Quick and easy jump rings

While I was messing around and not accomplishing anything, and
because jump rings are so awful to make, I made something to make it
quick and easy. I’ve cut my fingers, broken many saw blades, made
jagged cuts, because I couldn’t get that damned coil to stay still in
the vice. I tried several things that didn’t work.

I have lots of corks laying around (including the plastic ones)
because ‘I’m sure I can find a use for them’. Well I did. I carved a
semi rounded ‘ditch’ length wise into the cork, fairly deep so the
coil wouldn’t just pop out, placed the coil into the ditch, fastened
it into the vice and sawed them all. They didn’t move and they turned
out perfect. Not sure if anyone has tried this. I’ve tried wrapping
masking tape around the coil, wrapping a piece of plastic straw
around it with the end taped, holding in pliers, holding in my
fingers and the cork is the best I’ve found so far.

Marlyn Collins

What a great tip! I find that trying to cut jump rings with the
holder and associated stuff that came with my jumpringer is a PITA.
I’d rather saw them, especially since I treated myself to one of
Lee’s Knew Concept saws (which is a joy to use). But I also struggled
with holding the coils to get a good cut without sacrificing fingers,
etc. Just tonight I downloaded instructions for a homemade coil
holder for sawing (from the Art Jewelry website) but your cork idea
is quicker, easier, and makes use of the many corks that I’ve
collected. I’m definitely going to try it. Thanks for sharing.



If you have the time/inclination, I’d love to see a picture…
having trouble visualizing. You can email it to me offline, if you
don’t want to post it on your blog (if you have such).

Sounds like a great idea, though.

SE Tennessee


Brilliant! I love learning new tricks even though I’m an old dog.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer

I seldom use a saw any more to cut the coils of jump rings. instead,
I use a seperating disc in the flex shaft. But not the usual standard
ones. Those cut a swath almost 3/4 of a millimeter. Way too much,
especially if, as I do, you might find yourself cutting rings made
of.5 mm platinum wire wrapped around a millimeter diameter mandrel.

The seperating disks to use are the “ultrathin” type. You can get
thim in .010 inch or.007 inch thickness. Both work, but I like the
thinner ones. Those cut a gap about the same as an 8/0 saw blade.
Can’t ask for much finer than that. I use the.010" slightly thicker
and studier ones when cutting off larger rings.

To hold the rings, I simply do not take them off the mandrel. Now,
for small rings like these, I’m not using costly "jump ringer"
mandrels, that are often too big for my needs anyway. Instead, I use
the back end of ordinary twist drill bits. To wind the rings, you
start by holding the end of the wire in the rearmost bit of the drill
flute, with pliers. That’s a secure hold, and you can easily just
coil the wire around by hand towards the back end of the drill. This
method has the advantage that drill bits are pretty cheap, and you
can get them in very closely graded sizes, so making exactly the
right size ring is easy. This perhaps is not so good if you’re making
mass quantities, but two dozen rings per coil is usually quite easy
with most drill bits, and the usual size wire you’d use for each size
drill. And this method is fast enough it’s just as good when you need
only one ring, but need it properly round, which is hard with a
round nose plier.

To cut the rings, keep holding the coil and drill the same way, but
positioned so the plier jaws are vertical, and the drill end and coil
pointed away from you. Then the separating disc can be used to just
slice down the top of the coil towards you and towards and between
the plier jaws. The mandrel holds everything tight and in position,
and because you’re cutting towards the pliers, nothing gets thrown
off the end of the drill. Holding the flex shaft handpiece in your
right hand, means the rotation of the seperating disc is such that
the disc is moving towards the cut, not away from it. Again, this
improves control and keeps the disc from shooting the rings off the
drill bit as they cut free.

A bit of burr life or similar saw lube is just as helpful with the
seperating discs as it is with a saw, and gives you a better cut.

Try it. You’ll like it. It’s fast and simple. And given that you can
get a set of number size drills from 1-60 from harbor freight for
something like ten bucks I think, this is a cheap way to do this. and
you’re not ruining the drills for work as drills either. The light
score marks on the shank don’t cause a problem. When you’ve cut so
many coils off the drill shank that you can’t wind a good coil on it
any more, just replace it. They’re cheap, remember?

Just one caveat. Those ultrathin seperating disks are fragile. Brace
your hands carefully, and rest the far exposed end of the drill bit
on your bench pin to be sure nothing shifts, or you’ll break the
disk. And because you’ll still break a disk now and then, be sure to
wear eye protection.

Peter Rowe

While I was messing around and not accomplishing anything, and
because jump rings are so awful to make, I made something to make
it quick and easy. I've cut my fingers, broken many saw blades,
made jagged cuts, because I couldn't get that damned coil to stay
still in the vice. 

In the vice? I’ve made a set of JR jigs from old screwdrivers picked
up at garage sales. I chop off the business end with a hack saw, make
it pretty on a belt sander, and slice a cut into the top with the
hack saw. Then I simply twist the wire onto the jig, remove the coil,
and hold the coil with my fingers and cut the JR’s. I can’t imagine
using a vice! Maybe I’m missing something. Oh and as to cutting ones
fingers: Don’t.

The method I was taught for making jump rings is simple, easy to saw
and very easy on the fingers. I use doweling, the outer diameter the
size of the inner diameter of the rings I want to cut. I drill a hole
near the top of the doweling. Insert a piece of the wire through to
hole to hold it firmly, then just twist the wire around the doweling.
When ready to saw, I rest the doweling against my bench pin, and saw
down through the top of the doweling, cutting through each of the

Sure beats having to hold the coiled wire in my fingers, or in my
vise. doweling is cheap, fingers are priceless.



The doweling method is very easy and inexpensive to use. Wooden
dowels can be purchased at any home supply company.

I use a dowel mounted in my drill to rapidly wind the wire.

Then just cut the loops one at a time as the coil is slid toward the
saw. The dowel holds the coil as I saw.

The ultrathin separating disks Peter mentioned would work with this

Be sure to wear safty glasses when using separating disks.

This procedure will work for any size of rings.

Check out the following for photos of the process.


Lee Epperson

hello Noman, i think if you add pics of the tool you hav worked out.
But i think i am quite sure that if you could just practise to hold
the coil firmly in hand, in thumb and fore finger its really easy to
cut jumprings identicle and without any harm to your hands. i feel
motivted to send you some pictures of how i cut them. if you welcome
i will be happy to share.

i also have a query if someone can help. I am working on platinum.
presently i use gold solder, can anyone suggest me platinum solder

Ramesh bhalla

I've tried wrapping masking tape around the coil, wrapping a piece
of plastic straw around it with the end taped, holding in pliers,
holding in my fingers and the cork is the best I've found so far. 

Marilyn and others, I’ve had my best luck using the Jumpringer when
I wrap the wire around a wooden dowel of the needed diameter. Then I
put the coil (still on the dowel) into the Jumpringer, add a streak
of BurLife down the entire length and cut the coil that way. The
dowel keeps the coil rock solid in the slot, with no movement, and I
get perfectly cut rings with square ends. I am using the long coil
holder and cut a couple hundred rings at a time for chains. The trick
is to find the right diameter dowel. If I can’t find one exactly the
right diameter, I take the next larger size and pare it down by
pulling it through my draw plate (you need to whittle down the
leading end a bit, drill a hole in it and thread some wire or cord -
loops of dental floss work fine - to pull the dowel). This is the way
smaller diameter dowels are created commercially (i.e.: they are NOT
cut on a lathe). I usually work with 22- 24 ga fine silver wire. Also
it’s important to make sure the blade is put onto the flex shaft so
that the teeth are oriented in the correct direction, that is, an
up-cut not a down-cut. I’ve seen students do it wrong many times.
Like the others I WOULD like to see a picture of your cork method as
I’m having a bit of a problem visualizing it. It seem s you are
cutting only a few jump rings at a time (using a coil shorter than
the length of a cork? Or have I missed it?

Denny Turner

One of the easiest ways I have found to cut jump rings after coiling
on the desired diameter pen is to slide the coil off of the mandrel
and slide the jewelry saw blade through the hole in the coil. I put
the coil against the V in my bench pen to steady it and saw the JRs
apart. I use a 0.2 or 0.4 blade so there is very little gap in the


Making chain is like knitting for me-I can sit for hours doing it.
I’ve made thousands and thousands of jumprings with one triple
loop-in-loop chain containing almost 2000 jumprings. Go to Harbor
Freight and get a Transfer Punch Set, I tell my students it’s the
best $10 you’ll ever spend on tools. The set contains 28 punches
ranging in size from 3/32" to 1/2’’ in increments of 1/64" plus a
17/32" diameter and are made of heat treated-tempered tool steel.

I wind the wire around the mandrel using my power drill and then
take the mandrel with the coil and clamp it upright in my vice. To
clamp it, I push the coil up past the top of the mandrel and fold a
small piece of leather over the exposed part of the mandrel at the
bottom and put this part in the vice. The leather keeps the mandrel
from moving around. I then saw down from the top, loosening the vice
every so often to pull the mandrel down through the leather (that is
in the vice jaws) to expose fresh coil. It gets a little tricky at
the end of the coil, but if you get your saw as parallel as possible
to the mandrel, you can cut the last few jumprings. Mostly I just
throw the last half-inch in with my scrap. Yes, my 1/8" mandrel has
a bunch of saw marks on the end from when I sawed too long before
pulling it down, but it doesn’t affect the mandrel, and after all it
is only a $10 tool!

The method Peter Rowe suggests sounds interesting and I’m going to
have to try it with my mandrels.

Priscilla Fritsch

Hello Ramesh, The very best plat solder was invented by and is sold
by Precious Metals West. I am not associated with them, just
satisfied. It is actually made of platinum. And I fully agree with
your method for cutting jump rings. I’ve been doing it that way for
a long time.

Have fun. Tom Arnold

PS always wear dark glasses when soldering plat.

Hi Peter,

I seldom use a saw any more to cut the coils of jump rings.
instead, I use a seperating disc in the flex shaft 

this sounds like a great idea. any chance you might make a demo just
to clarify it a bit?


Using my Knew Concept hand saw I’m able to hold the coil in my
fingers and cut rings successfully. This was never possible with my
previous saws. I love my Knew Concept saw.


There is an article in the November issue of Art Jewelry Magazine on
how to build your own coil winder. There is a second article listed
on line about how to use a “v” blocl tool to cut a coil into jump
rings. I suggest that you review these articles.

Howard Siegel

Hi Priscilla

Great idea - now if I can just figure this suggestion out with the
Harbor Freight Transfer Punch Set and using the power drill to wrap
the wire around the mandrel.

Went to Harbor Freight today. They had a set - only not so many, but
sizes that I thought were better for me and for only $4.99. I will
give this new info great consideration!

Thanks so much everyone for the tricks (which now are treats!) Oh

Rose Marie Christison

The method Peter Rowe suggests sounds interesting and I'm going to
have to try it with my mandrels. 

Your method, Priscilla, is probably better with the larger sizes. My
method would work with the tiny ones. Note that my method DOES
score/damage the mandrel because I’m cutting right down the whole
coil while it’s still totally on the mandrel, rather than withdrawing
the mandrel as you do (which saves the mandrel, lets you use a saw,
but is slower). If you’re cutting all the way through the wire, then
the seperating disk is also cutting slightly into the mandrel too.
That’s why I use drill bits. Individually replaceable, and even
cheaper than the transfer punches (which I also like, by the way)


I seldom use a saw any more to cut the coils of jump rings.
instead, I use a seperating disc in the flex shaft

this sounds like a great idea. any chance you might make a demo
just to clarify it a bit? 

Nope. I have enough trouble just getting all my actual jewelry work
done, much less even taking decent photographs of the finished
pieces. And doing a demo video isn’t something I feel like I really
need to learn how to do right now.

However, if anything in my description wasn’t clear, please ask. I
may not be a film maker, but I type real fast… (grin)

If really needed, I suppose I could scan a quick sketch for you. But
frankly, this isn’t complex. Reread my description. If needed, ask me
for details on parts of it.

I’m basically doing, sort of free hand, with a seperating disk what
the jump ringer does with it’s cutting attachment. Instead of a
circular saw such as the jump ringer uses(those are nasty when not in
a guard), I’m using very thin seperating disks. Those might break,
but they’re unlikely to slice off a finger if something slips. The
seperating disk also lets me cut the rings while still on the mandrel
(the shank of the drill bit). Using a saw wouldn’t work, as they
would dull. And cutting them while still on the mandrel (drill
shank) means I don’t need that fancy coil holding fixture. just a
pair of pliers to hold the drill in (it gets hot when cutting, so
fingers aren’t so good)

Note that the method I described is well suited to making SMALL
rings. In the course of commercial jewelry, including repair work,
etc, in gold and platinum, I find that most of the jump rings I need
are things like 1 to 3 millimeters on the inside diameter, and wound
of wire that’s often perhaps a half to 3/4 millimeters in diameter.
They vary more than that, of course, but that’s the idea. That’s
usually smaller than the jump ringer or pepe jump ring maker’s
mandrels. And I often find I need to get the inside diameter of the
jump ring just the right size, not almost so. So using a set of
numbered drill bits, which are very close together in size from one
drill to the next, lets me choose the mandrel size more accurately
than with the more widely spaced jump ringer mandrels. And drill
bits are fairly cheap, especially if you’re not buying premium drill
bits. Plus, they’re dual purpose. Sometimes, you might also need to
use them as drills, and the score marks on the shanks from cutting
off rings don’t hurt their ability to drill holes. And finally, you
don’t then need a fancy additional tool like the jump ringer taking
space on your bench.

Don’t get me wrong, the jump ringer is a great tool. I have one, and
use it when it’s size range is what I need. But it’s best suited to
larger rings in larger wire than I often use. If I need quarter inch
or half inch diameter rings in 16 guage silver, and I need a hundred
of them, you can bet I’m getting out the jump ringer. For that, it’s
the ideal tool. Among other things, for that size wire, the thin
seperating disks just wouldn’t last very long. I’d go through
several just cutting one longer coil…

But for the smaller rings, my method is generally faster than using
the jump ringer, since I’m cutting the rings directly off the mandrel
they were wound on. No time spent removing the coil and clamping into
a fixture. Just wind the rings, then slice down the length of the
coil with that thin seperating disk, and you’re done. Quick and easy.
And those thin disks give a really smooth cut and a narrow kerf.
The.006 disks leave a cut as narrow as that from an 8/0 saw blade.
Can’t ask for much more than that.

By the way, an addendum to my prior description of winding the
coils. I wind them just with my fingers when I only need a few. a
half dozen or so. If, instead, I need two dozen or three dozen or
more, I chuck the drill bit into my #30 handpiece, but backwards, so
the drill shank protrudes, rather than the drilling fluted part. Then
insert the end of the wire between the jaws of the chuck next to the
shank, and gently run the flex shaft. Just like the jump ringer, only
powered, and in miniature…


Hello all, Asa sidebar to Peter’s, as usual, lucid explanation, I
would only add: Buy the largest set of drill bits you can. The kind
that are totaly useless for drilling holes without burning up. Take
them out of the rack they come in and replace them upside down. You
now have the most extensive set of jump ring mandrels imaginable.

Have fun.
Tom Arnold