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Gone fishin’ chain

Repurpose a handful of fishing lures into this trendy copper necklace

We all like chains, and the more interesting, the better. Take your creativity to a different level by using hardware that is not necessarily considered for jewelry components. Time to have some fun and raid the tackle box or take a stroll through the Sporting Goods Department for some fishing tackle swivels, and put together a cool chain that stands on its own with minimal embellishment, if any. I used the swivels with a gunmetal finish, but if you can find matte black ones, you’re in luck.  The matte black finish will be depleted in the pickle solution to reveal a brass finish.  This looks great if you choose to apply Liver of Sulpher as a patina. 

You can easily make this chain shorter or longer depending on your preference.   Make this chain convertible simply by changing the location of the “S” clasp.  

SUPPLIES

  • 5’ of 16 gauge copper wire
  • 31 size 7 black-barrel swivels
  • 3 brass spacer beads (optional)

TOOLS

  • 12mm mandrel
  • 15mm mandrel
  • Flush cutters
  • 2 pair flat nose pliers
  • Round nose pliers
  • Soldering brick
  • Small butane torch
  • Copper solder
  • Pickle
  • Steel bench block
  • 4 ounce chasing hammer
  • 400 grit sandpaper
  • Brass brush

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Clean the copper wire using 400 grit sandpaper.

Gone fishin chain Photo A
Step 2
Using the 15 mm mandrel, wrap the 16 gauge wire around 13 times and trim the wire. Using the 12 mm mandrel, wrap the 16 gauge wire around 20 times and trim the wire.
Gone fishin chain Photo B
Step 3
Cut the jump rings using flush cutters.
Gone fishin chain Photo C
Step 4
Using flat nose pliers, open the jump rings: push one side away from you and pull the other side towards you.
Gone fishin chain Photo D
Step 5
Make sure the cut ends meet flush, with no gap.
Gone fishin chain Photo E
Step 6
Begin building the chain installing a swivel between jump rings.
Gone fishin chain Photo F
Optional
Slide three brass spacer beads on the 15 mm jump ring in the center of the chain.
Gone fishin chain Photo G
Step 7
Lay the chain on the soldering brick and solder the rings closed. Before soldering, be sure to check each jump ring for a tight joint. You may find it easier to solder every other or third one to minimize heat exposure; then return to solder the rest.
Gone fishin chain Photo H
Step 8

After all the jump rings are soldered, place the chain in pickle solution. Remove, wash with soap and water, and dry. Using the steel bench block and chasing hammer, lightly hammer the rings to work harden them, and to add a bit of texture.

FIND MORE: wirework , wire , necklaces

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