11/20/12

Jump rings: which ones to use and how to use them




Jump rings are an integral part of any jewelry maker’s tool kit. Just like it sounds they are small hoops or rings that can be used for anything from attaching a charm or a clasp, connecting two pieces of chain together or they can even be used to form a necklace with multiple beads. (See cluster pearl necklace for example).

They come in many shapes and sizes depending on your jewelry needs. Not all jump rings have a hoop or ring shape. There are many different shapes available including squares, triangles or ovals as well as a variety of different finishes. It’s also important to choose jump rings with a similar finish to your jewelry piece. Ex: you may want to finish an antique bronze chain with an antique bronze jump ring or gold on gold whatever. This all depends on your preference.

(Pictured below are a variety of different sizes and finishes used for different projects.)

 

There are also different types of jump rings.

·         There are both open and closed jump rings:  These are just like they sound.

The open jump rings have an opening for you to slip on a clasp or a charm.

 

          To open: this is much easier than it sounds.

Holding the jump ring vertically, with the opening or split at the top, grasp both sides of the jump ring.

You can use chain nose or flat nose pliers for this, or you can also use a pair of tweezers on one or both sides or your fingers if you prefer. I prefer to have bent or chain nose pliers because they are a little bit more maneuverable in tight spaces. If the gage is higher on the jump rings [or the wire is thicker] I recommend the pliers so you can save your fingers. J

After you have firmly grasped both sides of the ring [not too firmly you don’t need to smush the wire] keep one side stable and gently move the other side either towards you or away from you. Be careful not to pull them apart, it might bend the ring making it much harder to close.

Then you can slip on your chain and close the ring by moving the open side of the jump ring back towards the middle connecting the two.

 

Closed jump rings can come in handy because they are much more stable. You can use these to finish a strand your beading so you can attach it to the clasp. You can also soldier open jump rings, but if you want to have a little bit more stability without all the trouble you can also use the other variety of ring called a split ring.

 

·         Split rings:

Split rings are like little key rings. Just like a key ring it ‘splits’ open allowing you to slip an object inside.

 

I found this great video on you tube I wanted to share with you. It’s easier to understand something if you can see it. :-]

 


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