Toggle Clasp Math

A while ago, I searched the archives of Orchid for a ratio for
making toggle clasps. I found much helpful but no math.

The subject came up with a fellow metalsmith friend, who said, “oh,
that’s easy, I figured it out.” She says you measure the inside
diameter of the circle part of the toggle, and the bar part needs to
be twice as long as that measurement.

Agree? Disagree?


Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay

That would make sense. If it is any longer it won’t work. Figure
that one half of the bar–say from where it is connected to the
jewelry to one end–must fit through the circle. The formula given
means that this section (one half of the bar) is equal to that
inside diameter. Any longer and it really won’t fit without pulling
the chain through the circle also. I’d say experiment by making the
bar a little longer then possibly cutting it down to twice the
inside diameter. Does any of this make sense or do I sound like I’m
rambling? It works in my head!!

–Vicki Embrey
Trying to type with an overly large feline in my lap!

I measured some store bought clasps, and found the bar didn’t need
to be that much bigger. Just long enough that the length from the
center was slightly longer so it won’t fall out. If the bar is twice
as long, you’l need some extra links so the bar will easily go into
the loop.



Just because someone is manufacturing them and people are using them
doesn’t, sadly, mean they necessarily work well. I remember being in
a jewelry store once, and admiring a bracelet, which, in my opinion,
had a too short toggle bar–and then getting into a conversation
with a saleswoman who told me that a client had just lost one of
those bracelets as it had fallen off her wrist. There’s a lot of
stuff out there that you don’t want to emulate. I would err on the
side of the longer bar—