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Idiot's Delight Chain


#1

Hi!

I have been enjoying the Orchid list immensely over the past few
weeks and would like to take advantage of your collective
expertise: I have seen “Idoit’s Delight” or King’s Link chains
done with graduated sizes of jump rings so the chain is
considerably finer at the ends than it is in the centre of the
necklace. Are there any guidelines or is this discovered by trial
and error?

Thanks,
Karen
101600.2063@compuserve.com


#2

I have seen “Idoit’s Delight” or King’s Link chains done with
graduated sizes of jump rings so the chain is considerably finer
at the ends than it is in the centre of the necklace. Are there
any guidelines or is this discovered by trial and error?

The easiest way I know is this:

  1. Divide the chain into 1 inch sections, the largest diameter
    links & wire size would be the 2 center sections (assuming an
    even length chain, 16, 18 in. etc).

  2. Make the next section on both sides of the center section
    .05mm smaller links of the same size wire as the center 2
    sections.

  3. Make the next section on each size the same size link as the
    previous section but use the next smaller size wire.

  4. Continue this scheme until you’ve reached the length you
    want.

If you’d like, you can vary the length of each of the sections
(they should all be the same, however). This results in a chain
with almost imperceptible taper. Making a larger change in link
diameter or changing both link diameter & wire size at the same
time results in an obvious ‘bump’ in the chain.

Example:

16 in chain + 16 1in sections Center 2 sections, 5mm 16ga; next
section each side of center, 5mm 18ga; next section, 4.5mm 18ga;
next section, 4.5mm 20ga; next section 4mm 20 ga; next, 4mm 22ga
next, 3.5mm 22ga; next 3.5mm 24ga.

While the above dimensions might not make an appealing chain, it
does serve to illustrate a graduated chain technique.

The important thing to remember is NEVER change the link size &
wire size at the same time!

Dave


#3

Hi Karen,

From my own files, I can give you sizes for a 7x4.2mm chain:
wire dia mandrel dia number
1.3 4.3 10
1.2 4.0 6 each side
1.1 3.75 6 e. a.
1.0 3.4 same
0.9 3.0 same
0.8 2.7 252 e. a.

with a 6 mm spring ring, this will give you a chain of 45 cm,
48g 14k gold. These measurements were handed to me by a master
goldsmith having specialised in chainmaking, I don’t know of a
printed source and think it’s a matter of trial and error and
keeping a filebook. Hope this will help you, Markus