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Topic: Basic wire chain tutorial! (Word and picture heavy.)  (Read 6807 times)
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kcartwright856
« on: February 23, 2008 11:22:57 PM »

Alright, here is my very first tutorial. Today we are going to be making a basic chain made of wire!

First things first, you will need a pair of wire cutters, a pair of round nose pliers, a pair of chain nose pliers, and some 22 gauge square hard wire. Do not use soft wire as your chain won't be strong enough. For an 18 inch necklace, make sure to have about 6 feet of wire on hand.



Take your round nose pliers and mark them 1/4" from the tips. I like to use permanent markers but a thin strip of tape would also work.



Cut a piece of wire from your supply that's comfortable to work with. I like to work with 6 inch pieces at a time. Straighten the piece of wire between your fingers or a soft cloth, being careful to not twist the wire.



Clamp your round nose pliers onto the end of your wire at the line we made earlier. Adjust the tip of the wire so it protrudes 1/4" from the jaws of your pliers.



Take the long end of your wire and bend it carefully to form a U bend. Pay special attention at this stage as it is very easy to twist your wire and lose the square shape. We call this "keeping the wire on the square".



Your wire should look like so:



Are you still with me? Good! Next, I want you to place the jaws of your round nose pliers directly across our U bend.



Turn your pliers gently to create another U bend at a right angle to the first.



This part can be slightly tricky. I want you to create an imaginary line from the end of our first U bend to the one we just made. Snip your wire at that point.



Your shape should look like so:



Does it match up? Check to see that the ends of the wire and the U bends are even and level. This is critical to achieving a visually balanced chain. Don't worry if it takes you a few times to get it right, you will be rewarded with the end result!

To finish our link, you will take your chain nose pliers and tuck the ends of the link inside edge of the wire. The ends of your link should not protrude past the inside edge of the wire.



To connect the links, have your ends all facing the same direction and slip the links into the space on their neighbor link before tucking that end in.



Continue creating links until you've reached your desired chain length. Run your forefinger and thumb along the chain to be sure that all of the edges are tucked in. If you feel a sharp edge, go back and see if the link is tucked properly. File any of the stubborn edges that you find to assure a comfortable fit.



Fasten the chain however you please to finish your look, and admire your work! Congratulations on creating your very own fashionable, sturdy, handmade chain.




This was my first tutorial, so go easy on me! If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Also, please please PLEASE post pictures if you decide to try this technique! I would love to see your take on this simple design.
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Dreambelle
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2008 11:39:33 PM »

That's a great tutorial! I'll try it some time when I have the patience. I like that you used so many pictures and explained everything clearly.
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EvilRachel
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2008 11:49:47 PM »

So cool, thanks for the tut!  I'm so going to try this.
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kcartwright856
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2008 12:30:04 PM »

You are very welcome and I'm glad you enjoyed it. Post pictures after you try it!
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« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2010 09:20:45 AM »

I know this is a SUPER old post, but I think it deserves reviving because...

1.  The pictures are STILL HERE!!  YAY!  Nothing I loath more than coming across a super tute with broken pic links Angry

2.  The pictures and directions are VERY easy to follow!  Great for a seasoned jewelry maker like me, or for a beginner too Smiley

This has been added to my JEWELRY AND TRINKETS TUTORIAL LIST.  Thanks so much!
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kcartwright856
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2010 06:58:26 AM »

You're welcome!
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SharaStar
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2010 10:49:30 AM »

Thank you!! Cant wait to try it, hope this time i wont get it messy again Smiley
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dopey_44
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2010 07:27:32 PM »

this is a great tutorial thanks going to try it out soon
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« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2010 02:08:08 PM »

Thank you x a million! I have Togo buy wire now!
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« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2010 08:37:28 AM »

I've recently become interested in wire and all (wire wrapped jewelry, chains like you've shown here, etc.). Tutorials like yours gives me the courage to really try some out. I'm confused about all the gages of wire. Your wire looks thicker than any I have. Also, this flexible wire...I can shape it easily but what keeps it from coming unflexed with the slightest tug? Thanks for the tutorial. Pictures are great and your narration is fun.
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