Welcome to week three of Chain Mail Month on Facet! This week, let's talk about making your own jump rings. There are several ways in which this can be accomplished.
This how-to on making jump rings demonstrates a very simple and inexpensive way to make jump rings. As an alternative to using dowels shown in the photos to make jump rings, you can also use metal mandrels like the ones pictured here. These metal rods are great for making rings in a more accurate size. The size of the mandrel is the “inner diameter” measurement of the jump ring, and the mandrels come in inches and millimeters. The inch size mandrels range from 3/32” (2.4mm) to 1/2” (12.7mm) in 1/64” intervals, depending upon the set that you purchase. The millimeter mandrels usually start with 1 millimeter and go up to 13 millimeters in either .25mm increments or .5mm increments, again, depending upon the manufacturer. There are several manufacturers of metal mandrels.
As demonstrated in the how-to photos, you will need to wind the wire around the mandrel to make a coil of wire that you will then cut into jump rings. You can wind them by hand, or use a winder that looks like the business end of a drill with a handle on the other end. Using a winder will help to make the process of making the coil faster.