I've been having an extremely frustrating time trying to get jump rings cut using the coil cutting pliers. I'm using 20 gauge, silver coated copper. The coil I'm cutting is 4mm OD and I'm using a 2/0 blade to cut (I've tried 1/0 as well because I keep having difficulty). There is an immense amount of resistance from the moment I start trying to saw through the coil. What starts to happen is the coil starts to pull apart as I'm sawing which leaves gnarled jump rings and only causes more snagging until the coil is eventually completely unusable.
So far, I've tried making sure the coil is rolled tight to begin with (no space between one ring and the next), have made sure I've got a good grip on the plier handles (no limp wristing) and I've played with various saw strokes from short and fast to longer and slower, to shorter and slower. I think I've tried a good 20 times or so to this point and am completely at a loss.
Is it the wire I'm using? Do I need to beeswax the blades maybe? It's gotten to the point where it's so discouraging I've gone back to simply cutting rings with my Tronex flush cutters. The whole point of getting the coil cutting pliers was to make the whole thing faster any easier. Any insights would be incredibly helpful as I do quite a volume of chain maille jewelry and this tool could be indispensable if I could just get it to play nicely. Thanks!
Beeswax is definitely the missing element. Pass your blade over the beeswax two to three times before cutting the coil and it will glide through the metal. As an additional aid, place a piece of masking tape over the coil where you will be cutting. The tape will keep the coil together as you work your way through the wire. Apply more beeswax as needed.
The coil cutting tool really is great for holding the coil steady and eliminates the awkwardness of how to hold the coil when sawing the rings apart. With the addition of the beeswax I’m sure you will find it the ideal tool for creating the jumprings you need for your chain mail designs.
- Sandra Lupo, Jewelry Designer, Instructor and Swarovski Elements Ambassador