Introduction: Steel Link Chain

About: My name is Orly and I am a fine art graduate studying to complete my second MFA at San Francisco Art Institute. Love making things out of all kinds of metal.

Its a real cool thing to be able to make your own welded steel link chain. At some point you will find use for it :) its fun to make and good exercise in making link chain.

Materials and Equipment Needed

1. Hot rolled ( softened) steel wire, here I am using 1/8 thick steel wire

2. 2 inch diameter steel tube about 10 inches long to be used as a doll

3. Angle grinder with a cutting disk attached

4. Forging hammer

5. Anvil

6. Mig Welder

Step 1: Weld Tip of Wire to Tip of Steel Pipe

Using a Mig welder or whatever technique you know to weld tip of wire to tip of steel pipe.

Step 2: Wrap the Steel Wire Around the Steel Pipe

Secure the pipe on one end into a vice, then turn the steel wire around the pipe. Try to make it as tight as possible. Since this is only 1/8 thick wire it is soft enough to bend tightly by hand. Keep wrapping it until you get to the end of the wire.

Step 3: Mark for Cutting

Mark a straight line along the rings you have created around the pipe by wrapping the wire. This will be an indication for your cut. You will need to cut the wire along this line using an angle grinder with a cutting wheel attachment.

Step 4: Cut Wire With Angle Grinder

Make sure to wear safety gear such as leather jacket, eye protection glasses and grinding hood. Cut along the the blue line you made on the rings.

Step 5: Create Links

Slide the links you made off of the pipe and create a chain by closing on link then attaching another to it.

Step 6: Weld Links

Using your favorite way to weld weld each link to create a chain.

Step 7: Forge Links

To give the links a more interesting look I like to slightly hammer on it to create an oval shape. Using an anvil to support each link, hold a link with your fingers (as showed in image) and lightly hammer on it to change the shape of the link from a perfect circle to an oval.

Step 8: Enjoy Your New Steel Chain