How to Make Jump Rings

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Introduction: How to Make Jump Rings

About: Jane Chew aka XQDesigns is the chief editor behind 2 popular jewelry making blogs and websites: Handmade Jewelry Club and DIY Lessons. She started jewelry making as a hobby few years ago and was amazed how s...

Today, I would like to bring you to a basic technique: How to make jump rings! Tought it's easy to buy perfect pre-made jumps rings, sometimes I might like to make my own jump rings using diffferent types of materials such as brass, copper, steel, and colored wires. In this case, I do not need to stock up a lot of ready made jump rings of the different materials. Here are some tips how to make them...

Step 1:

Take a mandrel that is measuring about 0.8cm in diameter. In this case, I am using the pliers’ holder as shown in the picture.

Step 2:

Cut approximately 20cm of 18 gauge wires and attached it onto the mandrel and bend one end upward.

Step 3:

Rotate your wrapping hand towards your body to wrap the wires around the mandrel. Repeat to make the subsequent circles until you reach the end of the wires. You may leave approximately 1.5cm of wires unwrapped.

Step 4:

Remove the coils from the mandrel.

Step 5:

Use your wire cutter to trim the end of the coil. Notice I use the flat side of the pliers to cut the wire to ensure the end is flat.

Step 6:

Loosen out the space between the coils by pulling them outward.

Step 7:

Now place your wire cutter at the 2nd layer of the coils which is slightly towards the right side from the end of the 1st layer. This is to allow some rooms for trimming and to ensure sufficient wires to form the whole ring. Once position is identified, cut it out from the coil.

Step 8:

This is how the jump ring looks like after you cut it out.

Step 9:

You can continue to cut the second ring using the same method. Once you cut out the second ring, you will notice that one of the sides comes with sharp edge.

Step 10:

Use your flat side of the wire cutter to cut off the wires slightly from the edges.

Step 11:

Use flat or round nose pliers to close the gap by moving 2 sides of the ring to centre of the ring.

Step 12:

You are done with the jump ring.. Continue to cut the same way... Happy cutting jump rings!  You can visit DIY Lessons.org to download free jewelry making tutorials

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    40 Comments

    This is part of it, but you lose part of the wire by cutting sharp edges this way. It can be helpful to use a jump ring tool. You can also see a video of how to do it with a Dremel on my video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGagYw8s5Dc . Try also tumbling afterward to remove sharp edges, rather than cutting twice.

    19 replies

    actually, if you get a regular pair of mini bolt cutters....one, you wont need a complicated set up for an electrical device and two...it negates the need *for* an electrical device and three, there is no tumbling to remover any burrs that a cutting disk would produce.

    the pinch cuts with mini bolt cutters leaves no sharp edges, especially if you get a pair of knipex brand. the only difference is a slight v notch in the outside and inside of the link, but that's only aesthetics and has no obvious affect on its function.

    If you're trying to do hundreds of professional-quality jump rings, that is not a practical solution, and I question its durability. For a small hobbyist, it may work, though I'd have to see the results to judge them.

    Tumbling also work-hardens the rings and shines them up, making them more attractive and durable.

    ok....i agree with the high turn out. power cutting *is* much faster then by hand. durability? are you serious? look....the durability comes from the strength of the metal, how much its been work hardened at the factory and how much hardness it gains from coiling.....not how its cut.

    the links gain no work hardness from tumbling because there is no physical deformation of the metal. the stress placed on the grain structure and the heat generated by bending, coiling or being pulled through a draw plate is what makes wire hard. not being shaken with a bunch of polishing grit. all that does is make them pretty as well as ridding the cut ends of the burr.

    it is quite laughable for you to say it makes them harder and more durable. sorry to say, but it rather shows you lack of knowledge in metallurgy.

    Be nice, please. You don't tumble jump rings or other metal jewelry items with grit; you use mixed stainless steel shot. And it does work harden the outer layers of the metal. See this excellent link for a more detailed explanation: http://news.urbanmaille.com/how-to/tumble-polish-jewelry.html . As an experienced silversmith, I have found this to be the case.

    you never specified what the tumbling medium was....so i had to go off of what i know about tumbling. if you had been more specific in the first place, possibly posting the link as well as your experience as an accomplished silversmith....it would have alleviated any confusion and all miscommunication.

    and btw....i *was* being nice.

    I'm for just that my rings are not durable some just fall off and I did tumble with shot....to no avail. so then the stress in the way I coil is my prob, is what I'm getting. half hard silver,brawns, brass or atistic wire will work?

    (Being "nice"? You could have fooled me.)

    yes, susanrm is correct. it does harden the layers of the metal. good info.

    Hi susan,

    The tutorial I created is just suitable or fit for hobbyist like me. :) We, jewelry makers, we like to create our own jump rings as we do not want to stock a lot of them. We just create a few jump rings whenever we need them.

    Hi diylesson, as you can see from my website, I too have been a jewelry maker for many years. I changed over to my system years ago after trying it your way, and finding too many failures after long-term wear in my customers' jewelry. I also prefer to do it with power tools and tumbling for when I make chainmaille jewelry.

    Anyway, my comment was directed to acoleman3, who claims his method is so much better - and I would need to see the results to believe them.

    you wanna see results? go to mailleartisans.org and look at their gallery. you'll see all the results you want in their jeweler y section. i stand by what i said about the method of cutting......how you cut it dont make any difference in material strength

    I'm afraid it does.

    Unless you think there's no need for different kinds of saw-blade?

    It's not the strength that concerns me. It's the quality of the jewelry. If you are making fine jewelry for people to wear, pointy bits in the rings will mean more opportunities for the rings to snag on clothing or something else and break the jewelry. So it's the durability of the jewelry, not the metal itself.

    M.A.I.L.is a great resource; I've been aware of them for years. But where does it say they cut their rings as you recommend?

    you're joking right? are you seriously asking me where it says that cutting with 8in bolt cutters is cheaper and produces a more exact cut then sawing? i tell you what....you want to know so bad.....do some digging. as for me, im done with this conversation. especially after an idiotic question as that. you want to prove me wrong and say its a waste of time and how it produces an inferior cut? do the research yourself.

    oh and while your at it.....tell me.....how many links do you have to untangle with a saw cut? i can tell you its a hell of a lot more then with a pinch cut since there is no kerf.

    I concur with Acoleman3.. I've been making costume chainmaille (mostly for hobby, none for sale) for nearly 29 years, and I've used bolt cutters for all kinds of metals, from galvnized steel, stainless steel, copper, and aluminum. It does give a ">|" style cut, but on the long run, it's quicker than single diagonals, You're able to grab more than 1 ring at a time (without stretching the coil, leave the coil tight. It'll help line up for the next set of rings to cut.).. The hand size (8") cutters are good for soft metals (copper, aluminum) but the harder steel requires something like the 14" cutters. (not quite as big as the big lock cutting size) , but you also need to get a pair where the tips of the cutter do not indent in. (in other words, if it has a "<" at the point, not a ")" ) Saw cutting is another alternative if perfectly flat ends are a must. a jewlers saw (like a coping saw, but a super thin blade, Most hobby stores carry them.) will do wonders! But, we're back to the time point.. rushing it, breaks the blades. Also hardened metals (stainless) won't cut.. I advise against using a dremel & a cutting wheel mainly because of the dust/sparks a thin milling saw, run along the side of the coil will do about the same as a jewlers saw, but you'll need a machine, and cooling fluid to work it.

    actually.....you can clip 14.5 awg mild steel quite well with 8 in bolties *and* rather quickly. i use to cut them two at a time really and could go through a 14 inch coil in a little over a min. as well as 14 awg galvy electric fence wire with the same speed.

    stainless is a different story as you said, but i think hockywierdo from mail came up with the idea of the cut/twist technique. you cut partially through the link, then twist and it breaks off the coil leaving a flat end with shallow v marks where the cutters were. that is using 8 in cutters btw.

    ive tried it with 5/32 stainless tig filler rod wrapped on a 1/2 in mandrel. yeah ik ....madness i tell you! lol as well as being board, having the material given me and a desire to experiment. seriously though....i used the pinch/snap cut on all 7 coils and felt no fatigue or the need for any fancy set up.

    apperenty the wire hardened to such a degree from the coiling that because the cutters went through about half of the wire diameter, the grain structure was too weak to keep the last 1/2 from being elastic enough to not break off. oh yeah and there was a lot of spring back.....a *lot* of it. i think the links were 1/16 in oversize because of it.

    after one coil i figured out how much pressure to use and when to twist so i was rather close to matching my speed with mild steel. yeah....it was a bit slower, maybe 12 links less per min then mild steel. i tell you, id have *loved* to have had my knipex cobolt cutters at the time. they would have done better since the jaws on them are sharper and dont blunt over since the cutting edges are tempered so hard.

    oh and umm....they produce more of an offset >< cut. >| is more what diagonal cutters would make. just thought id point that out.

    no i was wrong on the link count. the stainless was only 6 in coils and it took me about as long as a 14 in coil. sorry....my mistake

    LOL! No prob.. I won't hold it against ya.  <chuckle>  Though, I admit, I go a LOT longer than 14-inch coils. I've made a jig to wind coils using a power drill, and up to a 6-foot mandrel. (yes, nearly a 5'-9" coil!) Hence why I've gone with the cutting saw method on some of the longer coils.

    I've dealt with some of the real old, super hard galvanized fence wire.. It's murder on the 8" cutters, and even the 14" cutters have trouble cutting it. (it almost rivals the stainless on tensile strength.) the spring-back of this stuff is dangerous!

    I've also used thin (20 to 22 AWG) wire, the hand cutters are still the bet for cutting quickly.. I saw on a chain maille forum up in Canada (shameless plug: TheRinglord.com) a custom cutter jig, that looks like a table saw, with a pair of plates across a dremel saw assembly, which would be perfect!  (but, that was ages (8 years) ago, not likely it's still in the photo archive there.)