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Handmade curb link chain

Hi there, Any tips on keeping a handmade curb chain twist free when
it is hung by the end? I am currently handmaking an 18k y/g chain,
the links are 7x3x1.5mm and I want to avoid any twisting in the
chain when suspended (anyone having made this type of chain knows
what I mean). I will also be filing a flat on either side of the
chain to resemble a Diamond type cut chain. Thanking you in advance.
Best Regards Terence M Dillon Chivali Artisan Goldsmiths

Terence, A twisted curb chain should hang straight when suspended.
After the oval links are soldered and joined, the chain is pulled
very tight, between a bench vise and a hand vise, and twisted to
form the shape of the links. At one point the spiraled chain will
appear to unwind and lay flat. How much to twist past that point
depends on the metal and the length of the chain. Test the
straightness by hanging it. The desired alignment is achieved by
over twisting sufficiently so that the chain rests straight when

Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts
760 Market Street - Suite 900
San Francisco, CA 94102
tel: 415-391-4179 fax: 415-391-7570

Terry, Allen Revere has some great pictures in his book on making and
straightening curb links Regards J Morley/Goldsmith/Laser welding

You may want to check out chainmaking in Alan Revere’s PROFESSIONAL
GOLDSMITHING. He has chapters on curb, cable, foxtail, rope and
"crocheted/knitted" chains.

Donna Shimazu

Hello Terry, This is the first project I had done when I started. My
friend had me work in silver. (I much prefer gold). Learned how to
make uniform jump rings, saw, solder, and the graceful use of a
rolling machine, as well as how to shellac and file a nice bevel
into the chain.

I would suggest using a hand turned rolling mill not electric if
possible. That will give you more control. This is a two person
job…one person to turn the mill handle. After soldering all the
links, attach a strong wire to each end so you can easily feed
through the mill and hold with pliers each end (I use copper). Clamp
one end…the first link and the wire together into a vise and while
pulling (to keep the chain taught) on the free end twist the whole
thing either clockwise or counterclockwise. (Doesn’t matter which
way…I always go clockwise). You will need to twist the chain past
straight and over twist it because as you roll it through the mill it
will straighten itself back. It will take several passes through the
mill to get a nice uniform result…Keep it taught at ALL times
while running it through the mill. You will need to experiment with
how much twisting is needed. Better to under twist than over twist
because you can always mount it again, twist it some more, and
re-roll it. If you twist it too far to start with you might not want
to roll it as thin as needed to bring it back to straight…then you
can only sigh…

I hope this helps,

Mark PS you can also diamond cut the edges with a foredom hand piece
and diamond bit…a little tricky to keep uniform though.