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Closing Jump Rings: Action
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Categories: Instruction and information; Jewelry

Word count/read time: 501 words; 2 minutes

Part two of this three-part series deals with how to open and close jump rings.

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.

Several methods talk about how to open a ring. In a perfect situation, grip each side symmetrically so that no part of the ring is visible except the bottom middle which is where the bending should be focused. Twist the pliers in opposing directions until the ring is opened enough for its purpose, but no more, since it deforms. At times the rings have to be opened wide in which case there may be additional truing to get them to look normal. If some can be pre-closed before weaving, they should.

Making a 2-in-1 chain is the simplest scenario so the previous method works well. The entire ring is essentially exposed and able to be grabbed anywhere. Half the rings can be pre-closed, too.

In other words, open it as you'll close it and vice versa.
Other weaves might show only the upper half or third. Opening the ring as described above bends it at the bottom but it will have to be bent in another place to close it. That causes two separate bends in an already imperfect ring. For these weaves, determine how/where the pliers will grip the ring when closing and open it in the same manner. In other words, open it as you'll close it and vice versa.

Closing rings requires precision and is more difficult when opened improperly. Regardless, focus any bending as far away from the edges as possible. Thinner and/or weaker rings seem to be more prone to weird bending patterns. Harder metals will require a firmer grip, i.e. more pressure applied to the handles. The pliers should have just enough pressure to hold the rings in place. Squeezing too hard will crush softer metals and can damage even the strongest ones.

The gap the saw blade leaves will have to be addressed. While opening and/or closing the ring, push the pliers towards each other slightly. So instead of a forward/backward twisting motion, there is a left/right vector as well. Alternately, the ring can be squeezed from the sides to get the ends to overlap before closing.

Ideally, the ring ends will interfere with each other as they're closed so they have to be spread slightly to clear. This puts tension on them and ensures the ends are as tight as they can be. It has little effect on the strength but it's a worthy goal.

Metal has springback. Once the tension from the pliers is released the ends will shift, causing a misalignment. The ends have to be bent beyond "aligned" to ensure they return to their proper resting position. How much extra bending depends on the metal, its hardness, wire diameter and thickness, etc. Smaller rings will be harder to close at any given wire thickness than larger ones.

Posted by M: February 27, 2021

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