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Anatomy of a Bad Closure
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Categories: Instruction and information; Jewelry

Word count/read time: 465 words; 2 minutes

FACT: The biggest causes of poorly closed rings are laziness and junk rings (anything that's not saw-cut). Only a fool with cognitive defects would say or think otherwise since the math and science of a properly closed ring are indisputable.

With a little time and the proper tools there is no reason every jump ring can't be closed as perfectly as a coiled ring allows. The most common cause is laziness. Skill has almost nothing to do with it as the average youngster can get perfect closures. Math and science can determine how well it's closed: measuring gaps, misaligned ends, deformed rings from pinch-cutting or damage, etc.

(About pinch- and shear-cut rings...pre-ruined rings like these are not suitable for jewelry. Physics explains how the cutting process destroys them in countless ways. No matter how perfect the closure there may be as little as 1% of the ring surfaces touching because the ends are angled and jagged. Even with aligned closures there will be divots, gouges, and missing metal at the join. Deformed rings are common.)

Fashion is about looking good, a test jewelry must pass eternally.
Round wire will make nearly seamless joins but other profiles are uncooperative. Diamond and square wires have notoriously sharp corners; every edge on every ring would need to be filed to get smooth seams. Just like eclipses and rainbows, these are facts.

Therefore, this article refers to saw-cut jump rings made with (mandrel) coiled round wire. They will be cut with an ultra-thin jeweler's saw since anything thicker removes too much material.

Touch or sight can effectively tell how well a ring is closed. Judging the closure in functional terms, could it be soldered? If it can't (i.e. a gap), it fails. Anything less than 100% face contact or a lip, it fails. Fashion is about looking good, a test jewelry must pass eternally.

Here are four outcomes and their fixes. It's rare to find maille that is free from all of them:

Left-to-right - It's a matter of aligning the edges. Twist it more or twist it less 'cuz Papa Bear ain't happy.

In-and-out - The dreaded gap. While closing the ring, push the edges together to lessen the gap. Better, squish the ring enough to overlap the edges before closing. Then, pull the ends apart just enough to clear each other while closing.

Up-to-down - What happened already?! It's more problematic since the jump ring has been ovalized, deformed, or damaged. Seriously, it's not right; replace it altogether. Though ill-advised, fix it by squeezing the elongated axis.

Taco or banana - As viewed from the side, it is not flat. While any traditionally made jump ring will exhibit this trait to a minor degree this refers to other crookedness. This ring has been twisted/bent and should be replaced.

There it is. Now find or make your special piece!

Posted by M: April 4, 2019

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