Drop Forged Bracelet - Make Jewellery From Tools

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Introduction: Drop Forged Bracelet - Make Jewellery From Tools

About: The answer is lasers, now, what was the question? If you need help, feel free to contact me. Find me on Reddit, Tumblr and Twitter as @KitemanX

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.

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54 Discussions

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

1 reply

Sounds cool - thanks for the comment!

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.

1 reply

Cool - post pictures when you're done!

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

1220153323_02.jpg
3 replies

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...

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!

3 replies

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.

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.

2 replies

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.

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