How do you make jump rings with precious metal wire?
Traditionally, jump rings are formed from wire wound on a sized mandrel and cut with a jeweler's saw frame and blade. Jewelry makers can easily form small quantities of precious metal jump rings using mandrels with varied barrel sizes. Cutting with a saw frame is a precise method to cut evenly through the jump rings and is still a popular way to maintain consistency. Practice will make perfect the process of using a saw frame and blade. Cutting with a pair of flush-cutters is another option, however when using the cutters, you need to pay attention to creating flush ends on both ends of each ring.
Note: When using the sized jump ring mandrel, the size you use on the mandrel will be the inside diameter of the jump ring. The outside diameter will vary depending on the gauge of the wire used.
If you wish to create a great number of jump rings in any metal wire for chainmaille patterns, it would be best to use a motorized handtool and jump ring cutting system. This would produce consistently cut jump rings in large quantities.
- Sandra Lupo, Jewelry Designer and Instructor and Swarovski crystal Ambassador