Bench Tricks

Trick: Making Small Jump Rings Exactly the Same Size

Bench jewelers who process a lot of work sometimes take short cuts to save time. In a perfect world, bench jewelers could work efficiently and not sacrifice quality. JAr Certified Master Bench JewelerT Jeffrey Mathews of Jeffrey Mathews Designs, Dallas, Texas, is one of those fast workers who has developed a variety of methods and tools for ensuring that his workmanship meets the highest quality standards-at all times. Mathews shares the following bench trick for making small jump-rings exactly the same size:

  1. Using 1.5-mm copper wire, fashion an adjustable “stop” modeled after the device shown within the green circle (see illustration #1).

  2. Place a jump-ring of the exact size needed on the small round mandrel and tape the stop to the small jump-ring mandrel at the precise location.

  3. Next, check the jump-rings you’ll be using by placing them on the mandrel and checking to see if they “drop” to the same location against the stop.

  4. If not, place the jump-ring mandrel with the smaller jump-ring in place over drilled steel plate and lightly hammer the mandrel. This will push the mandrel downward and enlarge the jump-ring (see illustration # 2). Stop when the jump ring is touching the stop.

  5. When finished, re-measure all jump-rings to ensure they are exactly the same size.

Contact Jewelers of America at (800) 223-0673 for information about the Masters Mentoring Series, a collection of videos featuring various techniques demonstrated by JA Certified Masters.

Bonus Benefits for the Working Bench Jeweler

  1. Ensures consistency. Ideal for making multiple jump-rings an exact size for fine mountings.

  2. Increases productivity. Saves time and money for your shop by not having to adjust jump-rings at a later stage of manufacturing.

  3. Continuing education. This technique will be helpful to anyone taking the second-level practical bench tests of the JAr Bench Jeweler Certification program.