Archive for the jewelry making Category

Making a chain mail shirt for a child

Posted in Chain Mail, Gear Making, jewelry making, metalwork, Tool Making on October 30, 2010 by Jim

I casually said to someone that I would make their child a chain mail shirt. I even said that I thought it would be fun. It was fun but turned out to be a bit more work than I expected. Approximately thirty hours of work later, many sore fingers, and about two dozen #1 jewelers saw blades , I had a finished chain mail shirt. This shirt is 18″ tall and 13″ wide. It will fit on a three year old.

I learned some helpful tricks about making chain mail.

A simple jig makes uniform rings easy:

For this jig, I drilled a small hole through a 3/8″ mild steel rod from the hardware store. You can see the aluminum electric fence wire I used going through the small hole. To make the rings, I chucked an electric drill to the rod and turned it slowly in the wooden form you see it sitting in . I found quickly that a leather glove helped my fingers survive.

A jump ring cutting jig

The rings used in making chain mail can be called jump rings. I saw a jig like this at a jewelers bench. They were using it to cut ring bands. Clamped in a vise, it works great for cutting the rings apart like this:

If I were going to make another shirt, I would probably cut the rings apart with snips instead of sawing them. I thought of changing mid-stream on this shirt but the rings looked different from the ones I had already woven together.

When I was working on this, I found a great trick online but cannot find the tutorial again. It makes everything go twice as fast. Briefly, you make chains of rings, two into one, as long as you want the finished section to be. Make many of these, then join them. I see that most tutorials show people adding one ring at a time into a mesh of fabric and that was horrible for me. Making the long chains and joining them made me twice as fast and far less frustrated.

If that doesn’t make sense, email me – jim (at) makestuffwithyourhands.com and I will try and explain or post an example.

Happy making,

Jim

Advertisements

More hammered jewelry

Posted in Forging, jewelry, jewelry making, metalwork, Raising Copper on August 16, 2010 by Jim

Making jewelry is more fun than I want to admit

I am still fooling around with making small jewelry pieces. This really is more fun that I am letting on and less messy than making a coal fire in the forge.

A tale of two rings

I made the silver and copper ring in this photo by punching out a half inch hole in the center of a quarter. I rolled it into a ring on a mandrel. This style is called a ‘washer ring’. There is a great video about doing this with Mokume Gane (silver and copper layered like damascus steel) on youtube here. The second, and larger,  ring in this photo is formed from hammered copper wire. I soldered it with silver solder and it has a visible solder line. It also turns your finger a pretty shade of green…

Copper and nickel rings

If any of the folklore about copper is true, I will never have any arthritis pain.

I also made another set of earrings. This time I branched out and added some red stones to the center of the flowers. I am getting plenty of flack from the guys for all this by the way. I guess I will just have to buck up and take it.

Hammered copper earrings with flowers and red stones

I put the earrings up for sale on my newer Etsy site here.

Alright, enough reading, get up and go make some stuff!

Have a great week,

Jim