Material: jump rings, assorted
Tools: Chain nose pliers, bent chain nose pliers
Jump rings are an essential component in jewelry making. Found in many gauges, sizes, shapes and materials to be compatible with your jewelry making project. Typically jump rings are used for basic purposes such as attaching a charm to a necklace or used in close a chain by attaching to a clasp.
Using jump rings in jewelry making is vital, and being able to master the technique can make your process go quite smoothly. The tools you use can greatly impact the outcome of your product, however, you need to use tools you are comfortable with. One option would be using two pairs of bent chain nose pliers: using these you need to be careful not to bend the ring out of its round shape, or it will not lay flat. To avoid this issue, if you use chain nose pliers you can securely hold more of the ring and avoid bending the ring in the wrong place.
When you purchase jump rings you will find they are not quite open and not quite closed, so you will need to adjust them.
Step 1: Open the ring by placing the tip of your pliers about 2mm away from the opening.
Step 2: You will hold the left side of the ring firmly, then twist the right side about 3-4mm or wider if you need to loop the ring through a larger component.
NOTE: At this time you would loop the ring through a chain, charm or pendant before closing.
Step 1: Grip the tip of your pliers about 2mm away from the opening, firmly grasping the side of the ring, without marking it.
Step 2: Begin to twist the ring while slightly adding pressure and pushing each end together. Once the ends meet up and there is no visible gap, the ring is closed.
The only way to ensure the ring does not open is to solder it closed, however, this is not a viable option for many jewelry makers. Using smaller size rings such as 3.5-4.5mm in diameter and thicker wire such as 18, 19 or 20 gauge will hold together stronger and more securely than the larger thinner wire rings.
When buying jump rings there are different things to look out for. The sizes range in two different aspects: the diameter and the thickness of the ring. The diameter is how large the ring is around. Ensure you read how the diameter is measured, whether it is inner diameter or outer diameter. Inner diameter would measure the inside of the ring from edge and outer diameter measure the entire ring including that includes the thickness of the gauge. The thickness is known as gauge and below is chart that converts Standard wire gauge to inches and millimeters.*See below video