The connector that we will make here has loops that are wrapped closed and is, therefore stronger. This type of connector would be appropriate to use for a jewelry component that required additional strength like a watchband. You can view a wrapped figure 8 connector at right. The steps involved to make this wrapped figure 8 connector are described below:
Nylon Jaw Pliers
Round Nose Pliers
Step-by-step instructions for making wrapped figure 8 connectors out of jewelry wire using common jewelry tools:
Step 1: Cut and straighten a piece of 20 gauge jewelry wire that is about 2 1/2 inches long. Soft jewelry wire will work, but 1/2 hard jewelry wire tends to work better if it is available.
Step 2: Using your round nose pliers make a loop in this jewelry wire segment about 3/4" from one end. The loop needs to be a complete loop as shown at right.
Step 3: Again, using your round nose pliers, make a second loop in the Jewelry wire, adjacent to the first loop, but in the opposite direction. When done, your jewelry wire should be in a figure 8 shape with about 3/4" of excess wire on either side of themiddle of the figure 8 as shown above-left.
Step 4: At this point, you can open one side of the figure 8 using your bent chain nose pliers and slide one of the components you intend to connect into position as shown at right. Now you are ready to wrap that end of the figure 8 connector closed.
Step 5: To wrap one side of the figure 8 connector closed, hold the figure 8 loop in your bent chain nose pliers and wrap the wire tail 180 degrees. In the picture shown at left, the short end of the wire is the end that was wrapped 180 degrees.
Step 6: Now connect the opposite end of the figure 8 to the other component that you want to connect as you did in step 4 and wrap that side of the wire 180 degrees as you did in step 5. Both sides of the figure 8 will now have about 1/2" of excess jewelry wire.
Step 7: Cut the excess jewelry wire on either side, leaving between 1/8 and 1/16" of excess wire on either end. This excess wire will be squeezed flat to complete the wrap.
Step 8: To complete the wrapped figure 8 connector, use your bent chain nose pliers to grasp one side of the figure 8 connector and using a second pair of bent chain nose pliers squeeze the cut end of the jewelry wire on that side of the figure 8 flat. Perform this same squeeze using two pair of bent chain nose pliers on the opposite side of the figure 8. This will complete your wrapped figure 8 connector as shown at right between the watch face and the heavy silver chain.
The picture at left shows how two wrapped figure 8 connectors were used to make a watch band from a bracelet length segment of silver commercial chain. To complete this watch, the commercial chain bracelet was cut in the middle with sufficient links removed so that the overall length of the watch band with watch was 7 1/2" our target length. (Your target length could be different based upon the circumference of the intended wearer's wrist.) Because the figure 8 connector was wrapped closed, this watch band will be very strong.
Summary of jewelry making instructions:
When you need a connector for a jewelry making project that is strong and you don't want to solder jewelry wire, making the wrapped figure 8 connector is the answer. Using only jewelry wire and common jewelry tools, making this connector is relatively easy and quick. This is a jewelry making technique that is not suitable for beginners, but is appropriate for advanced beginners and intermediate jewelry wire crafters.