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Idiot's Delight

    I would like to make Gold Idiots Delight Bracelets for my
family for Christmas. It has been suggested to me that the gold
would be too soft, is that indeed a fact? 

Teresa, I’ve made plenty of idiot’s delight bracelets and I have
never soldered the links. In fact, it was taught to me as a
weave where one does not solder–a cold joining project. I’ve
mostly worked with sterling in many guages, and it holds up
nicely. Depending on your karat of gold, I’m not certain. I
have found 10 karat wire much harder to work than the silver.
I’ve not really “played” around with 14 kt wire, but I’m sure
someone else around here has. I’ve wondered if it was
comparable to sterling to work with. My husband has a 24 inch
continuous sterling idiot’s delight chain that I made a few
years back. It took about two ounces of 18 ga round, and I
think that I could break his neck with it before it would break.
For Christmas last year I made my sister a bracelet out of 20
guage, and I only soldered the ring I hooked to the spring ring.
It’s a lovely piece and she

I’d love to hear what all you find out!


Thank you to all that have replied. Where can I find the Idiot's
Delight pattern, and how much 16 ga wire needed for bracelets.

You can find instructions in Tim McCreight’s book “The Complete
Metalsmith”. This book is indispensable and I highly recommend
you get it if you don’t have it. It will answer many of your
questions in a very clear and thorough way.

You'll need aprox. 20-24 links per inch at 16ga, with an inside

diameter of 3/16" or 4.8mm, so your mandrel will need to be
slightly smaller. A finished bracelet in 16 ga can weigh almost 2
ounces. I would recommend practicing in silver before you move to
gold. I went through several ounces of silver getting the rings
the size/gauge I wanted, you get a lot of variation depending on
how loose the chain is. And If you do make them in gold, remember
the spring back of the coils will be different depending on the
alloy and annealing, so just make a few at first to experiment,
otherwise you may have a lot of rings not quite the right size.

I made one Idiot's delight that was soldered and it was pretty

tricky. If you can get the links tight enough, you can rotate the
seams to the inside and they’ll stay there and won’t be seen.

Good Luck and Enjoy!

Amy O’Connell

I am quite new to all of this, and in fact am working primarily
with wirewrapping and sculpting. I blush with embarrassment at
having to ask this question, but what is an "Idiot’s Delight"
bracelet or necklace? Is there a site where I may see a picture
of one?

Thank you all for a wonderful learning forum.


Hi Trudy, Tim McCreight’s ‘The Complete Metalsmith’ has a picture
& the instructions for making this chain & several others around
pages 140-150. The Idiot’s Delight is a good pattern for
beginning chain makers. It’s only disadvantage in my book is the
weight. It tends to be rather heavy.