How to Make Loops Quick and Easy

How to Make Loops Quick and Easy

Have you ever made a piece of jewelry and wondered how you were going to wear it, either as a pendant or an earring? Well today I am going to “throw you for a loop”…. ok, not really, but I am going to show you how to make loops quick and easy out of silver (or copper or gold) wire so you can attach them to a bail, a chain, or an earring.

Loop Making Header

The wire that I am using is approx 1.3mm or 16 gauge. I have reduced this wire down with a Draw Plate, so it is work hardened therefore I am going to have to soften the wire a bit before I work with it. This is done with a process called annealing which makes the silver softer again. For a definition and tutorial of annealing, click on this link and it will take you to another lesson.

Loop Making (1) Loop Making (2)

After the silver wire is softened again, I find a piece of Brass Rod the size I want the inside diameter of my loops to be. In this case I am using a rod that is 3mm in diameter. I take the brass rod and insert it into my #30 Foredom Handpiece and tighten it. I also take the silver wire and bend the very end, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of it at a 90 degree angle and insert it in between the jaws at the end of the handpiece.

Loop Making (3) Loop Making (4)

Loop Making (5) Loop Making (6)

Warning! If you are not comfortable with using a foredom motor to do this task, you can bend the silver wire around the brass rod by hand, just add firm pressure and turn the wire around the brass rod to the end. I don’t have the patience to do this, plus I like anything with a motor….. (we can talk about my other hobby of racing cars another time) If you are going to try this with the motor on your foredom, PLEASE either use a pair of leather gloves or Leather Finger Tips to protect your fingers because the very end of the wire WILL DO DAMAGE to your fingers… I promise!! Run the foredom motor as SLOW as possible and keep firm and constant pressure on the silver wire. Again, Protect your fingers with leather gloves or leather finger tips.

Loop Making (7) Loop Making (8)

Loop Making (9) Loop Making (10)

I keep an assortment of twisted wires around in different thicknesses and different sizes. It is handy to have them around because I am always in need of a loop for something and it is so quick to just grab one and cut a loop off with my Saw Frame.

Loop Making (11) Loop Making (12)

Loop Making (13)

I can’t say this enough, we have jewelers of all skills visit the JewelryMonk site, and if you are not VERY familiar with how your foredom works or not very comfortable with its operation, please twist this wire by hand, it only takes a few moments longer and will be safer.

As always, Thank you for stopping by and helping to make the JewelryMonk community a special place. Feel free to browse some of the other tips, I have been doing this for a few months now and there are over 100 posts by now. Feel free to share the site with your friends and be sure to sign up to get the posts delivered to you via email.

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8 Responses to How to Make Loops Quick and Easy

  1. Lisa Anderson October 9, 2014 at 11:42 pm #

    Thank you. I’ve not tried this on my foredom and I’ve been making jump rings by hand….I’m over it! -and I’m too cheap to buy them. I’ll be trying this soon.

  2. JewelryMonk October 10, 2014 at 6:01 am #

    Go get em’ Lisa. I have always made my own, that way I can control the gauge of the wire I want, the size of the loops, and the quantity. I should have mentioned this, but the smaller the loops, the easier and safer they are to make. The larger and thicker wires are the ones that will tear up your fingers if you do not protect them.
    Thanks for being a part of JewelryMonk.

  3. Mark October 11, 2014 at 9:39 pm #

    I’ve been quite enjoying your posts to date (I read the first 80 or so in 2 days).

    I would like to throw out a word of caution, if I may: Never wear full gloves when coiling wire using power tools. Ever. A finger cot is okay, but you shouldn’t really need one as long as you don’t coil the end of the wire (ie: leave some that is still straight). I used to be really big in to making chainmail and even worked for 2.5 years at a place that specialized in making jump rings for chainmail. The risk with gloves is that the fabric of the glove gets caught up in the coil and pulls in the glove and your hand with it–the finger cot would hopefully just slide off. It isn’t a huge concern at really low speeds, but if you slip and go too fast you can loose a finger or few. Slicing your finger open with the end of the wire sucks, but it’s better than the loss of the whole finger.

    If you want a video of a real expert doing some admittedly dangerous jump ring coiling:
    I don’t recommend going quite this far, but I know the guy in the video and he’s certainly coiled in the millions of rings, so he’s got some experience on his side.

    Keep the tips coming!

  4. LindaS October 14, 2014 at 7:33 am #

    Just watched the video with The RingLord – I have bought many jump rings from him, including the colorful anodized nobium – I especially love the rings from square wire!

  5. LindaS October 14, 2014 at 7:34 am #

    BTW, I also cut my own whenever I need just a few or special sizes.

    • JewelryMonk October 14, 2014 at 7:38 am #

      Sometimes it is good to buy some, sometimes you have more control over the size and shape by making what you want. Thanks for the input.

  6. Michelle Sandler October 27, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

    Hi Doug, I am so happy you are back at it. Your post are so wonderful. How about some hints on cutting those rings. I HATE THAT JOB!