I love to make jewelry out of uncommon materials. I am always looking for everyday items that I can turn into something unique and interesting. So last week when the guys at the bike shop asked me if I wanted my old bike chain I said 'Yes.', asked them to show me how to take the chain apart, and went from there. I have designed several different styles of earrings, bracelets, pendants, and rings with bicycle chain since then but the design in this instructable is one of my favorites.
Here are the materials that you'll need to make the earrings pictured:
~ Used Bicycle Chain (that you have cleaned to remove the grease)
~ A Chain Tool
~ Round Nose Jewelry Pliers
~ Flat Nose Jewelry Pliers
~ 6 Medium-sized Jump Rings
~ 2 Small-sized Jump Rings
~ 2 Earring Hook Findings
Step 1: Step 1
Use a chain tool to take the pins out of the links and to take the plates apart. I have 2 different tools pictured here. The small one is the CT-5 and the big one is the CT-3. They are both made by Park Tool. I chose Park Tool because it's what the guys at the bicycle shop use. I started out with the CT-5 which is nice and compact but since for most everything I have designed requires me to take pin after pin out of chains that are really old and have been ground down and in over time I went out and bought the CT-3. It gives you a lot more leverage and the lever is covered with plastic so it's easier on your hands. I have yet to meet a pin that I can't coax out. Of course, I did break my first chain tool pin today though...
After you take the pins out you will end up with several different pieces. For these earrings you won't need all of these pieces but save them because I have found ways to use all of the pieces in different projects and will be posting more instructable. Even though you have already cleaned these chains when you take the links apart you will find more grease. I put all of the pieces into a plastic bowl and spray them with 'Extreme Simple Green Motorsports Cleaner and Degreaser', let them soak for awhile and then use a brush to scrub them a little bit and rinse them off.
Lay out three of the flat plates with the writing right-side up and place the jump rings and fish hook findings in order so that it's easy to see what you need to do. Use the round nose pliers to open each jump ring and connect the plates and then close with the flat nose pliers. Bring the bottom plate up to the top jump ring and connect the two plates with the jump ring. Attach the small jump ring to the top medium jump ring and then connect to the fish hook earring finding. Repeat for the other earring. VOILA!