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Thread: Square wire jump rings - advice needed!

  1. #1
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    Default Square wire jump rings - advice needed!

    Hi everyone,

    I'm making some jump rings out of square wire for the first time. I'm using a length of wooden dowel to wrap the square wire round, but I'm finding that sometimes the wire doesn't lie flat against the dowel.

    I'm ending up with jump rings that look as though they're made from diamond-shaped wire, not square!

    Does anyone have any tips on how to do this, please?

    Best regards,
    Nina

    www.ninagale.weebly.com

  2. #2
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    Very carefully? I've found - as you have - that the square wire can be inclined to twist as you go, so I tend to hold the wire close to the mandrel with a pair of parallel pliers to prevent it going its own sweet way. Takes a little more work than round wire, but can look great in the end.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, Peter. That's very helpful. I'll try it!

    Nina

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    Dear Nina,

    As you can guess from Peter's reply, this is a common problem for everyone, but not much discussed. It would be interesting to know what method you use for winding your jump rings, but some helpful hints are:
    Anneal very well and do not attempt to use very long pieces of wire.
    Use serrated pliers which can grip well and pull hard.
    Try to correct any deviation as soon as it threatens to occur.
    Lastly turn your mandrel slowly so that you don' lose control.

    That said, diamond shaped jump rings can look quite pretty, for instance in extension chains of necklaces, as can chains made of triangular wire. If I use these profiles which can be annoyingly sharp, I first draw them lightly through a round drawplate to smooth the edges.

    A similar question was asked some months back and If you are into long chains, or maille, then George who is our Guru on this subject simply said 'Don’t'.

    Kind regards, Dennis.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
    That said, diamond shaped jump rings can look quite pretty...
    This is one of my blind spots in making things - I have a definite idea of *precisely* what I am trying to achieve, and if it doesn't fit the intended design, it is wrong. A far better approach would perhaps be to adapt to some unexpected results and incorporate them...

    The reason I like the parallel pliers is purely because it seems to make it easy for me to twist the wire (or fight it twisting) as it happens, close in.

  6. #6
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    Quote: 'A far better approach would perhaps be to adapt to some unexpected results and incorporate them...'

    That's Serendipidy, which some clever clogs once defined as looking for a needle in a haystack and finding the farmer's daughter.

    Quote:The reason I like the parallel pliers is purely because it seems to make it easy for me to twist the wire (or fight it twisting) as it happens, close in.

    Parallel, serrated pliers it is then, Dennis.

  7. #7
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    Thanks, Peter and Dennis.

    Dennis asks what method I'm using for winding my jump rings. Well, nothing very sophisticated, really. I trap the mandrel in a vice and manipulate the wire round it with my fingers. This has been possible because so far I've only been making test rings out of soft, well-annealed copper. But for my next test, I'm going to try the parallel pliers (serrated, of course ).

    I'm intending to move on to silver when I get the technique right, and this won't be as easy to manipulate as copper.

    I'd be interested to hear what winding technique you both use, if it differs from what I've tried...

    Best Regards,
    Nina

  8. #8
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    If anyone is interested, the last time I made some square jump rings, which were about 8mm interior circumference, I used this method which worked well for me. I always use steel rods for rings, I bought a selection of silver steel rod sizes from here; http://www.ekpsupplies.co.uk/index.p...wCat&catId=109
    I grip the end of the annealed square wire and the end of the length of rod in a pair of large hand vise, then I clamped a square holed drawplate to the bench, fed the wire through a new size hole and then twisted the rings, tight against the drawplate to keep the square wire running true around the rod. This is easier to demonstrate than explain folks. I was taught to wind jump rings this way, for round wire rings I was taught to grip the wire in two pieces of wood held in a vice while turning the rod (or as we called them the spit) when making chains for House of Parliament Doorman's badges I would have to make oval rings for chains, with 1.5mm. thick silver wire and each chain took approx 15 feet of wire.
    James

  9. #9
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    Thank you, James.

    I can visualise how you use the drawplate to guide the wire; what an elegant solution!

    Thanks also for the link to that steel rod supplier. I think I'll buy some.

    Nina

  10. #10
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    Thank you for that James, I shall certainly try your method. I have some rods, but as I rarely need more than eight to ten jump rings I tend to use the stems of these twist drills, which go up in half sizes to 13mm.

    Many of my tools are not fixed to the bench for lack of room, so my method is more gimcrack. The vice is put on a pad of felt, I tension the wire with pliers and then rotate the vice with the mandrel vertical. This works quite smoothly, but still requires some concentration when using square wire. Dennis.

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