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Thread: Jump rings for chain maille - make them or buy them?

  1. #1
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    Default Jump rings for chain maille - make them or buy them?

    Hi all

    I've just recieved my book which tells me how to start chain mailling and wanted to buy some materials to get going but I wondered what others do - is it cheaper to make your own or buy them pre-made?
    Michelle x

  2. #2
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    Hm, I don't know what George will say on this topic.

    I started working from a book on chain maille that included instructions on making the jump rings. Since I was only playing and using silver plated wire for practicing I made my own.

    As soon as I wanted to make a bracelet in sterling silver I decided to use bought in rings because I felt that end product would be of a better quality - I'm far too impatient to like sitting snipping/cutting rings.

    I think there is another thread covering sources for jump rings in the forum somewhere - but I use maillequeen.co.uk for mine.
    Anne

    Feel the fear, and do it anyway!
    Blog: http://www.whiteoakjewellery.blogspot.com/
    Website: http://www.whiteoakjewellery.co.uk

  3. #3
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    Thanks Anne

    I'd be interested to hear George's suggestions.

    I think I would be inclined to agree with you if I was making an item to sell I guess it also depends on how long it would take me to make the jump rings in the first place.
    Michelle x

  4. #4
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    How many rings are you going to be using? If you are going to be making a lot of mail it will probably be a lot more expensive to purchase your own rings and I would definitely recommend a jump ring making tool (such as the Koil Kutter that George, I and others use). If you wanted to have a go with out any more investment then you could give it a go with just a jewellers saw. If you have any knitting needles lying around they make great mandrels for winding coils. Most people use them with some kind of drill. I use my cordless drill but I know others use manual ones.
    Lucinda

  5. #5
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    I have only done one "mailley" bracelet so far but intent doing many more, but i have no gadgets except my trusty knitting needle and my hands and pliers. I make my own simply cos, for me, it just wouldnt feel right to buy them, but i am so inexperienced in this area that i cant really advise lol, and i could be talking completely out of my rear end so i will let the others guide you
    Su' xx

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  6. #6
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    Default

    I bought some rings to start off with - cheap aluminium and brass ones to practice with plus some nice copper ones from DragonflyLynne (she also does silver).

    If I was going to be doing a lot of maille, I'd start making my own - I just don't have any of the equipment to do so right now. Got knitting needles... but no jeweller's saw or drill, and it's rather noticeable if you don't get a nice clean cut. (With the rings I have, you can see the difference between the saw-cut ones and the machine-cut ones. Machine-cut'll be a little cheaper if you're buying ready-made, but saw-cut gives a proper smooth join).

  7. #7
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    I'm going to need about 300 in total to make two bracelets one for me and one for a pressie!

    I might not have read enough so far but the book states the gauge for the jump rings then in brackes has 1/8inch ID or 5/32 inch ID and I haven't the foggiest what that means???

    I think I would like to make my own but this book doesn't show me how to make them.
    Michelle x

  8. #8
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    I have been using knitting needles as mandrels and simple snips for cutting - then I invested in a better pair of cutters for use with sterling silver wire.

    I haven't got a jewellers saw or the money for a machine to help as others have mentioned.

    I'd love to make my own jump rings for the maille work but all the cutters I have make an angled cut on one side which I don't like much. And when I've tried the technique of cutting off the point and making the circle smaller - it's failed miserably.

    So for now I guess I'll use the expensive method until I can afford better tools.

    The book I used was "Handcrafted bead and chain jewellery" by Scott David Plumlee (sorry haven't mastered links yet) and it gave details about calculating inner dimensions and making your own rings.
    Anne

    Feel the fear, and do it anyway!
    Blog: http://www.whiteoakjewellery.blogspot.com/
    Website: http://www.whiteoakjewellery.co.uk

  9. #9
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    Your book should have a section on aspect ratio (AR). Have a look at that, or see Aspect Ratio Demystified on CGMaille.

    ID = internal diameter of the ring. The important measurements are the internal diameter and the wire diameter. The aspect ratio of a ring is the ID divided by the wire diameter, and different maille weaves have specific ranges of AR that they will work for.

  10. #10
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    Thanks Anne

    I do have another book due soon and will see if it says anything in there - I have a feeling I'm going to have to take the expensive option at the mo because I can't afford any more outlay on tools etc.

    Otherwise I may have to be ordering the book you mention!

    My book is Beaded Chain Mail Jewelry by Dylon Whyte it has some lovely designs in it.
    Michelle x

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