was wondering if you actually solder each link using a torch, or
do you have a soldering machine like a Sparky or something?
Thanks for the kind words! I’ve had this same question offline from
a couple people, so I’ll “come clean.” This chain is straight out of
Tim McCreight’s Complete Metalsmith book. Page 139 (in my edition),
3rd from the top. It is a clear case of “just do it.” All this
knowledge and these books don’t do any good unless you put them to
use make some of the stuff! I know most everyone has this book, or
should if they don’t!
For those of you who don’t have the book at your fingertips, only
the first two links on each end are soldered. In this "rope"
construction, each link is joined by four others (through the
previous two, two more through it), adding a lot of strength. I also
polish the chains in my vibratory tumbler (stainless steel shot) for
hours, resulting in a degree of additional work hardening and the
mirror finish that would be difficult to achieve with a buffer.
The only thing I’ve done to streamline the process is use one of
those jump ring winder and cutter setups that allows me to make
hundreds of uniform jump rings in a matter of half an hour. The three
tools you’d have the hardest time getting me to give up, in order,
are my flex-shaft, my BenchMate™, and my jump ring tool
(commercially “Jump Ringer”).
P.S. I also do single link “cable” chains. Each link on this type of
chain is soldered, and I use the old-fashioned chip (paillion)
soldering technique. I’m pretty fast at it, but its still slow. For
those of you who want to start here, be sure to look at Complete
Metalsmith, p. 138, on the topic of “Assembly Sequence.” You don’t
want to take the approach of just soldering one link onto the end,
one after another.
P.P.S. The toggle clasp is from Rio Grande. A hammer handpiece
makes setting the cabs in the toggle a dream.
Hope this answers some questions out there!
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)