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Large Links

Instructions for making large figure 8 links out of jewelry wire using our WigJig jewelry making tools:
 

Beads on our Large Jewelry Wire Link made using common jewelry tools.

 

Sometimes, when you want to make something different, you may decide that you want to make a chain with a larger link.  These instructions will show you how to make a chain with links in a variety of larger sizes.  You can view this technique used in making a bracelet below.  This bracelet was made with three sizes of larger links.  We connected the links in this bracelet with multiple figure 8 connectors that we made out of jewelry wire.  We think that you will like this bracelet.  The instructions for the bracelet are here.

Large Jewelry Wire Loops Bracelet with Beads Jewelry Making Project

These jewelry making projects are suitable for beginners.
 

Large Jewelry Wire Links showing jewelry wire shaped on WigJig jewelry making  tools.

Step-by-step instructions for making Large Links out of jewelry wire using WigJig jewelry tools:

Step 1:  Straighten a piece of 18 gauge soft jewelry wire 5" long using your nylon jaw pliers.  For intermediate wire workers, you might want to try this project with 16 gauge jewelry wire for the larger and bolder style that the larger wire would provide. 

Step 2:  Using your flush cutter, cut the jewelry wire to a length of 5 inches. 

Step 3:  Make a 1/2 loop in one end of the jewelry wire.  You don't need a full  loop, because this 1/2 loop will ultimately be cut off.  You need just enough of a loop so that the wire can hold on peg 1, a regular metal peg.

Step 4:  Position one regular metal peg and two 1/2" Super Pegs in your WigJig jewelry tool as shown above-right.  Place the initial loop on peg 1 and wrap the jewelry wire, first round peg 2, then around peg 3 in the pattern on your jewelry making jig as Step 5 to instructions for making Large Jewelry Wire Links showing jewelry wire after removal from WigJig jewelry tools.shown.  We  used our WigJig Centaur jewelry tool for this project, but this pattern could be adapted to any of our jewelry making jigs.  You can also use 7/16 inch, or 3/8 inch Super Pegs to make a smaller link. 

Step 5:  Remove the jewelry wire component from your jig.  Your jewelry wire component should appear as shown at right.

Step 6:  Grasp one of the two loops of jewelry wire made around one of the 1/2" Super Pegs in your nylon jaw pliers as shown below-left.  While firmly holding the loop to preserve the round shape, bend the wire tail up and over the jewelry wire segment connecting the two loops as shown below-right.  You won't be able to push this wire flat.  That can wait for a later step. 

Step 6 to instructions for making Large Jewelry Wire Loops using common jewelry tools to shape jewelry wire. After Step 6 to instructions for making Large Jewelry Wire Links showing shaping wire using common jewelry tools.

Step 7:  Since this is the first link we are making, you will need to do the same thing on the opposite loop.  First grasp the loop in your nylon jaw pliers and then bend the jewelry wire up and over the wire segment that connects the two loops. 


Step 8:  Now bend the two ends of the wire down into the position shown at right.  Do this using your fingers.  You don't want to push the wire completely flat at this point, because you need room to cut the excess wire.


Step 8 to instructions for making Large Loops Jewelry Wire Links showing wire shape after removal from WigJig jewelry making tools.

Step 9 to instructions for making Large Jewelry Wire Links showing jewelry wire after shaping with jewelry tools.

Step 10 to instructions for making Large Links Jewelry Wire Necklace and Bracelet using common jewelry tools.
Step 8 Step 9 Step 10

Step 9:  Using your flush cutter, cut the excess jewelry wire leaving about 1/8" of wire on either side. 

Step 10:  Using your bent chain nose pliers, push the end of the jewelry wire on either side down, until it comes into contact with the loop in the wire.  This will complete one large link. 

Step 11:  There are two options in how to connect these links into a chain.  In the chain below, we connected the additional links to the initial link before we wrapped the link closed.  In the picture below-left, you can see how a link was added, before one end of the loops was wrapped closed.  In the picture below-center, you can see that after that link was connected, you use your nylon jaw pliers to wrap that loop closed.  You finish attaching that link by following steps 7, 8 and 9 described previously.   To make a full necklace using these large loop links, you will need 17 of these large links.  On the 17th link, you will need to add your clasp as shown below-right.


Step 11 to instructions for making Large Jewelry Wire Loops Necklace and Bracelet using common jewellry making tools.
Step 11 to instructions for making Large Links Chain showing After Wrapping the Loop Closed using common jewelry tools.

Instructions for making Large Links Chain out of jewelry wire and common jewelry supplies using WigJig jewelry making tools.

Step 12  to instructions for Connecting Large Jewelry Wire Loops with Figure 8 Connectors made out of jewelry wire using common jewelry tools.Alternative Chain Configuration One, Made Out of Jewelry Wire using Common Jewelry Tools:

The alternative method for connecting these large jewelry wire links into a chain is via figure 8 connectors.  In the picture at right you can see how we used three figure 8 connectors to connect each link together.  Using multiple figure 8 connectors like this makes the necklace or bracelet more stable than using just one.  Furthermore, the esthetic effect of the multiple connectors makes the chain seem more robust.  The figure 8 connectors shown here had the initial loop for each connector made on the first step of our fine step jaw pliers, then we used our round nose pliers to make the second loop the same size as the initial loop.  By using this approach all the figure 8 connectors we make are pretty close to being the same size and therefore they will look better. 

Beads Added to the Large Jewelry Wire Loops Link made using common jewelry making  supplies.Alternative Configuration Two, Made out of Jewelry Wire, and Beads using Common Jewelry Tools:

One other alternative configuration to discuss is to add beads to the link, as shown at the right.  We recommend using 24 gauge round jewelry wire or 21 gauge 1/2 round jewelry wire to wrap a segment of wire to either side of the Large Loops link with the beads.  If you have 1/2 round jewelry wire that will work better.  If you don't 24 gauge round jewelry wire will work.    You can find instructions for adding the beads to a loop of jewelry wire here.

Summary of Jewelry Making Instructions:

In this article we show how to make a chain with large links made out of jewelry wire.  The chain showed here used 1/2 inch Super Pegs; but these links can be made in almost any size as long as you have two Super Pegs in the same size.  We also showed how to dress up the chain by adding beads to the links. 

The links in the chain can be connected by connecting a new link to the prior link before that link was wrapped closed.  The chain could also be connected by connector findings like the figure 8 connector. 

The picture below depicts a bracelet project using this large link chain.  Please click on the photo to view our instructions for making that bracelet.

Large Links Bracelet Jewelry Making Project made out of common jewelry supplies using WigJig jewelry tools.

 

 



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