Introduction: 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.

Step 1: 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

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

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

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.

Comments

author
CarlT10 (author)2017-03-08

A friend of mine had a significant birthday and his other half bought him one of the snap on ones as a surprise present it is still a talking point after nearly a year and looks the business ,how the girl who made it done it is beyond me as there isn't a wrinkle in it and he had to tighten it to his wrist with a mallet .....would love one of them as I am a bike mad spanner monkey .......lol. Thanks for sharing thou good job man

author
Kiteman (author)CarlT102017-03-09

Sounds cool - thanks for the comment!

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neiluk41 (author)2017-02-05

This is brilliant i have seen these spanner bracelet's for sale on ebay either solid gold or solid silver or ones made from a genuine snap-on spanner custom made to fit your wrist you just have to measure your wrist & they were £85 plus postage & today i did a google search how to make a spanner bracelet & found a website where they made snap-on spanner bracelet's & another one the snap-on spanner bracelet's are £85 & the other was £80 im going to have to try this today i dont really want to go bending one of my spanners but there might be a couple of cheap ones in my tool chest if not i will just wait until i buy a cheap set from either pound land or pound world etc i was close to buying one if the snap-on spanner bracelet's when i see them on ebay before but i thought that is a lot of money really just for a spanner bracelet which of course is not even gold or silver etc just a bend spanner but the solid gold ones of these go into the hundreds & thousands & the solid silver ones a hundred pound or more they are also made & dipped into 9 carat gold or 18 carat gold etc look them up on ebay or do a google search.

author
Kiteman (author)neiluk412017-02-05

Cool - post pictures when you're done!

author
PhilH34 (author)2015-12-20

didn't seem to work well for me bending cold. . .

1220153323_02.jpg
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Kiteman (author)PhilH342015-12-20

Ouch!

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PhilH34 (author)Kiteman2015-12-20

suggestions?

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Kiteman (author)PhilH342015-12-21

Sorry, not much beyond "take it slow" - I didn't bend the whole thing at once, just a bit at a time. It might also have helped that I used really cheap spanners...

author
SparkySolar (author)2014-10-19

I like your Instructable

Thank you so much for sharing

Rima

author
seamster (author)2014-07-31

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!

author
actionjksn (author)seamster2014-08-03

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.

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mdeblasi1 (author)actionjksn2014-09-08

I was wondering if annealing wouldn't help.

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Kiteman (author)seamster2014-07-31

You're welcome - post pictures when you finish.

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paqrat (author)2014-08-04

Cool!

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Kiteman (author)paqrat2014-08-04

Thanks!

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snoopindaweb (author)2014-08-04

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

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Kiteman (author)snoopindaweb2014-08-04

No, not really.

author
Silvester10528 (author)2014-08-03

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.

author
Kiteman (author)Silvester105282014-08-03

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.

author
richardsan (author)Kiteman2014-08-04

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

author
kables1 (author)2014-08-03

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...

author
Tinker_001 (author)kables12014-08-03

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

author
madhypnotist (author)Tinker_0012014-08-03

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 ;-) )

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Kiteman (author)madhypnotist2014-08-04

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

author
Kiteman (author)kables12014-08-03

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

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

author
lensman888 (author)Kiteman2014-08-03

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

author
Kiteman (author)lensman8882014-08-03

LOL!

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danzo321 (author)2014-08-03

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.

author
Kiteman (author)danzo3212014-08-03

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...

author
The Last Gunslinger26 (author)2014-08-03

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

author

Cool, post a picture when you do.

author
Triclaw (author)2014-07-31

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

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Kiteman (author)Triclaw2014-08-03

Thanks!

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Kiteman (author)Triclaw2014-07-31

Excellent!

author
Too Many Projects (author)2014-08-03

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.

author

Thank you!

author
mcogan (author)2014-08-01

very cool idea!

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Kiteman (author)mcogan2014-08-03

Thank you!

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ottawafm (author)2014-08-01

Awesome idea!

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Kiteman (author)ottawafm2014-08-01

Thank you!

author
lindarose92 (author)2014-08-01

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

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Kiteman (author)lindarose922014-08-01

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

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lindarose92 (author)Kiteman2014-08-01

lol everything's possible!

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Kiteman (author)lindarose922014-08-01

LOL!

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Phoghat (author)lindarose922014-08-01

bit heavy for jewely ?

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Kiteman (author)Phoghat2014-08-01

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

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yellowcatt (author)2014-07-31

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.

author
Kiteman (author)yellowcatt2014-07-31

Bend them into loops, make a chain?

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poofrabbit (author)2014-07-31

Oh man I want one! Time to go find some cheap tools! Great idea Kiteman!

author
Kiteman (author)poofrabbit2014-07-31

Thank you!

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Bio: The answer is "lasers", now, what was the question? If you need help, feel free to contact me. Project previews on Tumblr & Twitter: @KitemanX
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