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Cutting Jump Rings

     I used a #8/0 blade in order to get a nice fine, clean cut
that needed no further dressing before soldering up

Could one do the same with heavier wire and get a cut clean enough
to avoid having to do any more work?

Sun Country Gems

I used a #8/0 blade in order to get a nice fine, clean cut that
needed no further dressing before soldering up …

    Could one do the same with heavier wire and get a cut clean
enough to avoid having to do any more work? 

Hello Susan,

If you mean the same technique with a larger mandrel but still cut
with the #8/0 blade then I’m sure the answer would be yes, up to a
point. When your jump ring’s inner diameter starts to get large --I’m
guessing but I’d say 5mm or more-- then the coil doesn’t snug itself
around the unturned mandrel as tightly and you start getting slop
again while you’re cutting.

If on the other hand you meant heavier wire for the coil then I’m
sure there’d be no problem other than the fact that your sawing would
get more laborious because you are working that teeny #8/0 blade
through more and more metal.

I’d done a little test with a larger mandrel (4mm) and basically
found that the technique is sound as long as you find the "right"
match between your winding and your cutting mandrels. It appears to me
as if “right” means large enough to hold the coil nice and snug but
not so large that it’s a pain to get the coil on without stretching
the rings to a larger size in the process.

Frankly I’d guess that if your coiling mandrel is 5mm or more you’re
probably better off just wrapping the coil in painter’s tape in order
to keep it snug and forget about the hassle of making the second,
slightly larger cutting mandrel.

Trevor F.


Absolutely! I see no real reason to use an 8/0 blade other than it
gives one a long time to reflect on life …maybe slow down, enjoy
cutting with a saw…etc. You can cut with the blade that is
normally used for a particular gauge of metal and get just as smooth
a cut. Remember, any blade that puts more than two teeth on the
thickness of the metal is just wasted energy.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry!

On the subject of making jump rings. I use a much easier, at least
for me, process.

1.Take your large coil of wire and hang it beside your vice(make
sure you use the plastic covers on the grip. Having uncoiled a
couple of meters of wire grip it in the vice so that the end is

  1. Insert your rod of the right diameter into a battery powered had
    drill, tighten down well. The drill should have a moment realease in
    case you get caught in the wire… Put the machine in reverse and
    insert the end of your wire inbetween the ends of the chuck, and run
    the drill slowly backward(or forwards depending on if you want right
    or left hand rings). When you get a couple of turns on the rod, take
    an open grip on the other end and increas the speed to what you feel
    safe useing DO NOT USE A DRILL POWERED FROM THE MAINS. When the rod
    is as full as you want clip it off and pull it off of the rod,
    carefully as not to bend it. Contine making coils untill you have
    enough. For making 4mm rings I use a rod that is about 35 cm and
    make a coil of about 30 cm, that equeals 300 rings if you are using
    1 mm wire(about 20 gage).

  2. Sawing-- Take a rod of equeal size and put it in your vice, then
    take an ordinary hack saw and make a cut in the middle of the end of
    the rod. Cut straight down for about 2-3 cm. You now have one end of
    your rod divided. Remember this slit or slot should be wider then the
    saw blade thickness you will be using later. Remove it from the vice
    and slide one of your coils. Clamp this down in the vice leaving
    about 15cm above the grip, make sure you have positioned the rod so
    that it is at least 2-3 mm higher then the coil. If you turn you vice
    just tight enough your rod can be move up and down and turned when
    the grip is just right,it sould not be so lose as to move on its own
    or fall out, that way you do not have to repossition it every time.
    Then using a jewelers saw, or a little hack saw. Cut your rings
    keeping the saw at a rather steep angle as not to cut through to the
    back. You can generally cut about 10 jump rings before removing
    way the saw pulls the coil tighter togeather and not apart. I find
    that using a small hack saw which I sand off the side edges of the
    teeth,I only get a slight increase in the width of the cut and can
    cut jump rings much faster. I have timed from start to finis and can
    avarage 20-30 rings a minute. When the coil is down to a couple of cm
    long I lay it aside untill I have more of the same size and then put
    them on the rod at the same time

  3. Any questions can be e-mailed to me if you like, @timhonn

I live in northern Sweden.
August 25 2004

Remember, any blade that puts more than two teeth on the thickness
of the metal is just wasted energy. 

Hello Don,

Y’know, I’ve always seen this as a statement of theory rather than
fact. Obviously my sawing skills may be questionable but from what
I’ve seen the larger the blade the rougher the cut, regardless of what
thickness you’re sawing through.

Extremes aside for the moment, I choose the blade that’s going to
give me the desired fineness-vs-speed tradeoff on the cut that I’m
making. Roughing something out? Use the coarsest possible blade
(2-tooth rule) that you can. Want a fine finish on the cut and/or as
little metal removed as possible? Use as fine a blade as you’re
willing to work through the metal in question.

As I said, maybe I’m just a hack with the saw (pun intended) but this
has been my observation.

Trevor F.

     Extremes aside for the moment, I choose the blade that's
going to give me the desired fineness-vs-speed tradeoff on the cut
that I'm making. 

I’m in Trevor’s camp on this one - bigger blades are great for
roughout, but I seem to be addicted to 6/o and 8/o saw blades. Maybe
I’m a masochist, but I use them for just about everything but cutting
sprues. There’s nothing like the fluidity of cutting with an 8/o
blade through metal up to 16 ga. (I’ve even used them to cut fine
details into 12 ga.) It’s almost like piercing the metal with nothing
but guided thought; there’s so little resistance. I usually don’t
even use much blade lube with these teeny blades as they don’t really
seem to need it - just a quick pass through the Bur-Life at the
beginning of the work session seems like plenty. And with such a
smooth finish, little filing is necessary. So let’s hear it for wee
saw blades!

Jessee Smith (who seems to feel like cheerleading this morning)

Hi All:

I’ve been reading all kindsof methods of making and cutting jump
rings and find that everyone has a favorite method that they swear
by. The only thing is that it all sounds so complicated. I’d like to
mention a more simpler way to accomplish the end result.

A bock of wood 4" X 21x2 0r 3" long with a cut in a V shape across
the 3" side and about 1 1/2 " from the end of the block. A piece of
thin wood (paint stirer or similar)nailed along the long side which
will be used as a backup for your coil as you are cutting the rings.
After nailing the back to the block use your saw to cut down on the
back to meet the V cut in the block .Use a 03 or 02 saw blade in
your jeweler’s saw, place the coil you are going to cut on the
inside of the coil, run the blade thru some bees wax , place the
coil on the block and start sawing keeping a firm grip on the
coil.In the event the it gets too hot to hold use a piece of leather
on the coil.The teeth of the saw blade should be facing towards you.

Another easy method to make coils is to get a Jacob’s chuck , a
large L bracket , or a piece of wood 1 1/2" X3" X6 drill a 1/4"
hole, use 1/4 " threaded rod to connect the chuck to a window opener
as a method of winding handle. The winder can be clmped down to a
table and the end of the wire can be attached under the mandrel when
inserted into the chuck. Pressure can be exerted on the wire as it
is being wound on the mandrel with your free hand.

Any questions email me.

Ken Kipnis
Original Design Concepts

With all the tools out there, I gave in and bought the Jumpringer.
I usually spend a couple hours every other months and I can make
literally thousands of jump rings in a matter of a couple hours.

Duh…I got so excited about the wonderfulness of tiny saw blades
that I forgot to ask the question I’ve had on my mind since early on
in this thread:

Where are y’all getting the steel/copper/aluminum rods to use as
mandrels for all these jump-ringing operations? Local hardware stores
carry only a few sizes of pipes and nails that can be pressed into
this service, and wood dowels make lousy mandrels.

Thanks for your input!

Jessee Smith

Where are y'all getting the steel/copper/aluminum rods to use as
mandrels for all these jump-ringing operations? 

Hello Jessee,

One good option if you want to do the place-an-order thing and leave
it at that, assuming we’re talking winding mandrels and not mandrels
that are going to get hacked up, is to buy a set from Dave Arens,
Frei & Borel, or whomever. Typical sets are in the 1mm to 12 or 16mm
range by .5 increments, more or less. They cost a few bucks but
they’re usually graded, slotted, possibly drilled through and ready
to go. Can save you a lot of hassle.

A good metals supply place can be invaluable if you’re a DIY guy, the
kind of place that supplies machinists and welders. The one is used
to frequent could get me pretty much any size from 2mm to 25mm in .5mm
increments, in any of the standard metals, within 3 days if they
didn’t have it in stock. There were two catches: (1) minimums varied
from 3 to 10(?) ft and (2) you had to pick the stuff up at their
shop/warehouse (no deliveries, no shipping, nada). If you could live
within those restrictions it was a real gold mine for the eager
metals fetishist. Stuff like brass and iron was usually pretty darn
cheap too. Drill rod, tool steel and aluminium rather less so.

These days I just buy standard sizes and turn an appropriate chunk
down on my table-top lathe if I need something special or
particularly specific.

For teeny sizes a good hobby supply shop usually does the trick.
When I go scouting for one I look in the yellow pages to find the
shops that supply gear to model railroaders as these guys seem to use
all the right stuff (wide variety of sizes, metals, shapes, etc).

And I quite agree, wood mandrels are generally not the material of

Trevor F.

There are a number of mail order metal suppliers on the web that sell
materials other than jewelers stuff. They sell small quantities and
the prices are not too bad considering the small order size and that
you don’t have to chase all over to find the stuff. McMaster Carr is
a LOT more than just a material supplier but they sell and stock all
sorts of tools and materials. They ship fast and they take credit
cards and don’t mind small orders. Searching through their web
catalog can take a little learning but you may find it rewarding.
Many industrial customers use it as a first or last source for small
lot items.

For aluminum rod go to raw materials, then metals, then aluminum,
then rod. Pick the type and size. and how much. Order and wait a few

For another small metal seller that takes small orders:

This is a part of a major metal supply warehouse system set up for
small orders. the web catalog is easier to work with since they
carry on metal or related material. They stock, take small orders ,
take credit cards and ship fast.

There are more but these work well.


Hi Jessee, Knitting needles at garage sales. In Canada the new ones
from the store are conveniently sized in millimeters. Think I’d
rather play with jump rings than knit!

in Toronto where fall seems to have arrived

   Where are y'all getting the steel/copper/aluminum rods to use
as mandrels for all these jump-ringing operations? 

G’day; Go to your nearest craft shop and buy the size you need of
knitting pins I used these for many years

Cheers for now,
JohnB of Mapua, Nelson NZ

   Where are y'all getting the steel/copper/aluminum rods to use
as mandrels for all these jump-ringing operations? 

Two answers depending on what you want to do:

For short coils of jump rings (i.e. ~3", for use with Dave Aren’s
Koil Kutter, or the standard version of Ray Grossman’s Jump Ringer),
get some transfer punch sets. Four different sets that can be had for
a modest price from will give you as many sizes as
you can ever use. See page 615 of the online pdf catalog or type
"transfer punches" into the search box.

For longer coils (i.e. ~15", for use with the high production
version of Ray Grossman’s Jump Ringer) get some lengths of drill rod
from 3 ft. lengths of 150+ different sizes cost a
couple to a few dollars each. See page 3396 of the online pdf catalog
or type “steel drill rod” into the search box.

My tactic is to do both. I have all of the transfer punch sets so I
can make any size I want as needed with the Koil Kutter. For the
sizes that I make many thousands per batch, I have the appropriate
piece of drill rod for the Jump Ringer.

If using either of these options is too much hassle, both Dave and
Ray sell mandrel sets that are designed to work with their respective
products. These are in a restricted, but very useful range of sizes,
and are modified a bit from the raw stock to make them easier to use.

Have fun making jump rings!

Tom Colson

Renaissance Gecko Designs …sitting here being very glad that a pair
of calipers was (were?) on hand after knocking a 60pc set of transfer
punches to the floor…

Harbor Freight has a set of steel punches for about $10. There are
several sizes and work great for making jump rings.

Nancy Helmer

ello Jessee, A good source for jump ring mandrels is a cheap set of
drill bits. I have a huge set I got a few years ago from a cheap
mail order tool close out company. They came in a steel case. I
turned each one upside down to make them faster to measure and they
have been in reguler use ever since.

Have fun.
Tom Arnold

Jesse, One possible source for the copper rods is in the Electrical
department at Home Depot. They sell thick copper wire that is used as
grounding wire in home construction. I’ve seen wire up to about 1/4"
in diameter. Almost any steel supplier (see your local welding supply
for advice) sells steel rod of varying sizes and compositions. I’m
not sure just how small they make tool steel rod or drill rod but
call around and ask. I’ve also used brass and bronze brazing rod
(flux free). It too is cheap.