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Commercial Chain Necklace

Instructions for making Commercial Chain Necklace out of jewelry wire and jewelry making supplies using WigJig jewelry tools:

Commercial chain necklace made using WigJig jewelry tools out of jewelry wire.

 

We like to call this chain -- Commercial Chain, because the first person to view this completed project made one comment when she viewed this.  Her comment was simply "Did you make this chain?  It looks like you bought it."  That was exactly the comment we were striving for when we developed this project.  We got the idea for this project while taking an order on the telephone from a customer who wanted to purchase some commercial chain made out of copper.  This project is the result of that conversation. 

Our step-by-step instructions for making this chain follow.  These instructions are rather detailed, because that detail represents how we improved the chain as we developed the techniques for making the chain.  This is an advanced beginner's jewelry making project.

Jewelry Supplies Required:

Jewelry Tools Required:

     Jewelry Making Skills Required:

Commercial Chain Necklace made out of jewelry wire shaped on WigJig jewelry tools.

Step-by-step instructions for making Commercial Chain Necklace using jewelry wire, common jewelry supplies and WigJig jewelry tools:

Step 1:  Using your nylon jaw pliers, straighten a segment of 20 gauge jewelry wire that is over 2 1/4 inches long.  Soft wire will work, but half-hard wire would work better.  To make a chain that is 18 inches long you will need 36 segments of jewelry wire (about 7 feet of wire total.  You will also need and additional 10 inches of the same wire to make you clasp and catch.) 

Step 2:  Using your flush cutter cut the jewelry wire to a length of 2 1/4 inch. 

Step 3:  Using your Fine Step Jaw Pliers, make a partial loop in the sharp end of the jewelry wire.  This is one of the few times where you make a loop with a gap in it and you use the sharp end of the wire.  See the picture below-left.  The reason you use the sharp end of the wire and only make a partial loop is that this loop is what we call a sacrificial loop and will be cut off the finished wire component. 

Step 4:  Select your WigJig jewelry tool and position five regular pegs in your jig as shown below-left.  We used the WigJig Delphi or Centaur jewelry tool for this project because the smaller pegs and closer spaced holes made links in the chain which were smaller and more delicate.  You can use the WigJig Olympus or Olympus Lite jewelry tools, but the resulting chain would end up being larger. 

Step 5:  Place the loop in the 2 1/4 segment of jewelry wire on peg 1 in the pattern, orientated as shown below-right. 

 

 

 

Step 3 to instructions for making Commecial Chain Necklace showing jewelry wire.

Step 4 to instructions for making Commecial Jewelry Necklace showing peg pattern on WigJig jewelry tool. Step 5 to instructions for making  Commecial Chain Necklace by shaping jewelry wire on WigJig jewelry tools.
Step 3 Step 4 Step 5

Step 6:  With the tip of your index finger on your dominant hand, push the jewelry wire up and against peg 3 as shown below-left.  You can remove peg 3 from the pattern in your WigJig jewelry tool to help, by pushing the wire beyond peg 3 and then letting it relax back into the position shown. 

Step 7:  Push the jewelry wire around peg 3 as shown below-left. 

Step 8:  Lift the jewelry wire so that it can pass between peg 2 and peg 4 and then push the wire until it rests against peg 5 in the pattern on your jewelry making jig as shown below-right.  You can remove peg 5 as described with peg 3 in step 6. 

Step 6 to instruictions for making Commecial Chain Necklace by using WigJig jewelry making tools to shape jewelry wire. Step 7 to instructions for making Commecial Chain Necklace by shaping jewelry wire on WigJig jewelry tools. Step 8 to instructions for making Commecial Chain Necklace showing jewelry wire shaped on WigJig Jewelry Tool.
Step 6 Step 7 Step 8

Step 9:  Push the jewelry wire around peg 5 as shown below-left. 

Step 10:  Push the jewelry wire between peg 4 and peg 2 as shown below-left. 

Step 11:  To help make your jewelry wire component as consistently as possible, use your chain nose or bent chain nose pliers to squeeze the wire as shown below-right.  Squeeze both ends as shown.  Your goal is that the wire should be straight and resting tightly against pegs 2 through 5 in the pattern on your WigJig jewelry tool. 

Step 9 to instructions for making Commecial Chain Necklace showing WigJig Jewelry Tools used to shape jewelry wire. Step 10 to instructions for making Commecial Chain Necklace using jewelry wire and common jewelry supplies. Step 11 to instructions for making Commecial Chain Necklace using WigJig jewelry tools to shape jewelry wire.
Step 9 Step 10 Step 11

Step 12:  Now remove peg 1 and lift the initial loop until it is vertical.  See the picture below-left.  By performing this step before removing the wire from the jig, you are helping to make the link as consistently as possible.  The pegs in your jewelry making jig stablize the wire and help shape it.

Step 13:  Remove the jewelry wire from the WigJig jewelry tool and the wire component should appear as shown below-left. 

Step 14:  Connect the jewelry wire component to the previous link in the chain.  If this is the first link in your chain, you can connect the wire component to your clasp or catch.  (We recommend that you make your own catch or clasp as described here.) 

Step 12 to instructions for making Commecial Chain Necklace showing jewelry wire on WigJig jewelry tool. Step 13 to instructions for making Commecial Chain Necklace out of common jewelry supplies. Step 14 to instructions for making Commecial Chain Necklace made using common jewelry tools.
Step 12 Step 13 Step 14

Step 15:  After you have connected one end of your jewelry wire component to the prior link in the chain you are ready to wrap that link closed.  First, grasp the wire component with your bent chain nose pliers as shown below-left. 

Step 16:  While holding the link firmly in your pliers, push the wire around 180 degrees as shown below left.  At this point you do not need to push the wire down flat, we will cut the end of the wire off before we push the wire down to its final position.  See the picture below-left.  Please note that having the wire raised slightly will make it easier to cut in a later step. 

Step 17:  Now we are ready to wrap the second end of the link closed.  First, grasp the jewelry wire with your chain nose pliers as shown below-right. 

Step 15 to instructions for making Commecial Chain Necklace showing common jewelry tools used to shape jewelry wire. Step 16 to instructions for making Commecial Chain Necklace out of common jewelry supplies. Step 17 to instructions for making Commecial Chain Necklace showing jewelry tools used to shape jewelry wire.
Step 15 Step 16 Step 17

Step 18:  Since we initially bent this end of the jewelry wire component up in Step 12, we only need to push the end of the wire about 90 degrees.  Again, don't push the wire all the way flat.  You want the wire raised slightly so that it will be easier to cut in Step 19. 

Step 19:  Using your flush cutter, cut the excess jewelry wire from both ends.  Please note that if you cut the end of the wire and leave too much wire on your wire component, that the cut end of the wire will stick out and will feel sharp to the wearer.  Cut the wire so that after bending the wire flat, the end of the wire does not extend beyond the edge of the overall wire component.  This is a case where cutting a little shorter might be better. 

Step 20:  At this point we are ready to bend the cut ends of the wire down flat on both sides of your wire component.  See the picture below-left for how the jewelry wire component should appear after the ends have been flattened.  In order to push the cut end of the wire flat, first grasp that end of the link with your bent chain nose pliers as shown in Step 15 or 17 above, then with a second pair of chain nose pliers push and squeeze the end of the wire until it is flat.  When done properly, the link should feel smooth with nothing sticking out. 

Step 21:  When you have completed your 36 links of chain and are ready to attach the final catch or clasp, you will need to modify the approach on the final link described in Step 16 above.  Instead of wrapping that link closed, you will need to attach your catch or clasp before wrapping that last link closed.  With the jewelry wire in the position shown for step 16 above connect the clasp or catch as shown below-right, then wrap the last link closed.

 

 

 

Step 18 to instructions for making Commecial Chain Necklace made out of common jewelry supplies. Step 19 to instructions for making Commecial Chain Necklace out of ordinary jewelry making supplies.



Step 20 to instructions for making Commecial Chian Necklace using common jewelry tools.
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Step 21 to instructions for making Commecial Chain Necklace made out of copper jewelry wire.

Step 22:  You can view our completed Commercial Chain made out of 20 gauge copper wire at right.  You can use this chain as is.  You can add beads to the chain.  You can add a gemstone pendant, or you can use 3 or 4 links of this chain, to make an earring.  If you decide to make an earring out of several links of this chain, connect a bead dangle to the bottom of each link of chain, with a relatively large bead (8mm or larger). 

Summary of jewelry making instructions:

We hope you like this project.  We love hearing, "It looks like it was made by a machine."  It may seem funny, but we really try to make our jewelry project look like they were made by machines.  That way we know we were consistent.

 

 

 

 



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