If you use a lot of jump rings in your jewelry work, you may find the jump ring tool to be very useful. It depends on the project, but I like it particularly for opening rings when I’m doing chainmaille. Using the jump ring tool is a matter of trial and error. Play around with it a bit and find what works best for you.
1. Slide the tool over a finger of your non-dominant hand. I actually like to use it on my thumb, with the slots facing my dominant hand. But, I know that a lot of people find it most comfortable on their index finger.
2. Pick up a jump ring using pliers in your dominant hand (or just use your hand). It works best if the opening of the jump ring is just above the groove of the slot in the tool. If the tool is on your thumb, the jump ring opening would be at about the 12:00 position.
Insert the ring into the slot on the tool that the ring fits comfortably into. This will stabilize the ring.
3. Then, use the pliers (or your hand) to gently twist open the ring. Grasp the ring securely, but not too tight. Grasping as much of the ring as possible with the pliers helps provide an even distribution of force. Heavy or uneven force may distort the ring. Use a motion that gently pushes one side of the jump ring away from you and the other side toward you. The reverse action can be used to close the ring. To close an open jump ring, bring the ends slightly past one another and then re-position to close it, being careful to re-align the ends so they are flush for a professional look.
Note: Never pull the ring apart, or widen the jump ring, to open it. This motion will create a large gap in the ring and stretch or distort the shape of the ring.
4. You may find that a brand new jump ring tool leaves a slight mark in the ring. Use a fine file made for steel or an old small emery board to gently file away any rough edges inside the slots of the tool. Or, if you are making chainmaille, use a tumbler to help smooth away fine marks and polish your final jewelry piece.
What has worked for you? What has been your experience with the jump ring tool? Did you like it? Hate it? What tips do you have for easy use?
Got a question? Feel free to contact me via email at Lynnette@beadsandhoney.com.
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You may copy and use these instructions for non-commercial, educational purposes only. Thanks.