Introduction: A Bracelet for a Wood Worker

About: Hi I am Dutch and live in Sweden. I love to create things in my little woodshop.

This year I got my own little workshop. Something I have dreamed about for years, so now it’s time to celebrate. I celebrated with making a nice bracelet: a bracelet for a woodworker. It looks beautiful and it is not too difficult to make. I wear it also at my job as school teacher (in Sweden), and this inspires my pupils (age 12 to 15) to also make their own bracelets.

Step 1: This Is What You Need

To make the plate:

- Brass, copper, silver or aluminium 1mm

- Metal shears

- Rasp for metal

- Glue, paper, picture/template

- Jewelry saw, saw blade for metal no 3

- Nails or rivets

- Pillar drill or drill

- Rotary tool and buffing compound

- a wooden form (ellips) to bend your plate in the right from

To make the bracelet:

- Leather about 2mm-2.5 mm (3/32 inch) thick if you use thinner leather the bracelet will become fluttery

- Sew thread and sewing machine or leather needles (optional)

- Leather wax, piece of cloth

- Cutting board

- A breakaway knife or sharp carving knife

- Hardware: lock I choose snap fasteners but you can also use Solid Brass/Silver Globular Round Head Stud

Spot Screwback Back (that’s the name on Ali express ;-)

- Rivet setter or make one yourself by drilling an indentation in hard metall

- Punches, wooden mallet and awl

- Stuff to burnish the leather (optional)

Step 2: Cut the Leather Strip

Start with measuring your wrist. The leather band should be one inch longer for overlap the bracelet with the fastening. Take care that you have some extra space as you don’t want to have your bracelet to tight.

Cut the leather at the right length. You can use a leather belt or cut the bracelet from another piece of leather. Once I did a bracelet of the leather from the back of an old chair which would be disposed. My wrist measures 6.3 inch (16 cm) and I cut the bracelet with the length of 7.7 inch (19.5 cm). It is 0.8 inch (2 cm) wide.

Step 3: Burn the Edges

To burn the edges is optional but it gives a professional look when the edges are burned. Though I’m not used to work with leather I searched for an instructables on how to burn (polish) the edges and I found this wonderful instructables ….

But then I do not have the time to polish the edges by hand which will take hours and I found the following instructables:

Yes it burns your edges in just a few minutes, I like it. I decided to turn a "burnisher" on my lathe. I burned the edges on the following way : I took a plate with water. I wetted the edges by dipping it in the water and burned on the lathe at a speed of 1350rpm

Step 4: Sew the Leather Strip (optional)

I recomment to sew the sides of the bracelet if you have access to a sewing machine able to sew in leather, it gives a more professional look. My sewing machine is 55 years old and very strong so I gave it a try and it worked out fine although I had to help my machine a bit.

But don't panik the bracelet looks very well without the sewing or you can sew by hand, Jessyratfink shows us how to sew in leather by hand, look here

Step 5: Prepare the Plate

Cut out your plate 0.04 inch (1mm) with a shears or cut it whith your jewelry saw(The measurements are 2cm by 4,5 cm) and use a rasp to smoothen the edges.

Glue the design on of the copperplate with glue. This makes it easy to remove the paper afterwards. Let dry. you can either draw your own design or find it on internet when you search on "free templates". Before you start to drlll: Make an indentation with a nail and a hammer to prevent the drill from slipping away.

When your design contains very small details you can drill some holes in advance.You will get some burs on the backside, so smoothen with a rasp.

Step 6: Cut Your Design

Prepare your jewelry saw and cut your design. I used a blade for metal number 3. Take your time and hold your jewelry saw uppright. Don't force the saw and dont't forget to relax your shoulders while sawing.

Remove the picture after wetting when you’re done and use a rasp to smoothen the edges.

Step 7: Buff the Plate

Before buffing the plate sand it to remove all the scratches. I startet with 240 and ended with 1600 grit. I buff the brass plate to get rid of the scratches and to get a shiny surface. I used a Dremel. If necessary clean with alcohol or dish with soap and hot water.

Make an indentation at both ends with a nail and a hammer if you haven't done this in a earlier step. This is to prevent the drill from slipping away when you drill the two holes for mounting the bracelet on the leather

Step 8: Mount the Plate on Leather Strip

Tape your plate on the bracelet, this will also prevent the plate from scratching. Then tape the bracelet on the form. The wooden form is an ellipse and is 6.7 inch (17cm) circumference/outline, 2.4 inch (6 cm) x 2 inch (5 cm) and1.6 inch (4cm) high. This form makes it easier for you to bend the plate in the right form (a slight bent because your wrist is round) and it will make it easier to drill the holes.

Bend both ends of the plate down on the bracelet while you still press the center of the plate on the bracelet with your thumb or a clamp.

Drill the holes through the plate and the leather bracelet. I used a 0.08 inch drill. This size depends on the size of the rivets you will use (the size of the cylindrical shaft). You will get some burs on the backside so smoothen with a rasp.

Place the rivets in the holes. I used brass nails instaed of rivets and it worked fine too. Cut off the extra length. You should leave 3/4 of the diameter of the rivet. Use anvil tools to clinch your rivets, or drill an indentation in hard metal if you don’t have an anvil tool. Put the head of the rivet on the tool in the anvil. I placed a piece of thin fabric between the tool and the rivet to prevent marks on the plate.

Flatten the rivet with a hammer and smoothen afterwards with a rasp if needed.

Step 9: Fasten Your Snab Fasteners

Make a hole on both sides of your bracelet. I used a hollow punch tool. You can also drill your holes with a drill or use or a leather hole punch. The size dependents on your Snab fasteners.
Fasten your snab fasteners on both sides. How you should fasten your fasteners is depending on which brand you have chosen. If you feel unsure than look on the internet there are loads of instruction videos which show you how to fasten just your type of fasteners for example:

Or look on the pictures above to get some help if you use the same press fasteners. I bought my Press fasteners here:

Step 10: Enjoy Your Bracelet!

I hope you liked this instructable. It competes in the Jewelry Contest. Good luck by making your own bracelet and don't hasitate if you have some questions.

Have a nice day, Amaries.

Jewelry Contest 2017

Participated in the
Jewelry Contest 2017