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Loop in Loop chain


#1

Today has been a “play” day.

In a posting a while back, someone mentioned using a little
butane torch to fuse links. Well I’d never fused any links and
I had one of these little torches so I thought I’d give it a
try. I had some sterling jump rings and sure enough those
puppies just fused shut. Then I thought, what the heck could I
do with those…

Anyway the thought processes occasionally kick stuff around and
I thought of a loop in loop chain. I’d never made one of those
either because I thought it would be a total pain to solder all
the links and then clean them up. Well, I cut out a little
rectangle of brass, about 3/4 of an inch wide and wrapped some
20 gauge sterling around it. When I pulled it off, it twisted
up in a real neat little swirl pattern, but not very suited for
sawing off. I tried some 18 gauge and it behaved somewhat
better, but when I fused or tried to fuse the links I didn’t
have very good luck. They seemed very brittle and most of them
busted when I tried to bend them.

Okay, the brain does occasionally engage… Yesterday I bought
some 18 gauge fine silver and it just works so nice. I’m
growing this pretty little chain here that is about 3" long now.
It seems pretty flexible and looks very even.

Having never done this before, I’d love some input as to where
to go from here. It seems I remember something about drawing it
through a drawplate, but I’m not sure why…

Could someone please enlighten me?

Meanwhile, I’m really having fun!

Susan E.
Dallas


#2

using fine silver was definitely the smart move. you’ll neveruse
sterling again i bet.you should purchase the jean starke book on
loop in loop chains. well worth the investment. the reason you
use a drawplate is to make the chain consistent. mind you we’re
talking about a wooden or plastic drawplate not metal. email me
back if you have more questions. sb in hotlanta.


#3

Hi Susan:

First, you will experience better workability with fine silver
as opposed to sterling as pure silver is much softer. Second,
did you anneal the sterling before wrapping it? This should help
some. The draw plate would be a good idea to straighten out the
wire that you used before and be sure to anneal it well.
Personally, I don’t like silver as much as gold as it tends to go
"flat" in color and change color without heavy plating(a process
which causes problems of it’s own.)

Hope this helps;

Steve


#4

Hi Susan,

drawing a loop-in-loop chain through a drawplate is done to make
it more regular. It also lengthens the chain slightly. Before
drawing, the chain of course has to be well annealed and the
drawing has to be done very carefully with nearly no strength.

As a single loop-in-loop chain naturally has a square
cross-section, one should use a square drawplate. But if such is
not available, you can also use your circular drawplate. I’ve been
told, that you can draw your chain as long through a round
drawplate, as its cross-section has become round. Never did this
myself, 'cause I feared the links would break under this
stressing treatment.

Sabine

sabineas virtual gallery
metal design, jewelry & silverwork
http://www.sabinea.com/


#5
 Having never done this before, I'd love some input as to
where to go from here.  It seems I remember something about
drawing it through a drawplate, but I'm not sure why.... 

Often, when you finish a loop-in-loop chain, it’s not quite even
and supple along it’s length. Drawing it down in drawplate lets
you compact it just to the point where it starts to stiffen up
(don’t draw it farther. You’re only compacting the structure,
not attempting to distort the wire itself) Then loosen it up
again by pulling it back and forth over a bracelet or ring
mandrel. The result should be a very uniform diameter, flexing in
a supple and uniform manner without kinks.

You can also, especially with larger diamter sizes, simply pack
it down by gently tapping the chain with a mallet while rotating
it. Does the same thing.

Peter Rowe


#6

I believe it was I who posted the use of the Blazer torch for
fusing light fine silver wire and I’m happy to learn of your
success. But to answer your question about a drawplate use:
The purpose fo drawing the “finished” chain through a special
draw plate is to even off any irregularities that result from
weaving such a chain. The draw plate is usually a hand made device
(NOT STEEL) that is constructed by drilling successively smaller
holes in a piece of wood or plastic @ 3/8 thick. My preference is
a piece of Coran (used in kitchen counter tops) with holes
drilled of a diameter to correspond to dia. of your chain and
then slightly smaller. This will even off the chain and condense
it. You would then have to “shoeshine” it around a large round
dowel to reestablish it’s flexibility.

Hope this helps but if you want further guidance Email me
J.Z.Dule


#7

Hi Susan E.! You have made my Sunday. It’s rare that a little
first year student like myself can post intelligent (and tested!)
replies to you “real jewelers”. :slight_smile:

We just completed a triple-loop Etruscan chain, which is just a
tarted up version of what you’re doing. Complete the chain as
you’re doing, and then put a sharp scribe in your vise, pointy
end up. Push the links gently down onto it, one push for each
facet of the link (this opens up the links and makes them
uniform). After that, you can leave it if you like the look of
it, or anneal it and draw it through a wooden drawplate with the
wire at the end (I’ve heard of people using the metal ones –
I’ve also heard of people getting it out of the metal drawplate,
their hard work now looking like a long skinny hedgehog with all
the broken links sticking out of it). If it’s inflexible after
drawing, just stick a wooden dowel in your bench or a vise, and
wrap the chain around it (tenderly and lovingly), moving it back
and forth to make it flexible. Hope this helps, Kieran.


#8

Howdy: I never saw a plastic or wooden draw plate anywhere
before. Could you damage a handmade chain in a metal draw plate?
I guess if you are not "forcing " it - it would be okay. Where
can you get a plastic or wooden draw plate.? I called my regular
supplier he said he doesn’t have it.

De


#9

If you want to go one step further in the finishing process of a
loop-in-loop chain, once you have made the chain uniform (by
tamping with a mallet and/or drawing through a wooden drawplate),
put it in a vibratory tumbler (with stainless steel medium) for a
few hours. This will impart a beautifully smooth and shiny
finish as well as make the chain much more supple.

Neda Nassiri Morvillo


#10

I’d like to add to Peter’s suggestion.

Depending on how many links were crossed (1, 2, 3) in making the
chain, rotating it when flexing will make it limber in all
directions.

Example:
Chain made of 2 links crossed at 90 deg..
Pull (shoeshine fashion) the lubricated chain over the mandrel several times.
Turn the chain 90 deg.., looking at the end of the chain.
Pull the chain over the mandrel.
Turn the chain 90 deg.. (180 from 1st side), looking at the end of the chain.
Pull the chain over the mandrel.
Turn the chain 90 deg. (270 from 1st side), looking at the end of the chain.
Pull the chain over the mandrel.

Each time the chain is pulled over the mandrel it should be for
about the same number of times. Keep the chain lubricated while
’shoe shinning’. Liquid dishwashing detergent works good as a
lubricant. Put some in the palm of the hand, close the hand
around the chain & pull it through. Wash the chain with warm
water when finished flexing.

If the chain is made with no links crossing, turn it 1/2 turn
between ‘shoe shines’. If its made of 3 links crossing, turn it
60 deg… between ‘shoe shines’. This scheme insures each side of
each link is flexed equally.

Dave


#11

Dear Peter I also just learned the loop chain the lady that
showed me how to do it used what she called " Joan Chen scissors
" they left a very useable straight cut to fuse, do you or any
one else have any idea of where I might find some ? She said she
got hers in NYC and they are cooking shears I have called all
the supliers of resturant equipment in the area. Flint MI and
they have never heard of them.Also where do you find wooden
drawplates? I have never seen one do you have to make it
yourself? I am currently involved in a large remodeling project
and have PLENTY of dimensional lumber scraps!! Thanks for any
help you folks ( especially you Peter always read you stuff ) can
provide Ron


#12

I’d like to try the triple-loop next. I sure like working with
fine silver! What gauge did you use and how wide was your form
for the loops?

Susan E.


#13

De - I purchased my wooden draw plate from Metalliferous:
212/944-0909, for $30. It has approximately 20 holes, and I’ve
even drilled smaller holes in the plate (for finer chains). When
I used a metal draw plate, it left marks on the gold.

yumi :slight_smile:


#14

piece of oak about 1/2" thick. All you need to do is drill a
series of holes large to small and pull the chain through until
you are happy with it. The chain needs to be annealed each time
you pull it through a hole.


#15

Ron, I’ll bet Joyce Chen scissors are the ones you can buy in
Oriental Markets. They are easily identifiable by look, short
cutting blades with very large loop handles.

I know I have a pair around, I’ll try cutting some rings and
post the results. Teresa


#16

Just a thought, I don’t know whether this would work or not, but
wouldn’t a piece of hardwood (oak or whatever) with various sizes
of holes drilled through it, work as a homemade draw plate???
Drill bits come in a nice variety of diameters! I don’t think
this would cost very much.


#17

FWIW:

I teach chain making and make a complete set of chain makers
tools: mandrels, coil winder, Koil Kutter, ring stretchers,
corian draw plates, solder aids & soldering stands. Contact me
off list at: @David_D_Arens2 for a list of tools.

Sorry for the ‘commercial’.

Dave


#18
Could you damage a handmade chain in a metal draw plate? I
guess if you are not "forcing " it - it would be okay. 

Hi De,

I’ve drawn my loop-in-loop chains in metal draw plates and had
no problems with that. But I think you really have to be very
careful when doing this. Use nearly no power when drawing and
anneal often.

Sabine

sabineas virtual gallery
metal design, jewelry & silverwork
http://www.sabinea.com/


#19
    I also just learned the loop chain the lady that showed me
how to do it used what she called " Joan Chen scissors " they
left a very useable straight cut to fuse, do you or any one
else have any idea of where I might find some ? 

Actually, they are “Joyce Chen” cooking scissors. You should be
able to find them in most Asian cooking stores. I have two pair
that I use just for that purpose, and they work great!

Joyce Chen had several Chinese restuarants in the Boston area,
wrote several books on Chinese cooking, and opened a chain of
Asian cooking stores. Joan Chen, on the other hand, is an
actress famous for her roles in “Twin Peaks” and “The Last
Emperor”.

-Alan

Alan Derr
Senior Applications Consultant
Summa Four, Enhanced Services Migration Business Unit (ESMBU)

Cisco Systems, Inc.
25 Sundial Avenue
Manchester, NH 03103 USA

Direct: 603-665-3138
Fax: 603-695-1243
Pager: 888-712-5430
@Alan_Derr


#20
   " Joan Chen scissors " they left a very useable straight cut
to fuse, 

Never heard of the lady or her brand of kitchen shears. But my
solder snips leave a nice smooth cut. Not straight, slightly
angled. But both left and right sided of a cut wire mate to each
other almost perfectly along the shear plane of the cuts, with
only a bit of distortion/dimpling at the top of one and the
bottom of the other side. I’d guess any good sharp tight pair
of solder snips should do the trick for you as well.

   Also where do you find wooden drawplates? I have never seen
one do you have to make it yourself? 

someone out there might make and sell them. But it’s so easy
and quick to make one yourself, why bother with ordering one?
Unless of course you’ve got money to burn… Just posted another
message about making such a plate. If wood, it should be a good
hard one like maple, or the holes will quickly wear out of round
and off size again.

Peter