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Thread: Best way to cut through chain?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Default Best way to cut through chain?

    I bought 6 loose belcher chains from CG and forgot that as I'm not hallmarking yet, that I need to keep the weight of my items down to below 7.78g - So thought I would chop them in half and use the 12 halves to make bracelets instead and then order a lighter weight of chain for my necklaces.

    What's the best way to chop a chain in half?
    I was going to saw though the middle link, but it's really fiddly so thought I'd ask the experts first.

    Any tips would be very helpful.

    Ta
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  2. #2
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    Did you get a really heavy one then - as I'm really struggling to grasp your problems?

    I use the '3' belcher chain I showed you and no pieces with it come close to the 7.78g limit - I think the heaviest piece I've made, with chain, is around 4g. That looped pendant on it in my album I directed you to with a hook clasp is something like 3.5g in total.

    I just snip a link where I want it with my cutters, it's only loops of flat wire after all. Why did you buy it in 6 lengths - why not just buy one piece and cut it to your requirements as you go along? If you buy cut lengths it rather defeats the object of using it loose, you're throwing away that advantage. Or have I missed something?

  3. #3
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    Hi Milo if you are going to resolder the join then a saw is best as you get flush ends but if not then a pair of snips will be fine

  4. #4
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    I bought 6 lenghts because I wanted to make 6 necklaces the same lenghth - I didn't see the point in buying one long loose chain and then having to bother chopping it into six pieces as that way that's more time I've spent on each piece and I'd aslo loose a few links in the process. I bought the '4' belcher at 41cm long - each one weighs 8g!

    So I want to chop them in half and make bracelets with them instead now.

    How would I saw through links without mucking it up - it's really fiddly - do you stick it down to your bench peg with masking tape to hold it in place? I'd rather saw through it and then resolder.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milomade View Post
    I bought 6 lenghts because I wanted to make 6 necklaces the same lenghth - I didn't see the point in buying one long loose chain and then having to bother chopping it into six pieces as that way that's more time I've spent on each piece and I'd aslo loose a few links in the process. I bought the '4' belcher at 41cm long - each one weighs 8g!

    So I want to chop them in half and make bracelets with them instead now.

    How would I saw through links without mucking it up - it's really fiddly - do you stick it down to your bench peg with masking tape to hold it in place? I'd rather saw through it and then resolder.
    Have you got any snipe nose pliers?

  6. #6
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    I have lots of pliers - no idea what any of them are called!
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  7. #7
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    I'm obviously missing something completely here. As Cookson's give the weight of the piece you've selected, why not just buy the lighter one at the time - you could compare weights before buying. That's why I like the 3 belcher, it's a decent weight and quality for pieces, without weighing too much for hallmarking. Each link will take several wrapped loops of headpins etc. - hence several of us recommended it.

    But cutting it is a trivial thing, just snip one link on one side with your wire cutters - one length into 6 equal lengths, 5 links cut, twist open, drop the two pieces of chain off it, job done, save the wasted links in your scrap pot for something else. I can guarantee it would have taken less time than it has to type this post. If they're a decent size link, you can re-use them as jump rings if you trim off the pinch part of the cut - I've done that too with heavy chain.

  8. #8
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    I didn't think of the weight when buying - it slipped my mind - hence the cock up!

    I don't have a lot of money, so any wastage is money wasted in my opinion, so I'd rather buy the exact length I need than a long chain and cut it down. I know I could add it to my scrap pot to use for something else, but I'd rather save the cash and buy exact lengths.
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  9. #9
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    if its 'fiddly' this means my solder shears, or end cutter pliers will easily cut through it, and i will loose two small links as im damaging two connecting ones, no great shakes.

    If its bigger, and i can rotate one link round to expose the solder line, and see it, then it means it big enogh to cut through with a saw. i use the finest saw blade i have, and hold it on the bench peg, cutting very close to my fingers, of which, i now only have 3 (just kidding) or you could grasp the actual individual link with pliers and use the edge of the pliers as a saw quide. I have flat pliers i use specially for this, as obviously the ends and sides are now full of saw cuts!

  10. #10
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    I must really be doing something wrong then - the links are about 4mm-ish, just snip straight through one side of one with regular wire cutters - you lose one link per cut - twist it open like a jump ring and tip out the two adjoining rings, each on a now new end of chain. No risk to fingers whatsoever, minimal chain lost, you can even re-use the link if you're desperate enough to save tuppence.

    Maybe I'm just doing it wrong, but I'm totally failing to grasp the difficulty of this.

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