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Extreme Jump Rings
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Extreme large and small rings

Categories: Instruction and information; Jewelry

Word count/read time: 369 words; 1-1/2 minutes

Commercial jump ring sizes are limited. It is a handicap to rely on them since they will never provide the freedom to weave anything except status quo. Three or four wire gauges might be the typical "octave range" for the majority of the industry.

So that means there is a preferred range yet there are only a handful of choices? The beautiful JPL and Half-Persian families are castrated with such restrictions. When options like anodizing, color, inner diameter, metals, and other factors are considered then the choices become more restrictive.

Silver and gold let you do things otherwise not possible: making alloys in the shop; rolling the ingots into sheet and bar; drawing wire in fractional increments and unusual profiles; making rings of any inner diameter or shape.

Items made from saw-cut rings are the only ones worthy of being called jewelry. Few of us have the means to saw-cut some of the tough metals so nippers often fill the void. Compromise might seem like a necessary evil but there are always better choices, even for a penny or two more per ring.

The other super large ring...what happens in the bedroom stays in the bedroom.
Extreme barely describes the jump rings used in two recent projects! Both larger and smaller than anything I've made before, the bigguns are made from 4.0mm (just a hair over 5/32", about 6ga) 0.999 pure silver round wire. They have an inner diameter of 28.6mm giving them an aspect ratio of 7.14. Each weighs a staggering 12.3g!

Around them are the micromaille 0.925 sterling silver rings using 0.325mm round wire (28ga) and a 1.3mm I.D. (0.0128" wire thickness with a 0.051" I.D., A.R. = 4.0). The math says it takes over 3000 to match the weight of one large ring. If they were straightened out and laid end to end that amount of wire would be nearly 50 feet long.

The purpose of the two ring sizes? One is for repairing a 19th century Austrian sterling silver mesh purse. However, this particular purse has smaller rings than I actually made (0.22mm wire thickness -vs- 0.325mm). They are essentially place-holders for now until I figure out a better way.

The other super large ring...what happens in the bedroom stays in the bedroom. I'm not judging either way.

Posted by M: January 4, 2016

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