loading

Drop Forged Bracelet - make jewellery from tools

Featured
Picture of Drop Forged Bracelet - make jewellery from tools

I was browsing a cheap tool stall in a market, and came across a set of "drop forged" spanners for the price of a cup of coffee.

As I am sure you know, you get what you pay for when it comes to tools. I put them back on the rack, saying to myself; "That cheap, they'll bend around my hand before they shift a bolt!"

I paused, struck by the Maker Muse, and bought the spanners.

 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: What you need

Picture of What you need

Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.

Archimedes

To turn a cheap spanner into a bracelet, all you need is a decent lever and somewhere to clamp the spanner.

I used my largest adjustable spanner, and my every-day vice.

Step 2: Bend

Picture of Bend
DSCF1264.JPG
DSCF1265.JPG
DSCF1268.JPG

I started by clamping the spanner in the vice, fitting the adjustable spanner to the end, and then leaning.

There's no need to be brutal, and no point in moving quickly - moving steadily gives you a lot more control over the point and extent of the bend.

Feed the spanner through the vice a few millimetres at a time, and bend a bit more each time.

Step 3: Squeeze

Picture of Squeeze
DSCF1269.JPG
DSCF1271.JPG

I accidentally ended up with more of a circle than I wanted, but I found that putting the curved spanner in the vice, then closing it slowly, gave me some of the oval shape I was aiming for.

As you bend and squeeze, stop occasionally and try it on - it is surprisingly easy to close the gap at the end too tightly to fit over your wrist. The spanner is not so springy as normal jewellery, so not so easy to force into place if it's closed too tight.

Step 4: Wear

Picture of Wear
DSCF1281.JPG
DSCF1272.JPG

Once you have the curve just how you like it, all you have to do is wear it.

Which way round you wear it is up to you, just go with your personal taste, but I find that the bracelet has a nice heft to it, a pleasing weight as you go about your daily business.

Small spanners can be bent for kiddies (a friend's youngster is already wearing one), a larger spanner could become an armlet, and a huge one could become a torc, but I'd guess the larger one might take more bending than my workbench could stand (it creaked as I got to the end of this example).

Anyhoo, if you are inspired by this instructable, please, hit the "I Made It" button, and post a photo.

1-40 of 47Next »
Kiteman (author) 12 months ago

Obviously, I'm entering this in contests - if you can see a "vote" banner at the top of the page, I would be grateful for a few clicks.

SparkySolar9 months ago

I like your Instructable

Thank you so much for sharing

Rima

seamster12 months ago

Nice! I've got a pile of old wrenches that have been waiting to be used for something like this. Thanks for the great idea!

If they're fairly old wrenches and maybe made in the US, they will be too strong to bend like that. This has to be done with super low quality tools made from a very soft forged steel. Unless you use an acetylene torch to heat it red hot first. The Chinese stuff is what you want.

I was wondering if annealing wouldn't help.

Kiteman (author)  seamster12 months ago

You're welcome - post pictures when you finish.

paqrat11 months ago

Cool!

Kiteman (author)  paqrat11 months ago

Thanks!

snoopindaweb11 months ago

They could even serve in place of brass knuckles? ~:- }

Kiteman (author)  snoopindaweb11 months ago

No, not really.

Silvester1052812 months ago

Have you tried using a MAPP gas or propane torch to heat the spanner (wrench in US) and bend it around a form? You might get more consistent curves, but it would take more time to create the form.

Kiteman (author)  Silvester1052812 months ago

I guess I would make a form or jig if I was going to make a lot of these, but for just the odd one or two, brute force and ignorance is fine.

richardsan Kiteman11 months ago

as a silver smith, you can get a steel bracelet mandrel...perhaps the working end of a hickory baseball bat may work(silver, being softer, i have used a bat before).
hth

kables112 months ago

I am not sure what a spanner is but what I see in the photo is an open/box end wrench and an adjustable wrench...

tinker000 kables112 months ago

It's like the hood of a car is a "bonnet" and the trunk is a "boot" :)

I only wish at the end of the article it said.. and Bob's your uncle...( Im not a Brit.. but I try not to limit my education to just our shores ;-) )

Kiteman (author)  madhypnotist11 months ago

Fun fact; my uncle is, in fact, called Robert!

Kiteman (author)  kables112 months ago

"Spanner" is the English word for what Americans call a "wrench".

In English, "wrench" means a sudden, violent, twisting pull.

lensman888 Kiteman12 months ago

Colonials - what can you do with them?! :)

Kiteman (author)  lensman88812 months ago

LOL!

danzo32111 months ago

Drop forging means a heavy hammer smashes hot metal into the shape you want. Not molten, but hot. If never hardened, I guess you get these Chinese tools. Is 'jewellery' the English spelling? Just 'jewelry' in USA.

Kiteman (author)  danzo32111 months ago

I know what drop-forged is (I'm from a steel town), I'm just not convinced that happened to these spanners.

And, yes, "jewellery" is the correct spelling...

I've got some old wrenches here at my place I might just have to try this.

Kiteman (author)  The Last Gunslinger2611 months ago

Cool, post a picture when you do.

Triclaw12 months ago

got my vote, I was just given a bucked full of random wrenches and this is now on my to do list.

Kiteman (author)  Triclaw12 months ago

Thanks!

Kiteman (author)  Triclaw12 months ago

Excellent!

This is cool. Anyone doing this keep in mind that if the wrenches you use are plated the plating may break, crack chip and peel in the bending. Nothing that you can't deal with but still might happen. As for the comment about weight, you can get small size wrenches in longer handle lengths that could actually make some thin light almost delicate looking bracelets. I see a lot of other adaptations that this could inspire. Good luck to all.

Kiteman (author)  Too Many Projects12 months ago

Thank you!

mcogan12 months ago

very cool idea!

Kiteman (author)  mcogan12 months ago

Thank you!

ottawafm12 months ago
Awesome idea!
Kiteman (author)  ottawafm12 months ago

Thank you!

lindarose9212 months ago

So cool!! You may start a new trend with this! :D

Kiteman (author)  lindarose9212 months ago

Haha, my sons would find it hilarious to think of me as a leader of fashion!

lol everything's possible!

Kiteman (author)  lindarose9212 months ago

LOL!

bit heavy for jewely ?
Kiteman (author)  Phoghat12 months ago

It's a cheap spanner, not exactly high-grade tungsten, so it's no heavier than then bracelets my wife wears.

yellowcatt12 months ago

Now I just need an instructable for something to do with a set of fake drills that bend if you try to drill through something tough like softwood or MDF.

Moral: Don't expect decent tools from poundland.

1-40 of 47Next »