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How To Make This Easy Silver Necklace Clasp
Just A Few Jewelry Making Tools
Make A Silver Clasp From Your Jewelry Findings
There comes a time when finishing a necklace or bracelet comes down to the clasp. It happens. The piece is ready but it can not be finished because it needs a silver clasp, and all you have is stainless steel, copper or gold. Now what do you do?
Normally you attach a fabricated clasp that was purchased for the project. Maybe you just started making jewelry without a plan. You whipped up this real cute piece. Now you have a pretty silver necklace without a clasp. Why not make your own silver jewelry clasp from the findings you have? You don't have any findings you think. A short length of silver wire will do the trick. Here is what you need.
Material Needed To Make A Silver Clasp For A Chain Necklace
3" or 4" of silver wire should take care of all you need.
The length of wire totally depends on the size of clasp you want to make.
Tools Needed For This Quick Fix Jewelry Making Project
- Chain nose pliers
- Wire cutters
- A ruler
- jump rings appropriately sized for the finished silver necklace
Making The Silver Clasp The Right Size
The clasp should be a size that will compliment the necklace you are making it for. It should also be easy enough to handle when operating to attach and remove it. Those are the two most important things you must keep in mind before you start. Think about what you are doing and what you want to accomplish.
For this example the clasp will be attached to the silver chain with a 6mm jump ring and the eye for the hook will also be a 6mm jump ring. The finished clasp for this demonstration is about 20mm. This will keep the silver clasp hook in proportion for a larger silver chain. It is a good size to handle and will match up fine to a handcrafted silver chain necklace.
Step by Step Bending The Silver Wire To Form The Clasp
Put Some Thought In To Your Work
The clasp should be of a size that will compliment the necklace you are making it for. It should also be easy enough to handle when operating to attach it and remove it. Those are the two most important things you must keep in mind before you start. Think about what you are doing and what you want to accomplish here.
For this example the clasp will be attached to the silver chain with a 6mm jump ring and the eye for the hook will also be a 6mm jump ring.
Shaping The Silver Clasp
Start the piece by making a closed eye at one end of the silver wire you have chosen to make your clasp from.
The photographs to the right should help guide you through each bend necessary to make the clasp. The first time you try making a clasp might turn out a little rough. Here I suggest trying with some kind of non precious metal such as steel or whatever you have available that is pliable enough to work.
Now measure the piece with one eye in place and find the middle. Leave some extra length on the end without an eye, I call the "tag end". The tag end will be formed in to a second eye for attaching the hook to your silver chain. See this example in the next couple photos.
Carefully bend the wire in half remembering to leave a tag end. This will form a sort of hairpin turn. Do not crimp the hairpin turn but do make it tight. You will want the wire to lay side by side as the hairpin loop is formed. This will create the tip of your silver hook clasp.
Finishing The Silver Clasp
Make the other eye from the tag end of the wire. A trick to keep both sides the same size is to place the first eye on the end of your chain nose pliers and then wrap the tag Begin at the same point as the existing closed eye. This makes it straight and sized right. Make sure the eyes are closed and will line up on the end of the chain nose pliers.
Now gently squeeze the two linear pieces together from the hairpin turn down to the eyes. Again , remember not to crimp the hairpin because this will cause a weakness that could cause the wire to crack and break.
Trim the excess wire from the tag end eye. You might need to gently open the eye to make the cut. Do not bend the formed eye out of it's proportion. Make the cut and make sure both eyes form closed loops. These loops will be squeezed together and attached to a jump ring when the clasp is finished.
Don't Crimp The Wire
Crimping the wire too tight could cause a weakness in the hook. All the bends should be gentle. It is a good idea to warm the wire by rubbing it briskly between your fingers just before bending. The friction from rubbing the wire will warm the wire. bending warm wire is much easier and causes less stress on the wire.
You will need to line the wire up close but you have to do this very carefully. It takes a little practice to make the bends without leaving pliers' marks all over the wire. One suggestion here is to make the grips firm and do not let the wire out of the grip once you have grabbed it tight. Movement can cause scratches on the finished hook.
Bending The Hook
Now that you have both eyes made and they line up real nice it is time to bend the piece in to a hook shape. this is done by measuring the length of the piece to find the middle.
Grasp the middle with the chain nose pliers and gently bend the piece in half. This will form another hairpin turn that creates the hook. The pliers should leave an open space that will be the slot where the clasp eye is held in place. Now the silver clasp is almost finished.
Make sure everything is lined up real pretty and then carefully flare the tip of the hook up just a wee bit. This will allow the clasp eye to slide on and off the hook very easy. The photos show how the piece should look when it is finished.
Attach The Hook To The Silver Chain Necklace
The finished hook can be attached to the necklace with a jump ring that is the right size for the finished silver necklace. Put the hook on one end of the chain and put an eye on the other end where the hook will be attached. Use a soldered closed ring for the other end of the chain. This is the eye end and will be passed through the hook to make the join. Check to make sure the eye will slide through the hook easily and fits snug. There might have to be minor adjustments made to the finished hook. a soft squeeze here or there or a little prying to make the spacing just right should tweak the hook clasp in to perfect shape
Now you have a finished silver chain necklace with a nice secure clasp. happy jewelry making!
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