Sunday, August 3, 2008

Tumbling, Sawing and Polishing

Well, I've decided that instead of spending so much money buying the sterling silver jump rings that I've been using in creating chainmaille jewelry, that I should bite the bullet, buy the equipment needed and make my own.

The wonderful people on the community forum at were great in helping answer some of the questions that I had about saws and blades. I've now purchased the saw, blades and tumbler. The tumbler is what you use to polish up your jewelry after you've made it. It also gives a lovely shine and makes it look great!

The only problem with making chainmaille jewelry is that it requires math! Yuck, thought I'd managed to leave math equations behind me so many years ago in high school. I am very thankful that so many people have posted advice about the aspect ration of jumprings so that I have an idea what of what to. One of the contributors on the etsy forum, Karen Hung, actually pointed me to an article in Step By Step Wire Jewelry, a magazine, that she had written and that spells out, in fairly simple terms, how to determine aspect ration. Basically, in order to create certain chainmaille designs you have to have the right sized ring or they just won't be strong enough to hold the jewelry together. You need to know the interior diameter (ID) and the width of the wire you are using (WD) to find AR. A variation of those will help you find what you need if you already have a pattern in mind. Of course, I keep running into problems when the pattern is in metric and I know linear or vice versa. Some patterns suggest ID of 1/4 and my measurement is in mm. The conversion is a right pain in the butt! And to throw more confusion into the mix, the United States and Canada use different wire gauges for wire, AWG and SWG. I could go on and on about the insaneness of it all but I'll restrain myself.

The only other thing I still need to purchase are more mandrels for making different sized jump rings as I only have even numbered ones at the moment. The expenses continue!

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