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
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
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
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
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
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
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.