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Chao Clasps
Article © MAIL User: sakredchao

H o w   I   H a n d m a k e   C l a s p s
by sakredchao

I was given the idea for these clasps by an old hippy at the 2000 national rainbow gathering in Montana.  He showed me how to make a wire bracelet by twisting wire. This clasp came out of that bracelet design.  Even in dead soft wire, this style of clasp is strong.

Image: clasp1.jpg

step 1

Take a length of wire and wrap it twice around a mandrel. This example is using 22ga stainless and an 1/8" mandrel.

Image: clasp2.jpg

step 2

Bend the long end back on itself. I use 2 pairs of toothless pliers to get a nice tip.

Image: clasp3.jpg

step 3

Wrap the short end around the hook to secure it.

Image: clasp4.jpg

step 4

This image has 2 differences from the last one.  The bottom wire is bent to the left.  Also the tip of what will be the hook has been bent. This is unnecessary but it makes the clasp look a lot nicer.

Image: clasp5.jpg

step 5

Make the last bend that forms the hook, form the last length of wire into a wire doodle and you're done.
Roundnose, wirebending pliers are very useful for these last 2 steps.
Stainless steel isn't the easiest metal to form but I've started to get the hang of it.
I'm just beginning to refine my clasp style, but i think I'm leaning towards the one style on the far right. I've made several since this article, and when I use one end of wire to wrap around the hook and the other end for a decorative doodle, they consistently come out attractive.
These can be tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it they are a strong, attractive alternative to store-bought clasps.


Any suggestions on ways I can make this article clearer or more helpful are always welcome.

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