Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist

Chain Effect

DO YOU HOLD YOUR BREATH and shut your eyes every time you solder? This soldered chain challenge will put an end to that in no time, because you will be doing a lot of very “picky” work. You’ll also need to set aside some of the rules you learned when you took metalsmithing classes for the first time: don’t use a lot of solder; heat the entire project all over; don’t overheat; start with hard, then medium, then easy, then extra easy …

Those are very good practices, but now set them aside. For this multiple-technique, multiple-project challenge, you are going to saturate reverse double-rope chain with hard solder, turning it into decorative wire stock for rings, bracelets, and earrings. You’ll also find instructions for working with rolo chain and 12-gauge wire. These techniques will make you comfortable not only with regular soldering, but paste, pick, and stick soldering. That’s why I think of these challenges as hard soldering lessons, pun intended!

For best success, work slowly.

Design Start

While sorting scrap for refining, I found some short segments of chain and wondered if I could salvage any. Twenty minutes later, I completed a couple rings and moved onto cuff s.


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