My 70 year old arthritic hands sometimes have trouble making jump rings, especially very small rings. I have been looking at the various “Jump Ringer” devices for sale and wonder if they are the way to go or if others have devised unique ways using common bench tools to cut jump rings. I typically turn the coil on a mandrel chucked in a drill, then run a saw blade through the coil, secure the saw in the V of my bench pin and start sawing the coil by moving it back and forth over the saw blade. I have also tried wrapping the coil in tire tube rubber or masking tape, running the saw blade trough the coil, securing the the coil and rubber or tape in a vise and the sawing. My fingers wear out usually before I am done. Any ideas about the “Jump Ringer” or other more finger friendly ways to cut small jump rings would be appreciated. Thanks…Rob
I’ve been using the older model of the Pepe jumpringer for years, one of my diversions being chainmaille. It’s a great product with a learning curve. However, if you are only making very small rings or smaller quantities, you can make your coils as you have been, wrap a piece of masking tape along one side of the coils top to bottom, insert your blade and cut the coils against your pin, from the inside, bottom to top while holding the coil on the taped side facing you. It’s not as difficult as my explanation. If your fingers cramp up you can hold the coil in a wooden ring clamp; you might need a bit more tape.
Hope that helps.
I use the system now sold sold by Kevin Potter but when I bought it there was a Proxxon option, which is what I use. I bought it because the price was reasonable and at the time I was exploring chain maille. Last Christmas, a couple of teenage relatives who I had taught to do chain maille and live hundreds of miles from me wanted jump rings for gifts. I decided that without any idea of what they wanted to make, I didn’t want to buy or make rings that would be useless sizes. So I bought them a jewelers saw, mandrels, made a winder, and got lots of wire in different metals and gauges, then taught them to make jump rings. We sawed them without a ring maker device like I have. I tried the various ways of sawing including taping, holding in different types of clamps recommended on the net and books, etc. I found those methods excruciatingly frustrating, for a variety of reasons, compared to using a system like the Jump Ringer or like what I have. I recommend getting one.
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Those systems include a slotted metal box, mounted in a vise to hold the coil for sawing. But with practice, you may be able to figure out a way to secure the coil in your vise jaws without the slotted metal box.
They use a circular saw blade mounted in a rotary tool. Those systems also have a safety feature, either a guide attached to the rotary tool to keep the blade in the center of the box slot, or else they permanently mount the rotary tool and guide, then slide a slotted metal box across the circular saw blade …in this case, no vise is needed.
If you search the archives, you’ll find that some folks carefully use the circular saw blade in a rotary tool without any type of safety feature. I don’t remember exactly, but some of those folks might use a cut-off blade in a rotary tool instead of the circular saw blade for this task.
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What I do,
Please specify very small! od and wire dia in thous
wind on mandrel max 10 at a time. mandrel say 6in long
hold mandrel in bench/leg vice horizontally
with 1st jump ring just on end of mandrel, rest butted up to vice face as a back stop
saw off 1, or 2 at a time. Mandrel is usually hard brass or mild steel rod. Cutting into mandrel is ok. a Slot to take saw blade.!
Mandrel is the support for your sawing
Move jr’s up mandrel and reclamp.
Some ideas by Nancy L T Hamilton
I use an ultra thin separating disc to cut the coil.
Please excuse any typos-- curse my clumsy digits…
I do use a Jumpringer and find it very useful when I need a sizable quantity of jrs. However, if I just need a smaller quantity, I find it efficient to use a separating disc/flexshaft as Andy mentioned or, even quicker, a ‘super-flush’ cutter. When I use the cutter, I make the first cut through the wire coil, flip each jr and snip the not-completely-flush end of each jr. It is faster than sawing, and wastes very little metal (the snipped end, which I then recycle when I have collected enough). This method is very easy on my hands, but for making a large quantity of jrs, it’s not practical.
Thanks to all for your great advice so far! Unfortunately, over the years, I have tried most of what was offered and have a drawer full of special shaped mandrels and bench pins for sawing jump rings. I recently bought a small metal lathe. I can chuck just about any of my flex shaft mandrels into it. I plan on seeing if there is a way to use my separating discs and the compound slide to easily cut jump rings. It isn’t the how to, it is the how do I do it with cramped arthritic fingers that is the problem. I guess that I am really looking for a solution to old age. Thanks again…Rob
If you have access to a 3D printer, here’s a file for a mini table saw fixture designed to be driven by a flex shaft. The mounting hole is for a Dremel attachment, but could easily be adapted to any hand piece. This way the saw blade or cutoff wheel would be fixed and you could just push the coil, in a coil holder, over it.
I have to confess to buying in small jump rings, 3mm-5mm. I prefer to spend the time on more important things and only make as necessary. (Sterling Silver BTW) It’s very convenient to just reach for my store!
I agree that buying them is the solution to my problem and that is probably how I will solve it. I don’t use very many jump rings, so I have just always made them when I need them. Thanks…Rob
After thinking about this problem while riding the exercise bike at the gym (this is when I do my best thinking), I tried an experiment. I rolled my coil of 18 gauge wire on a medium size finishing nail chucked in my cordless drill like I usually do. I then secured the coil in a small proxxon machine vise making sure that the coil engaged with the V groove of the vise jaw. I secured my #30 hand piece with a thin separating disc chucked on place into another larger machine vise. I was able to easily hold the proxxon vise in my hands and work the disc through the coil cutting 25 jump rings in about 20 seconds. I am about to remove the Pepe jump ring cutter from my Rio wish list (sorry Rio), and order the stuff that I really need. This arrangement will likely work for just about any size coil. I may substitute a circular saw blade for the disc. Thanks again for all of your input…Rob
Rob, are you leaving the nail in the coil or removing it?
---- Robert Meixner email@example.com wrote:
Removing it once I use it to position the coil…Rob
I had a Jump ring maker by a wonderful man who has since passed away. He was so nice and very helpful. His trick was always put a wooden dowel in the coil before cutting it. Use a toothpick if it is a tiny coil. Even if you are doing it by hand. Tape the back of the coil if you are hand sawing. I have heard you can use separating disc to cut jump rings but never tried that. I now use the new Pepe jump ring system, it isn’t as good as my old one there is usually a big bur, but it is so much easier than sawing small rings. Good luck
You can buy very thin separating discs, but they tend to break easily. Long term, I will be looking for a thin slitting saw, or maybe a dozen. Otto Frei carries them…Rob
Rob and I discussed the jump ring issue over coffee a week or so ago. The surrounding coffee sippers must have tired of the conversation pretty quick. Nothing like two deaf old men yelling at each other about jump rings, grand kids, and politics.
Jump rings are a problem for me as well. Rob has arthritis, I have reattached fingers. They move about fine for large rings and bales but I have the same issues with very small jumps.
I have been more successful with coils on very thin dowels and bamboo skewers and cutting into the end of the dowel and peeling them off one at a time as I slide the coil up the stick. I limit my dimension on the wire to 20-22 gauge because I literally can’t feel wire any finer than that. I don’t make a lot of them at any one time but that is the process I use. And buying the sizes I use may be the future for me as well.
My biggest problem is soldering them to the work. I am trying out a Little Torch with Paige tips. Much more delicate than the old Prestolite I learned on. A few years of experimentation lay ahead.
Yes I have some but have not tried it yet. I am going to look at that slitting saw you mentioned. Is it $$$?Thanks for the reply
Go to Otto Frei. I think that they are $3 ea.