WigJig for Wire Jewelry




Introduction: WigJig for Wire Jewelry

About: Electronic & IT engineer. Me likes to fix things, build funky stuff, make earrings and jewelery, work with wood or metal, etc.

I will try to tell you how to make a simple jig for wire earrings or necklaces. I started to make earrings only with pliers but I soon realized that the more complex ones were not similar enough to call them "a pair". Then I discovered the wigJigs on http://beadstore.wigjig.com and I wanted to order, but then I thought I can save the time and money by making my own.

Materials you need (what I used):
- some pieces of harder wood (I found some already-cut rests at Baumaxx -for free, made out of some sort of very dense glued carton, almost like wood). For the 4 different jigs that I present here you will need 4 pieces of 15x15cm, or 2 pieces if you find thick enough material (>=1.8cm).
- 3mm thick iron pegs - furniture door stoppers (i found a 20pcs pack for ~3Euro/ ~4$)  or anything similar (1-2cm long nails are also an option) 

TIP1: don't use very thin wood since the pegs will come out on the other side and once on the table they will pop out. 
TIP2: don't use soft wood (like conifers) as you won't be able to drill nice holes and the holes will bend due to the force applied to the pegs. 

Tools you need:
- printer + paper
- pencil + copy paper (or some other way to transfer the pattern to the pieces of wood)
- Dremel + stander
- 3mm wood drill

Step 1: Transfer the Patterns on the Wood

Download and transfer the attached patterns on the pieces of wood as precisely as possible. If you mark only a dot in every center of the circles it would better when you use the Dremel.
I suggest you use the circle-shaped patterns for a start, since you can make some nicer designs (in my opinion). 

Step 2: Drill the Holes

Even if "doable" , it takes quite an effort to drill so many holes without a stander.

Measure the length of the pins you have found/bought and then set the drilling depth to that length+1mm.
Start drilling the holes. It will take you some 5-10 minutes. Then use a fine sandpaper to smooth the edges.

Step 3: Add the Pegs

Now that you have the holes, you can add the pegs in whatever pattern you will like.
I use 1mm thick / 18 gauge wire but you can also use thicker wire without spacing the holes differently. 

Disadvantages vs a new one: you don't have too many peg diameter options. You can buy 3mm and 5mm for the 3mm holes, but hey! it's a start. You can also improvise or even buy a set of thicker pegs from the jig manufacturers.  

I would be glad to receive suggestions about ways to use thicker pegs with the same holes, or even jewelry patterns. Thanks.

Enjoy making new jewelry, and don't forget to use some colored beads ;)



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    25 Discussions

    My dad made the Centaur jig for me using your pattern. Instead of wood he used two 9mm clear plexiglass plates, screwed together, which had the advantage of being clear enabling me to place a pattern under it. Thank you very much for this tutorial. It's fantastic.

    2 replies

    Happy to hear that, you're most welcome. Indeed, the plexiglas is a lot better if you plan to work on a predefined pattern, thanks for mentioning it ;) Be inspired!

    Great instructable and pattern, thank you :) Another good option to transfer the pattern into the wood would be taking it to a lasser cutter or engraver shop, and you can choose your kind of wood and thickness they usually have MDA which also works and if you want more thickness you can stack them. For thicker pegs you can do some with epoxy clay (the one you get on the grocery store that comes in 2 bars that you mix together), and pvc pipes, cut them to lenght you want fill with the clay and stick the peg in the center, let it cure and they are ready to go!

    Thanks cat76501, I really appreciate it - I'd love to see some pictures

    @Bongmaster: As for showing it in use... I didn't have time lately to take pictures, but I guess cat76501 will come with some pictures soon ;)

    @paqrat: you are right, I used metal tubing on top of the pegs to get different diameters. As for lining them in the board, it is a good idea if you work a lot with different patterns. What I ended up doing was using 4 patterns on different areas of the circular jig - with little variation.

    1 reply

    Can a regular peg board be used. Already has holes. You could draw your own pattern for it.

    Hi .. This tutorial on making your own WigJig is awesome ....thanks a ton. I was searching high and low for this Jig in India but unfortunately there is no such thing here. I even thought I would import one for myself from the US but the shipping costs were two to three times the cost of the Jig itself. Your website came as a blessing to me :) I will now make one myself thanks to your tutorial. Please let me know whether I can transfer the pattern as it is on to a board or should it be enlarged ? Your reply would be highly appreciated.

    1 reply

    Hi Kalpi, thanks for the nice words - happy it was helpful. The patterns I posted I used 'as is', but you can play with them / resizing on the paper, before you drill the holes.

    Perhaps you could use metal tubing in different diameters to build up the pegs. I would also suggest metal tubing to "line" the holes in your board. I think that would prevent the holes from wallowing out from repeated inserting and removing the pegs.

    1 reply

    I just made some today. I use my holesaw to cut circles from Corian or the equivalent. Then I force a pin into it and this allows me to use bigger plugs in the same size holes.

    that's a very nice tutorial! great job there!
    Using rivets is quite smart - wish I thought of that since I have plenty of those around for free. Also, it's good you found the templates ready to print ;)

    I think making the jigs was as much fun as making the jewelry. Thanks again.

    That's a great job cat76501!! I bet you had a lot of fun drilling those holes :)

    here is a photo of all four of my jigs, two medium, two small