Jointed Mild-steel Necklace





Introduction: Jointed Mild-steel Necklace

This is a piece I made last spring at the Crucible's forge space in Oakland. It's a three- or four-piece jointed necklace, made from 3/8" round stock from the scrap bucket. Right now, I use steel jump-rings to connect the C-scroll back piece to each of the front S-scroll pieces, and the folded C-scroll clip holds the front two together. For a simpler look, I can just put a jump-ring or bit of wire to hold the front pieces together where their curves meet.

Process: As usual, I just rough-sketched the design and then started playing around with the pieces. If I make another, I'd start with smaller stock (since these were drawn down to less than 1/4" at their widest), do a more thorough design first, and mock up the 3D curves with wire. Also, it's a pretty impressive amount of trouble to shape very hot iron in complex curves that match one's own neck in a room with no mirror. I had to go through a lot of heat-and-quench cycles for this piece. With that and all the drawing and tapering, I broke one piece, and the clip has some serious cracks in it. A better model would help, as would time to properly anneal the pieces.

Finish: I cleaned off the scale and smoothed it with a grinding bit on a rotary tool. (Dremel + Flexshaft = awesome.) Since the piece is designed to be worn on the skin, I need to keep it from rusting. For the moment, it's been oiled & heated, and that seems to work well enough.


  • Thanks for the idea ...-kayakattack

    kayakattack made it!


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awesome!!! I just got into metal-smithing and I wish I had the tools to make this! 

that's awesome man! :D i'll have to make one of these in the future.

you mentioned the cracks and how it'd be weaker but since it really only has to hold itself up you probly don't need to worry no? either way, I love the harsh and yet somehow still delicate beauty of it - very elegant!

Beautiful necklace... one made of brass or brass/steel combo would be pretty neat.

daaamn. I have to make me some scrolling tongs and a hold-down!

Yeah, scrolling tongs would be handy for this kind of thing. If I do much more fiddly delicate ironwork, I'm gonna need to make myself a set of <1/4" tongs, at least. ...So, hey, when're you going to post that iron-rose instructable? :) I played around a bit trying to make one, but it didn't come out so well.

oh right. Iron rose. I have to get an acceptable outcome first but that will come, definately. Best way to do it i think is to cut the pieces out of sheet stock and tack to a bar instead of scrolling the leaves and pounding them all out of a single bar. I'll do some more experimenting and see what i get.

Aww, but cutting pieces out of sheet stock I could do pretty easily...tacking them down might be more of a challenge. I managed to scroll up something that looked approximately like a rosebud, but in doing so twisted it right off of it's "stem." I'm not sure how to get around that; I'd love whatever tips you can throw my way. (And, sadly, my time at the forge has run out, so I won't be doing much/any hotwork until late May. I should console myself by playing with the waterjet machine instead.)

What a great piece of jewelry!

Thanks! I just recently got back into the forge, and it is wonderful.