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Author Topic: Newbie very in need of advice on working with chains and metals!  (Read 1235 times)
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Jessamine
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« on: December 07, 2009, 07:27:37 AM »

Hi guys. So far all the jewellery I've made has been strung on tigertail or faux suede, but I've recently bought a gorgeous set of lampies that I want to do something different with! I know what I'd like to do, but have no idea how to do it, SO I'm asking all you very clever people  Cheesy

I wanted to put my beads on a length of  sturdy, curved metal and curl the ends round to hold them in place, and then attach a chain to the curls, to make something like this:

(Forgive the hideous paintsketch Wink)

However, I am COMPLETELY ignorant about working with metals and silver.  I plan on using stirling silver for the rest of the necklace (chain, clasp, spacers). I wasn't sure of the diameter I'd need, or the type of metal (could I use stirling silver?), and I'm worried about whether I'd be able to to bend it and curl the ends without any specialised tools.

Also, what size chain has everyone found to be strong enough to hold a fair weight?

Any advice would be gratefully received as I really do feel out of my depth, but if you never try these things you'll never improve *laughs*
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mizgeorge
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2009, 07:37:38 AM »

I'd probably use 1.3mm sterling wire for this, but you could easily get away with 1.0mm as long as you harden it well (grab both ends and twist through 180 degrees, then twist back again). The bend along the length of the wire is easily done with just your fingers, and for the spirals, all you need is a pair of flat or chain nosed pliers.

I'd recommend practising in copper first - nothing worse than feeling you've got it not quite right on more expensive materials!

For the chain, I'd go for a medium or heavy weight belcher, but chain style is very much about personal preference. This style can also look great with leather or suede thong rather than chain.

hth
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sparrow
I hold with those who favor fire.
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2009, 07:57:32 AM »

What a lovely design!

You don't mention what size your sketch would be, but yes, it's definitely possible to do it in sterling. You'll be able to bend the wire with round-nosed pliers, you can buy wire of all sorts, from 'dead soft' to 'hard'. The trick is that you'd want it to be soft enough to work, but then hard enough not to bend under the weight of the lampies. The more you work wire, the more it'll harden, right up to the point that it'll crack! - but that shouldn't happen with the design you propose. What I would do:

-Use 1.2mm or 1.5mm soft round sterling silver wire
-Curl one end, then hammer gently to harden it (apart from the bit I intend to curl later)
(polish now, if necessary)
-Thread on lampies & curl the other end, hand-polish the curls
-Attach chain.

The strength of chain depends on the weight. I'd be tempted to go for a sturdy-ish belcher chain Smiley

HTH?

Lol, George was quicker!
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Jessamine
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Jess


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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2009, 10:21:08 AM »

Thank you so much for your advice girls  Kiss You are stars! I'm very grateful  Cheesy

I will get my hands on some copper and have a practice first thanks George, didn't think of that but you're definitely right!

With regards to a belcher chain would one like this be sturdy enough: http://www.palmermetals.co.uk/LooseChain/SterlingSilverLooseChain/Sterling-Silver-Round-1-Belcher-Loose-Chain-10621.aspx or would I needed a stronger one? And whilst on the topic, where do you guys buy from? Is Palmer Metals pretty reasonable, or would you recommend another supplier? As it's my first forray into the world of stirling silver I want to make sure I buy it from a decent supplier lol

Finally, this is probably a stupid quesion to ask, but Sparrow when you say polish it do you just use a normal cloth or is there something special? My ignorance is shocking!

Promise I'm done with questions now...for now *laughs*
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