.

The last step is to polish the pendant on a buffing wheel. I started with a heavy polishing compound to remove any tool marks and moved on to a finer grade for a brighter shine.

Comments

Kingstad made it! (author)2016-03-04

Made it a few weeks ago but there were many hard-to-reach spots for polishing. Made from brass wire of unknown thickness.
Thanks for the instructable!

JoeG22 made it! (author)2015-10-12

I made one of these this week. I used 14 gauge wire. Great design and easy to follow instructable.

Mrballeng (author)JoeG222015-10-13

Well done. Looks Great!

rohanbansal (author)2015-07-22

Great work! A valknut in the form of a pendant would've been awesome too!

Truthis1 (author)2015-05-26

I Pm'd you about purchasing a finshed pendant. Do you sell these?

Corinbw (author)2014-12-19

what gauge of wire did you use?

Mrballeng (author)Corinbw2014-12-19

16

Raven81 (author)2014-03-05

I feel your background choices for your photos need to be commended also, very nice project and very nice presentation!

maevins (author)2014-01-15

Wow nice job

SMOKINACE99 (author)2013-07-03

isn't it called a triquetra?

yes it is a triquetra celtic knot i no im irish

Very Interesting (author)2013-08-06

Beautiful!

emilyvanleemput (author)2013-07-22

Congratulations on winning second prize!

nate408 (author)2013-07-21

That Is cool. I'm making one!

daliad100 (author)2013-07-17

Here's my attempt so far, still needs a fair bit of cleaning up, polishing and mounting.

It's the result of using far too much blowtorch.

Oh well, 49.7 meters of wire to go ;P

sergiosparks (author)2013-07-16

beautiful..from start to finish..thanks for sharing

lothoth (author)2013-07-08

My little try with silver (first time, took my mother's jewelry tools)

Mrballeng (author)lothoth2013-07-08

Wow. Great job! You got it right on.

robbadooz (author)2013-07-05

Beautimous precision work, Mrballeng! I understand why you bent the wires rather than solder them from pieces. I am a metal smith too and I do so appreciate what you have done!

Bowtie41 (author)2013-07-04

Since you're going to be soldering all the joints anyway,next time I would try just cutting the series of arcs and weaving however you want,and then soldering the corners.It would save the hassle of trying to bend and loop upon itself.Also,be careful you don't get the wire too hot when soldering a zinc coated wire,Nasty,nasty fumes!.I think I'm gonna try this with some old pieces of SS TIG rod I got laying around.Still beautiful jewelry,nice job!

jtechian (author)2013-07-04

I noticed the drawing and the result are different in that the drawing shows each section under over and the result shows 2 over 2 under. Which is the way the knot goes? Each line over the under or 2 over then 2 under?

Bowtie41 (author)jtechian2013-07-04

I was curious too.All of the ones I saw on Google are like the drawing,not the 'ible.Over one,under one,over one,etc.Still a pretty piece,Hope this helps!

jomaro (author)2013-07-04

Your creativity and the way you detail your 'ibles, never ceases to amaze me. Congratulations Mrballeng!

darklotus (author)2013-07-02

Very nicely detailed instructible and a lovely result.

ench (author)2013-07-02

Very Nice, wonderfully detailed 'ible, will be trying this out after work tonight.

ragu1975 (author)2013-07-02

Awesome work! Nicely done!

Rich_Limburger (author)2013-07-02

Love this instructable and the use of AutoCAD in the designing-phase.

Mrballeng (author)Rich_Limburger2013-07-02

Thanks!

oldmicah (author)2013-07-01

Thanks for detailing that. I had seen similar things before, but never knew how it was done. Beautiful work!

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2013-07-01

Yay for an awesome celtic knot! Just Beautiful!

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Bio: Awesome Gear I've designed myself.
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