On cutting jump rings
November 8, 2015
Jump rings are those tiny little pieces of metal that you generally never notice on jewelry until they break. If you’ve ever had a charm bracelet, you can think of the jump ring as the metal that holds the charm to the chain.
I use them a lot for pendants and earrings. I used to buy them pre-made from the shop I worked at, or cut them one at a time from wire, which takes forever.
I’ve since learned that you can use forming pliers to make a little spring of wire, which you can then cut apart to make lots of jump rings at once. Game-changer! Except.
Holding that little spring to cut the rings is, for me, an exercise in frustration and patience. I’ve tried a whole host of methods (see here, here, and here) with varying degrees of success, but I find that regardless of how I’m holding the coil, the thing either deforms or slips.
It’s the slippage that scares me most — when the coil moves, the saw moves, and I really, really have had enough of cutting myself with that stupid saw! I’ve found that for the most stability, the thing that works for me is coils short enough to hold in the jaws of my pliers, but that’s not exactly efficient.
Which leads me to a thing I covet: a jig to cut these little suckers with. It’s really a matter of finding time and borrowing tools to make one…one day.