Created by: Polly Nobbs-LaRue
- Unspool approximately 26" of copper wire. Pull it smooth with flat nylon-jaw pliers.
- Trim the end neatly (flush) with flush cutters.
- Use ring-bending pliers to make as many equal sized coils as you can easily fit on the pliers.
- Using good flush cutters, snip each coil apart so you have identically-sized links. Carefully trim ends so the ends of the links line up flush. If you have any gaps, your solder join will not look good and will not be secure. (See copper soldering blog part 2 for tips.)
- Repeat until you have 9 links.
- Add a bead to a link. Tear off a small piece of paper towel (about 2" long), get it wet, and wrap it tight around the bead. Close the link and make sure the ends align nicely. Re-bend and/or re-cut as necessary to get them fully flush (straight against each other).
- Pull the wet-paper-wrapped bead to the far side of your link.
- Lay the link on your solder brick (or slightly off the edge of a magnesia fire block), heat the wire evenly on both sides to be joined. When the wire begins glowing on both sides of the join, touch the solder to the seam, and it should flow. (See copper soldering tutorials part 1 and part 2 (below) for more details.) If the paper starts smoking or burning, stop! Let everything cool off, re-wet paper towel and start again, keeping your torch to just the 1/3 of the wire closest to the join.
- Use fiber-grip tweezers to grab the hot item and quench in cool water.
- Repeat for 4 more links. Assembling the bracelet:
- Add 2 soldered beaded links to an unsoldered link, add a bead, and wrap the bead in wet paper towel. Pull these to the back side of the link. Solder this link just like before. Quench.
- Add an unsoldered link to the end of these 3, add another previously soldered link, add a bead, and wrap in wet paper towel. Pull to back, solder link. Quench. Repeat 2 more times.
- Make 3-6 jump rings (5 to 8mm in diameter) from the same gauge copper wire. Cut the ends nice and flush. Use one to attach the loop end of the toggle clasp, and use at least 2 to attach the bar end of the clasp. Test to make sure you can open and close the toggle. If not, add more jump rings to the bar end. Solder each jump ring just like the larger links, but be extra careful that you don't accidentally solder a few jump rings together into one big unbending glob. (If you do this, then cut them off and re-do this portion.)
- Quench as needed.
- If desired,for both strength and appearance, texture the links with the rounded side of a chasing hammer or ball pein hammer.
- To clean, pickle for about 3 minutes, or tumble for about 3 hours.
- 1 strand [use 9] #21-001-095-02 Bead, Fancy Jasper, 8mm Round with Large Hole
- 1 pkg of 10 [use 1] #39-850-00 Clasp, Toggle, Teardrop
- 1 pkg of 4 ounces [use 0.5"] #69-388 Solder, Copper Wire
- 1 spool [use about 25"] #47-405-16 Wire, Copper, 16ga, Round, 32', Raw
- #69-305-P Plier, Nylon Ring-Bending Pliers
- #87-081 Rings & Things Blazer® Torch Kit
- #69-271-91 Tool, Glitter, Nylon Jaw, Flat-Nose Pliers
- #69-138 Tool, Hammer, Chasing
- #69-125 Tool, Steel 4" Square Block
- #69-380 Tool, Tapered Flush-Cutter
- Quenching bowl with cool water (or tin can of cool water)