How to Make Jumprings
Friday, November 23, 2012
Take a look at how to make your own jumprings to use in your jewellery making. By Sian Hamilton
Jumprings are one of those things that I always hum and ahh about making or not. There are times when it's just easier to buy them ready made. But I have found that on most occasions it is just as easy to make my own and with practice it takes seconds to make up a whole bunch. A big plus side with making your own is that they can be any size and wire dimension that you need. You also never need run out of a particular size. I always have a good stock of different dimension wires, so I can whip up a few rings at a moment's notice.
SAW CUT JUMPRINGS
Decide what size rings you need. Find a tube or nail of the right dimension. Take a length of wire and wrap around the tube/nail. Don't try to wrap the very end start by holding about 1cm wire against the tube. Wrap about 10 to 15 times. Take the coil off the tube/nail and cut the ends close to the coil.
Cut a piece of masking tape that is a few millimetres wider than the coil and wrap around the entire coil at least once.
Wrap the masking tape around the coil. It doesn't matter if it goes around once or more. Tuck both ends into the coil.
Take a piercing saw and unscrew the end closest to the handle. Thread the coil onto the saw. Put the blade back into the screw clamp. Press the far end of the saw against the end of the bench peg and using your breast bone, put pressure on the end of the handle. Tighten the screw. Putting pressure on the saw will give the blade tension, which is essential when cutting.
Place the coil into a V on the bench peg and using your non dominant hand hold either side of the coil from the back so your thumb is inside the frame. Saw straight down at the far end of the coil. You will be sawing away from your fingers, so even if the blade breaks it should not be anyway near your fingers.
The cut coil will still be held together by the masking tape. To release the rings just take the masking tape off and you end up with a bunch of perfectly cut jumprings that will have a straight cut edge ready to be used open or soldered together.
PLIER CUT JUMPRINGS
Cutting jumprings with cutters is ok, but will not give the perfect straight cut that a saw can. To cut rings with the best edge possible, take a pair of flush cutters and with the flat side facing the coil snip a tiny amount off the end to make it as flat as possible.
Turn the cutters around and with the flat side facing the ring you are cutting off snip the ring off. Get as close to level with the end of the ring as you can. It won't be exact, watch you don't catch the end of the coil in the cutters or you will end up with one end not being flush. To cut the next ring start again with the first cut. You will loose a tiny amount of silver each time, but it's worth it to get as good an edge as possible.
Use soft or half hard Sterling silver wire, as it will harden as it's wrapped around the tube or nail.
Wire dimension is the first thing to think about, I use mostly 0.7mm for rings 4mm and smaller, 0.8mm for 5mm to 9mm and 1.0mm wire for 10mm or larger.
If you are using cutters to make your rings, invest in a good quality pair. When it comes to pliers you can do ok with cheaper ones, but with cutters you need to pay for a good pair, they will last longer than the cheap ones and will be much better at getting a flush cut. I use a pair of Tronex, they are pretty expensive but will remain sharp a lot longer than a cheaper pair.
Sterling silver wire
Tube or nail
Cutters / Flush cutters / Side cutters
Wire and tools are widely available from many suppliers advertising on this website.
Tronex pliers available from: