October 6, 2007

Cutting Jumprings

I love making chainmaille jewelry which takes hundreds and hundreds of jumprings. I cut my own rings so that when I decide to make something, I don't have to order and then wait impatiently for my rings to arrive. I can wind, cut and create. Some people find the process tedious, but I really don't mind.

First I start with some wire.

Then I choose the size mandrel I need. I use knitting needles for mandrels.

The next thing I do is insert the mandrel and wire in my drill. I make sure they are in the chuck nice and secure and then I ever so gently press the drill trigger while guiding the wire with my left thumb and index finger. I use extreme caution as the wire comes to an end. It is very painful if the end of the wire goes through your fingers. (Yes, I speak from experience).

And this is what I end up with - a coil of wire.

I then saw the coil apart using my trusty jeweler's saw - which has a blade as thin as a hair. It is very important to keep the blade lubricated so that it doesn't break. I use beeswax for this.

TA-DA!! The sawing is done and I end up with a pile of rings. Ready to create.

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