I have tried to do some and found that when I crimp the jump
rings I have made together, that it isn't a totally tight bond
and that they could come apart.
I’ve made lots of chainmail, all the way from 22 guage silver to
14 guage steel. I’ll describe my technique & maybe from that you
can figure out what’s giving you the problem.
Harden the wire before winding the coils. (Directions follow).
Wind your coils. Hardened wire coils tend to open up (become
larger after winding.
Cut the coils into rings. Use either a jeweler’s saw with about
4/0 blades or the Koil Kutter. Cutting with a wire cutter leaves
Assemble the chain. Depending on your assembly technique, 1/2
of the links can be closed as individual links before they’re put
into the chain
Open the remaining links with a twisting moition. The opening
should b e about 4 wire thicknesses. DO NOT pull the links open. A
little assembly experience will help define the correct opening
- Grasp the link between 2 pair of smooth jaw pliers. The pliers
grasp the link just a little to the left & right side of the
Close the link (push the ends together) so 1 side of the link
overlaps the front of the other about 2 wire thicknesses.
Open the link just enough to allow the 2 ends to pass each
other so th e end in front can become the back.
Form the ends passed each other so the end that was in the
front is no w in the back.
Form the back side of the link so it goes past the other side
about 1-2 times the thickness of the wire. (Similar to 2 above.)
Now form the links so both ends line up flush with each other.
When finished the centerline of both sides of the link should line
up & the li nk should lie flat.
Actually steps 2 thru 6 all happen sequentially & very quickly.
It’s just in the telling that it gets complicated.
The purpose behind all the forming, side to side, back & forth is
to hardened the link in the closed position. Hardened wire resists
changes in shape & the forming gives the link a round shape that is
a little smaller in diameter than the original link. The smaller
shape causes the link end s to stay together.
Secure one end of the wire to be hardened in a vise or to a
secure object (nail in a bench).
Secure a cup hook (or equivalent) in the chuck of an electric
drill (a hand drill will work, but it’s really slow). Flexshafts
are generally too fast & hard to control.
Secure the remaining end of the wire to the hook in the drill
Draw the wire taut with the drill.
While holding the wire taut, start the drill.
Twist the wire until it breaks, usually at one end or the
other. If th e wire begins to bounce while it’s being twisted,
laying a finger on it lightly will usually stop the bounce. If it
doesn’t, stop the drill until the bouncing subsides, then resume
twisting. Sometimes nicks & other imperfections in the wire will
cause it to break prematurely. If this happens, just start again
with the shorter wires.
This same technique can be used for making twisted wire. If making
twiste d wire, secure both ends of the wire in the vise. Place the
center of the wire over the hook & twist.
Feel free contact me off list if you have specific questions.