Most types of jewellery require at least one movable joint, therefore it is a vital part of a piece and should be considered during the designing stages. You need to think about the type of movement you require, specific to the design.
Types of Joining Links
- Rivets: A rivet has the ability to hold pieces together without solder. You need to push your small piece of wire through similar holes in two or three separate pieces.
- Screws: A special “tap and die” set, designed for jewellers, allows small wire and tubes to be used to make screws that are in proportion of the piece. The size of the wire you are going to tap should be larger than the inside diameter of the tube, but smaller than the outside.
- Hooks: A hook can be used to fasten a chain or necklace or even to hang additional pieces from which prevents these pieces unhooking themselves when being worn. This type of joining method enables the piece to be more versatile, for example you might want to add a pendant to a simple chain but on some occasions just have the chain on its own.
- Hinges: Used to join two pieces which can then be moved without losing the integral line. On each edge, alternate your pieces of tube and solder them. Ensure wire passes through all the tube sections.
- Practice: When you are making joining links for your new design, we would recommend making a couple of mock-ups first. These can be made using paper, card, modelling clay etc. You should choose a material that mirrors the behaviour of the metal you intend to use.
- Experiment: The most common joining links are having holes and jump rings. Try and make your piece stand out from the rest with an innovative joining method!
- Strong Links: You need to ensure that the wire you are going to use for a jump ring is strong enough for your piece. The circle will distort if this is too light for the weight of the chain/necklace.
- Solder your jump rings: To make your jump rings look neater, you might want to solder them. You will only need a small amount of solder, as long as you ensure the join is really tight. Large pieces of solder might form a lump, which will need to be filed down.