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Linking loop-in-loop chain sections

Hi! I am an enthusiastic beginner to chain-making and, with
guidance from Tim McCreight’s book have just completed my first
loop-in-loop chain. Unfortunately, while rounding out the links
on the scribe, I broke the chain right in the middle. Is there
any way to link the two sections together or do I now have two
bracelets?? Thanks for your help!

Hi Mary,

Now’s when you really learn how to solder!

The way I handle this situation is to position the broken link
so you have access to the break. Sometimes this requires that the
broken link and 1 or 2 on each side be deformed a bit. If the
joins in the adjacent links are not in close proximity to the
link to be repaired, apply paste solder (use ‘easy’ or low temp
solder) to the joint & solder. Keep the heat away from the other
links as much as possible.

If there are other joints in close proximity, you can paint the
chain in that area with white out correction fluid or mix a
slurry of casting investment or plaster of paris & paint it on
the adjacent links. Again, apply paste solder to the link to be
repaired & solder after the painted on stuff has dried. After
soldering remove the painted on stuff with water, then pickle the
chain. Reshape any links that were deformed in the repair

Good luck!


Mary: One solution is to join the broken sections by inserting
the broken ends into a piece of tubing and soldering lightly .
It’ll alter the design, but you’ll have a whole

sounds like you need to solder it, the reason the link broke is
that the connection wasn’t fully fused (or soldered depending on
how you did it) - email me at for more chain info

  • I learned from one of the best!

Hi Mary,

Another way to plug 'em back together is to use a heat-sink
instead of a solder stop. I mean instead of correction fluid (or
investment, or ochre, etc.) weave the links back together and on
either side of the break place a piece of copper (pennies - REAL
pennies, not the zinc horrors they turn out now - work very well
and are just the right size). They soak up the heat nicely and no
mess to scrape off the chain when you’re done. This works
especially well for finer chains. Thank Jurgen Maerz, Undisputed
King of Technical Tricks for that one! And be sure to ask him
about the myriad uses of the Sharpie marker!


I don’t have an answer, but rather a further question. I also
do blacksmithing. In making an iron chain, of normal blacksmith
dimensions, it is the habit to make two links, and join them
with a third link. A number of these three-linked chains are
made, and are finnaly strung together in the same manner as
making the three-linked segments. There must be a reason this
doesn’t work in making fine chain. What is that reason???

some forms of fine chain are made just this way. However, there
are many types of chains and some of them are not ever soldered
or fused. An example of this is the idiot’s delight. The loop in
loop that has been talked about is composed of soldered or fused
loops that are elongated, folded, and inserted into another one.
In fact, the loops can be assembled in multiples of twos, threes,
fours, and more. The simplest is one into one and is similar to
some brass chains that I have seen in hardware stores. I think
they might be used in double hung windows.

Marilyn Smith, ICQ # 9529587
Indiana, USA, east of the Mississippi and west of the Appalachians

Hi Marrin,

A similar method works for precius metal chains. Depending on
the pattern being made, usually 1/2 of the links can be
closed/fused/soldered. The number that can be closed is dependent
on the pattern of the chain. I know of several patterns that only
1/3 of the links can be closed/fused/soldered prior to assembly.
Then when assembling the chain an open (unclosed/fused/soldered)
link is put through the last closed link, another previously
closed link is added to the open link, then the open link is

Depending on the technique used by the chainmaker, this last
fusing/soldering operation may be done as the links are added or
left until the chain is complete & then the all of them
fused/soldered in sequence.


My thought on this is . . . when linking three, you can solder
two separately, and then link the two with a single one that
needs to be soldered. It may be done this way because it may be
a bit quicker than to solder each onto others. (Hope this made

mary, after struggling with many loop in loop chains ( i like to
call them roman chain, sounds better ) there is no real way to
repair right in the middle. if it’s not too far back just reweave
it . if it is too far back make some nice terminals on each end
and link them. it gives it a nice decorative affect. why are you
scribing after the chain is made ? you should use the scribe at
the point of weaving. then to true up the weave use a hard wood
drawplate. email me if you have any more questions. scott i

Yep, just like blacksmith’s make chain! Two singles are made
into a “3”, then a bunch of “3’s” are made, then pairs of 3’s
linked into 7’s, then 7’s into 15’s, and at some point, just
linking chunks of chain together to make a long chain. I
thought that there might be similarities! Thanks!

There is a new book on the street that addresses chain repair:

Classical Loop-in-Loop Chains and Their Derivatives

Jean Reist Stark and Josephine Reist Smith, 1997

At month’s end I will see my mentor whose forte is loop-in-loop
chain making and ask how he repairs. The first part of his answer
will be “be sure the links are properly soldered and stretched”.
Then he’ll say? I will post it as soon as received…

Bill in Vista