How to Make a Quick Bail for a Pendant

Have you ever made or found a piece of jewelry and said to yourself “self, this would make a great pendant.” Well today I will show you a quick way to make a nice bail to solder onto a piece and turn it into a pendant.

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In this instance, I am going to use a piece of silver that is about 0.9mm thick and 3.5mm wide. The plan is to wrap the silver around something round to give it shape. Here I used a Brass Rod that is 3mm in diameter, but depending on the chain you are going to use, you can make it larger or smaller. I annealed the silver first to make it more malleable, then I wrap the silver around the brass rod into a pear shape. I then trimmed off the excess with a Saw Frame and a 3/0 Saw Blade and filed the ends flat. You can also use brass, copper, gold, etc.

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After it is trimmed off I filed the inside edge with a #4 Equaling Needle File to give it more contact area when it is soldered. I then squeezed the bail together with a pair of Smooth Jawed Parallel Pliers to close it, I added Handy Flux and soldered the end with Silver Solder. I used a Mini Torch to do the soldering on propane and oxygen.

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After it is soldered, I file the edges a bit so the bail is tapered, which I just like the look better. I file the top edges a little as well to give it a softer rounded look. I used a #4 Flat Hand File to start, then moved to a #4 Barrette Needle File. I finished it off with 400 Grit and 600 Grit Sandpaper by hand. After I am happy with the look of the bail, I solder it to the piece I want and have a pendant.

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There you have it, a quick way to make and add a bail to a piece of jewelry and make a pendant.

As always, thanks for stopping by and if you find value in the info, share it with a friend. Also make sure you follow JewelryMonk on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and the podcast on iTunes.

Now, get out there and make something stunning!


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9 Responses to How to Make a Quick Bail for a Pendant

  1. Marilena September 19, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

    I love your idea, I will ask myself to make one this weekend. =^)

    • JewelryMonk September 19, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

      Awesome! I am sure you will get “permission”.

  2. Lisa A. September 20, 2014 at 10:15 am #

    Nice! I’ve done just a few bails and now realize how much I need an equaling file…

  3. JewelryMonk September 20, 2014 at 10:21 am #

    Lisa, there are always shortcuts with foredom tools and motorized equipment, but to me, nothing competes with hand working a piece with files and hand tools, sure it takes a little longer, but it is cheaper than therapy. haha

    • Lisa A. September 20, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

      I feel validated!

      I do have a Foredom which I splurged for but I keep going back to my #4 files and a certain cloth-like wet/dry sanding paper…… even after tumbling, if I’m going for shine. I’m sure practice will help with the Foredom. But I agree with you on hand finishing; I get a lot of satisfaction from it.

  4. sylvia freedman May 5, 2015 at 2:52 pm #

    love your site
    can you suggest something to put on a soldered piece so the solder won’t come apart
    when I solder another part of the piece
    best sylvia

    • JewelryMonk May 5, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

      Thanks, there are a couple of ways to go about this. You can use something to block the heat, for instance a set of spring tweezers between the flame and the solder joint to absorb the heat before it gets to the old solder joint. There is also products that help like “Heat Shield Vigor 16 oz Jar” target=”_blank”>Heat Shield” which is a paste like product that shields your solder joint.
      Good luck.

  5. Kirstin February 20, 2016 at 9:10 am #

    Thank you so much for posting this. It never occurred to me to taper it AFTER soldering it. I used to waste so much time trying to make both sides the same width BEFORE soldering. : )

    • Doug Napier February 20, 2016 at 9:14 am #

      You are welcome Kirstin. Glad to help.