Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Jump ringer

As mentioned in an earlier post, I sold my loom so I could buy a jump ring maker and flex shaft.
It doesn't get used that much, but it is nice to be able to make any size jump ring whenever needed. This past week I was making my daughter an ankle bracelet and realized that I was running low on jump rings.... so out came the jump ring maker.

The jump ring maker works like a hand drill. The correct size mandrel is inserted into the handle, the silver wire is inserted into the mandrel, and the handle is cranked to create a "spring" of jump rings. After the spring is removed, the rings are cut apart using the flex shaft. The rings are held in place in a tool with a channel in it and the blade is centrally positioned to run down the channel.

The first time I cut the rings, they flew all over the place. A friend of mine from South Carolina, told me about a trick to keep the jump rings from flying. Before cutting, a piece of masking tape is centered on the spring and the tape is rubbed with "Cut Lube" (to keep the blade sharp.)

The rings can be polished after a piece is completed or before. Polishing the pieces before is easily done if they are strung together on a bigger piece of wire before throwing them in the tumbler.

I bought a book on chain mail yesterday. Maybe I'll be using the jump ring maker more now.

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