HOW TO OPEN AND CLOSE JUMP RINGS

TUTORIAL


Opening and closing jump rings is likely to be the one technique you'll use most in all your jewelry making projects, and it's a very important to get it right.

Having neat and secure jump rings is integeral to the aesthetics and function of each jewelery piece, but it is also the easiest technique to learn.
 
The best pliers to use are either chain nose, bent chain nose or flat nose pliers . You need a plier with a flat section so you can get a good grip on the jump ring (I have used round nose pliers in emergencies... no biggie). It's also pretty useful if you have two pairs (one for each hand) which gives you added control and keeps your nails intact! But if you only have one pair you can use your thumb and finger or a pair of tweezers to do the same job.


​Open (unsoldered) Jump Ring


One or two pairs of chain nose pliers
Tip: You can either use two pairs of chain nose pliers or one pair and your fingers or tweezers.


MATERIALS:

TOOLS:

STEP 1 - OPENING A JUMP RING

Unsoldered Jump Ring
Begin with an open (unsoldered) Jump Ring.
With the cut in the jump ring at the top of the ring, hold it with the pliers as shown: chain nose in left hand and bent nose in right (reverse all steps for left-handed)The plier jaws should be parallel with the cut in the jump ring with the tips pointing to the sky.

STEP 2

Open Jump Ring
Imagine you want to twist the point of metal opposite the cut in the jump ring. This is the only part of the jump ring that will actually be moving. Without exerting any inward or outward pressure, twist your right hand so that the tip of the plier comes towards you.

STEP 3

Open Jump Ring
Your ring should look like this.

STEP 1 - CLOSING A JUMP RING

Closing a Jump ring
Holding the pliers the same way, gently twist the right plier back towards the left, without any inward or outward pressure.

STEP 2

Closing a Jump ring
Since wire is springy, you may need to gently "rock" the pliers back and forth past the closed point until the jump ring remains closed. You should be able to achieve a very flush close with no gaps.

JUMP RING TIPS:

Jump rings can be a quick, easy and secure element in jewelry design if it is done correctly and securely. Here are some tips to help you troubleshoot any possible problems you may encounter:
  • If your jump rings won't close you probably applied pressure in the wrong direction when opening them. Be careful to only twist that one point of wire opposite the cut. 
  • Once distorted, jump rings will not reform easily, and should just be thrown away.
  • Getting a flush close is very important to prevent rings snagging or pulling open too easily.
  • While you can open jump rings by twisting your bent nose plier away from you, you will find this method makes the jump rings a little easier to use when feeding them into jewelry or chain mail weaves.

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