Need J-rings made


I am in need of placing an order with a silver/gold smith to
make up some special extra large jump rings. These are for a
"Presidents Necklace" much like a Henry the 5th style. I need 50
jump rings made up of sterling silver, 8 ga. round wire, the jump
rings are oval O.D. 1 5/16" in length and 1" in width. Will send
details and photo of brass sample direct if you can make them for

My arthritis is attacking my wrists again and can no longer do
shaping or forging. Thanks, Pat

Pat, When I needed to make jump rings with a guage too hard for
my strength, an instructor at the school I attend, did it on his
lathe. Perhaps there is one not too far from you. Teresa

I gather that you want these rings shaped and butted together,
but you will then spread them and solder. Would be interested in
hearing further from you. Other than the price of the silver,
what do you anticipate having to pay for these jump rings?
Regards, Ray

HI! Thanks for suggestions, but lathe work won’t work. It
isn’t that the difficulty is that it is “hard”, I can’t even hold
a pencil! There isn’t anything at all closer than a 100 miles
from here anyway. So everything has to be shipped anyway.
Thanks, Pat

  When I needed to make jump rings with a guage too hard for my
strength, an instructor at the school I attend, did it on his
lathe. Perhaps  there is one not too far from you. 

For rings that you can wind with a lathe, often you can also do
it with a portable variable speed electric drill…

And for REALLY heavy rings, I do it by hand, thusly…

I needed some rings in 14K yellow gold and platinum, made in a 3
mm thick wire (that’s about an 1/8th inch rod, more than a
wire…) Having a drawbench and a large carbide drawplate made
producing the wire possible. To wind the rings, though, was well
beyond the strength of my hands, and attempts produced rings that
didn’t want to bend tight around the 1/4 inch diameter mandrel I
was using (Pay attention to those figures. This is a very heavy
wire around a tight curve. to show you it’s possilbe…)

Basically, to do this you need a bending jig that will both
supply the force needed to bend the wire, and will also force the
wire to bend close to the mandrel instead of a larger curve.

You can use any number of materials, but I generally make these
out of a spare, or old, etc. bench pin, which is maple. The key
feature, beyond hard wood, is the step in the pin’s tail end
which is a bit thicker than the thickness of the wire. The
mandrel I was using happened to be a drill bit shank, so I used
the drill to put a hole in the tail of that bench pin, such that
the space between the hole and the shoulder was almost exactly
the thickness of the wire.

Now, the mandrel is clamped vertically in a sturdy bench vise,
and the end of the wire hooked around the drill bit below the
vise jaws and then brought up through the jaws and bent down to
the horizontal plane next to the drill, ready to start wrapping
it around the mandrell. The hole in the bench pin tail is now
put over the mandrel, and slid down, fitting the wire into that
gap between the shoulder of the pin and the mandrel. so the wire
is not trapped in a tight space, held close to the mandrel (drill
bit shank). Pressing down on the pin keeps it pressed down on
the wire, and you can now rotate/pivot the bench pin around the
mandrel, always pressing down, so the wire cannot spring out of
it’s trap. The wood surface wraps the wire tightly round the
mandrel, and leaves no tool mark either, other than any “orange
peel” or ripple from bending such a heavy gauge around a tight

You do need enough extra length of wire to let you anchor it to
the mandrel below the vise jaws, and then enough to stick out to
the side enough for the bench pin to grab onto. And often the
first wind around the mandrel isn’t so good. But you can get
several more after that if you need. After winding, cut them off
normally, like any other jump ring. Or ring shank, or whatever.

Another note: A ring this heavy cannot easily be closed with
pliers and look straight. Because a wound jump ring is a helix
shape, when you close it up you are bending a small part of the
ring to bring the ends together, but not straightening up the
whole helix, so the closed ring is still warped when looked at
from the side. Often, a mallet isn’t heavy enough to flatten
these without causeing damage.

The best way I’ve found to then flatten such a heavy ring (and
smaller lighter ones too) is to find a depression in a dapping
block or bezel block into which the ring just barely fits, then
press it down into that depression just a hair with a suitable
flat ended punch. The back end of a dapping punch, carefully
ground flat, often works (use a soft mallet to tap it, not a
steel hammer, of course). When you do this, you end up with a
little mark from the wall of the dapping block, forming a slight
bevel on the outside of the ring, but it’s usually easily
polished off or otherwise dealt with. And the process also
closes the ring VERY tightly, so the seam is generally just
beautifully tight for soldering shut if that’s what you’re doing.

Hope this helps.

Peter Rowe

peter , it took me a while to picture your process of heavy
wire bending but it finally made sense. it is these type of
’'tricks that people can go for years without knowing" until
someone finds a better way that make this forum so valuable. as
always thank you for your contribution. sb in hotlanta


While in Tucson, I saw a method of making multible jump rings in
varying heft at the “catalog in motion” show held by Rio Grande.
It was basicly a short shaft bend into a handle on one end and
mounted on a heavy base. After throughly annealing, You simply
clamp the wire on one end and turn the crank to wind the wire
tightly on the shaft. After that, they have a simple handpiece
which fits on your flex shaft and consists of a shielded circular
cutting blade spinning at a high speed. It cut thru the coil of
wire swiftly and the result was about 50 perfectly formed jump
rings. Great for making chains or whatever you have in mind. You
could even use a variable speed electric drill to wind the wire
with some practice. Check it out.


Sorry if the description was confusing. The method was, simply
enough, born of desperation. Had a deadline. Needed to make the
darn rings THAT DAY, and nothing I’d tried would bend them tight
enough. Started to think of industrial type wire/rod bending
machines, which are far more complex… Ended up cobbling
together a jig out of the only available piece of scrap wood at
that moment, my bench pin. Darned if it didn’t work really,
really, well, and was cheap and simple to make. So I’ve used
that method a couple times since…

There are undoubtably other ways and jigs to make such bends.
This was just one I came up with one day… With some creative,
analytical thinking, and working out what forces are needed to
make a thing happen, you’d be surprised what sorts of solutions
you can come up with.

Peter Rowe

Just purchased jump ring maker - they are sold by many companies
so search and get the best price. I LOVE it. I can’t count the
number of times I have cut my fingers sawing jump rings one at a
time. A bit of caution about the jump ring maker: THE BLADE IS
VERY DANGEROUS. caution when using Joy - (back on orchid after a
9 month absence!)

The tool you referred to is called “Jump Ringer”. It is carried
by all major and many smaller jewelry tool distributors in the
U.S. and Canada. Jump Ringer will wind and cut a 3 inch long coil
perfectly in less than 1-1/2 minutes. For high production a long
version is available that will wind and cut a 15" long coil.
There is even an oval attachment made to quickly produce perfect
ovals in five sizes. The blade is only .010" thick (narrow kerf)
and rotates at high speed to produce a clean, straight bur-free
cut. To address the safety issue the blade, enclosed in its
guard/guide must be inserted into the coil holder before
starting the flex shaft machine. The cut is then made and the
flex shaft stopped immediately after completion. The flex shaft
is allowed to come to a full stop before retracting it from the
coil holder. Following this procedure, it is impossible to injure
the user because the blade is completely enclosed. Incidentally
it will also greatly extend the life of the blade. A high quality
lubricant should be applied generously to the full length of the
coil where the cut will be made. There are several cheap shoddy
imitations of the Jump Ringer being offered. They will not
produce the same perfectly cut rings nor last as long.