what an incredibly tedious process this is!
Yes it is... but if you have any doubts about your ability to solder,
they will sure be silenced after you make your first chain... You'll
be an expert "solderer" after all that practice!
I actually got into jewelry making thanks to a book on making
chains, and it was that process that led me to not be afraid to work
with metal, soldering, sanding, cutting, polishing, making clasps,
etc. In my opinion, a chain that is not soldered is just not a real
piece of jewelry, and a soldered chain will last for generations.
It's funny how there is some sort of mental block that separates
"beaders" from "solderers". I found it not to be intimidating, it's
worth the time.
The excellent, clear, concise, and affordable book that got me
Making Silver Chains; Simple Techniques, Beautiful Designs. by Glen
I bought it at a Barnes and Noble of all places, for $15
But, it's only $10 at Amazon! Here's a link:
Also, here are some tips for making the process less tedious.
1) I don't use solder snippets, instead I use a syringe full of
liquid solder with a hypo needle on the end for precision. Available
from Rio or your local supplier.
2) Use a cheap power drill, with a mandrel (like a steel nail)
clamped in your vise, and use it to slowly wrap the wire around the
mandrel for huge coils of jump rings. Then tape them up and saw them
with the jewelers saw. Or get a "jump ringer" which is a cool device
made by a member of this list. (I am going to buy one someday)
3) Solder closed half of the links on your soldering block first.
This excellent tip was given to me by a member of this list. - Lay
out half of your rings in rows on your block, say 4 rows of 10, then
squeeze a wee bit o' solder at each join, then just blaze away on
each joint with your torch! Amazing! Now just link the other rings
through, and you are already half done!
4) Sand the whole thing, then drop it in your Lortone tumbler all
That should save you some time! Good luck!
The Master's Jewel