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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Jumprings - DIY


There is something satisfying about making your own components, whether its the clasp, the beads or the connectors. If you've never tried making your own jumprings you're in for a pleasant surprise - it's not that hard and there are an endless number of ways to get just what  you need.

There are a ton of gizmo's out there to make your life easier.




These little mandrel sets are probably the easiest - its pretty self explanatory, wrap the wire around the mandrel, slide it off cut the rings apart. The problem with this is what kind of pliers do you use? You want a really flat cut so the ring will close as seamlessly as possible.

The obvious choice is the Double Flush Cutter. There are problems with pliers - if you need a lot of rings for a large project this is going to take forever! The shape of the head on the double flush cutters make it hard to cut smaller rings, but if you're doing say, 9mm or larger and you only  need a few at a time these are great.


Me - I like BULK - I don't want to have to stop in the middle of a project to wrap and cut jumprings.

So, I went the semi-pro route -
I have a complete cutting system - the Pepe coiler is awesome.

It can make any size jumpring you can dream up simply by inserting the correct size mandrel in the handle and winding right off the wire spool. In a couple of seconds you have a wire coil about 4" long.
The second step is as easy as the first. I have what my son calls the "Uber Dremel" - its a Flex Shaft cutting and grinding tool. The handle has a very thin (.008), VERY sharp blade, you operate with a foot pedal.

The coil goes under the metal plate, tighten the nuts to hold it snug, place the shaft flat on the plate, press the pedal and slide forward at a steady pull. It only takes a couple of seconds to cut the coil into lovely, perfect, flush closing jumprings!

Before you know it, you have a zillion rings in a rainbow of colors!
You can purchase jumprings in a fair number of colors at better bead stores but it's usually near impossible to get a variety of gauges or anything more then two or three sizes. What are you supposed to do when you want to have a hook that's the same color as the jumprings or maybe you need a 20mm jumpring? I love having the option of sizes, shapes and colors.

You don't need anything expensive - you can use anything for a mandrel, a pen or a knitting needle are good choices. Get creative! Get exactly what you want - don't settle for what you can find - and as always.... have fun!

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