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Last Edited: December 18, 2012, 2:53 pm
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Finishing Triplicate Chain Weaves
Article © MAIL User: Vacacita
Finishing Triplicate Chain Weaves
Concept by Desert Rhino
Adaptation & Tutorial by Theresa Olin (Vacacita)
Certain chain weaves can be thought of as triplicate versions of their duplicate cousins. These include Roundmaille, Inverted Round, Captive Inverted Round, and Turkish Round. These weaves present a challenge when finishing a necklace or bracelet - the three rings at the end of the chain must be reduced to the one ring necessary to add a clasp. This tutorial will show how to make wire findings that smoothly and attractively go from three loops to one.
As you can see in the example picture, the beauty of these findings is that they can be integrated right into the weave - in this case, Turkish Round. The three loops on the finding are treated as rings, and carefully "woven" onto the end of the chain. As in the example bracelet, you can incorporate a hook-and-eye clasp directly into the findings. Or, you can make two eye findings and add a separate clasp.
(If you've read this introduction before, you can jump directly to tutorial.)
A word of caution: It will take lots of practice before you get findings that look good enough to use. I went through a lot of mangled wire before I came up with the set in the picture. Start with copper, bright aluminum, etc. rather than the more expensive metals, and don't expect that your first attempts will be perfect. Even with practice, you'll have to do some tweaking.
The measurements given in this tutorial work with 20awg wire, since that's what I've done so far. The procedure can be used for other wire sizes, of course, but you'll have to experiment to come up with the correct measurements.
Materials & Tools
20awg half-hard round wire in metal of choice
flat-nose and/or chain-nose pliers
wire-looping pliers or mandrel to match ring ID (optional but very helpful)
crimping pliers (optional but helpful)
* Dead-soft wire can be used, but it will be, well, softer. You may need to tumble it or otherwise work-harden it to ensure that it will hold its shape properly. I've also found it slightly more difficult to make cleanly-defined bends in soft copper. On the other hand, you'll have to adjust to the higher springback of harder wires.
* I discovered that full-hard bright aluminum has a bad habit of breaking when it's doubled over. If you're making a hook finding with bright aluminum (or, probably, any full-hard or brittle wire), be very careful not to put too much stress on the wire. The dead-soft copper and half-hard silver I've used have been fine in that respect.
* I like to work directly from the spool of wire, to cut down on waste. If you prefer to work with a pre-cut piece of wire, the eye finding will take around 3.5" and the hook finding will take around 5". You may want to add a bit more just to be safe.
* Wire-looping pliers are very helpful for this project because they have cylindrical steps that allow you to make uniform loops and bends with multiple wires. This is much harder to do with round-nose pliers, although it's possible if you're careful. The wire-looping pliers I have are from Monsterslayer, found on this page. These pliers have steps at 2mm, 3mm, and 4mm. This is good because 3mm is close to 1/8", the ID of the rings I use for Turkish Round. If you use a different ring size, you may need to find wire-looping pliers with different-sized graduations. Other sources include Brandywine (one "fine" set with 1.5mm, 2.5mm, and 4mm steps, and one with 2.5mm, 3.5mm, and 5mm) and Santa Fe (steps are slightly tapered: 2.1-2.6mm, 3.15-3.45mm, and 4.35-4.75mm). See the conversion table at Venom's Pit if you need to convert inches to mm.
* If you cut your own rings, you can also use the mandrel to make the loops on the finding.
* Crimping pliers are commonly used in beadwork, and can be found at many craft stores or beadwork supply sources. They have a rounded bay that is useful for finishing wire wraps.
Before you begin, it's a good idea to use a Sharpie to mark your round-nose pliers at the spot where you'll be making loops. This will help you make consistent loops. In this case, you can just slide on a ring and mark the pliers where the ring falls. I also marked the spot I use for the eye loop. (As you can see, I've used these pliers for plenty of other projects too.)
It's also a good idea to straighten the wire, especially if it's been on a spool or in a coil. Just pull it through your fingers a few times. Use a tissue or paper towel to help clean off any dirt or tarnish that may be on the wire.
Anatomy of a finding: here are some terms I'll be using throughout the tutorial.
One more note: The eye finding shown in the step-by-step pictures was done in bright aluminum; the hook finding was done in sterling silver.
<a id="eye">Eye Finding</a>
This finding will take about 3.5" of wire.
1. Make a 90 degree bend 1/8" (3mm) from the end, or however long you want the neck to be.
2. Wrap the long end of the wire around the round-nose pliers to make the eye loop.
3. Where the long end crosses the short end, bend the long end so that the two ends are parallel.
4. Make a 90 degree bend at the bottom of the neck where the short wire ends.
5. Make three side-by-side loops. I like to start these loops with my round-nose pliers, and then switch to the second step of the wire-looping pliers. You can also wrap the wire around a mandrel. These loops should be the same size as the rings in the chain.
6. Bring the wire end back to the base of the neck and wrap the neck, stopping when you get to the bottom of the eye. Be careful that the loops don't get pulled out of shape.
7. Cut the wire as close to the wrap as you can, and tuck the cut end down. Crimping pliers are great for this.
8. This is where it gets tricky. You'll need to position those three loops so that they can be woven into the chain. First, separate the loops slightly with your fingernail or flat-nose pliers. Try not to scratch the wire.
9. Next, bring the outer loops together so they touch - but you'll want to do it in a certain way. In the right-hand picture above, see how the loop on the right leads into the wrap around the neck? Find that loop on your finding, and imagine twisting it so that the wrap starts to come undone. That's the direction you need to move that loop. Grab each end loop with a pair of pliers, and bring them together as shown below.
(In this picture, the loop that leads into the wrap is actually on the left. It can be done either way, as long as you're twisting in the correct direction.)
10. Now the middle loop needs to be turned out to fill in the third side. It should be turned such that once it's in position, the wires will cross at the top of the loop rather than making a misshapen "U".
Grab the middle loop with a pair of pliers, and simultaneously turn it and pull it out into position.
11. You'll probably need to make some adjustments, to straighten the neck out, make the loops the same size, etc.
<a id="hook">Hook Finding</a>
This finding will take about 5" of wire.
12. Double over 13/16" (just over 3/4", or 1.3cm) and flatten it against the rest of the wire.
13. With the smallest step on the wire-looping pliers or the round-nose pliers, make a slight bend at the very tip of the folded wire.
14. With the same pliers/step, make the bend for the hook just short of halfway down the folded wire. The end of the folded wire should extend past the tip of the hook, to leave room for the wrapped neck.
15. Bend back the wires for the neck.
Continue with the same procedure used for the eye finding, starting at step 4. In step 6, stop wrapping just before you get to the bend you made in step 15.
The finished hook finding:
There you have it! Once you have your completed findings, you can work out the best way to incorporate them into whatever weave you're using. Then just sit back and admire the fruits of your labor.
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