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Coil Clasp: A Tube Clasp for Maillers
Article © MAIL User: Talia

I created this tube clasp, or Coil Clasp as I call it, in response to an increasing demand by the mailling community for tube clasps that match the wide variety of metals used by today’s chainmaille artisans. Inspired in part by Cynake’s “Paper Clip Clasp,” the Coil Clasp uses a variation of the Spring Catch to keep the hook securely locked within the coil until it is intentionally removed.

As this clasp is crafted by hand by the artisan, with a few simple adjustments, it can be custom-fit for any particular project. The clasp in this tutorial is made from 1.3mm dead soft copper. The finished height is 21mm, 13.5mm wide (will add 13.5mm to the overall length of the item) and the outer diameter of the coil is 7.2mm. To create the Coil Clasp pictured, you will need:




Image: coil_clasp1.jpg
Start with the 10” wire and 4mm mandrel. Holding the mandrel against the wire, halfway between the ends, wrap each side of the wire around the mandrel twice, creating four coils in the center of the

wire.
Image: coil_clasp2.jpg
Place and hold the 2mm mandrel on top of the center of the coil and give each side two more wraps around both mandrels. This creates both the points of connection for the coiled side of the clasp and

the areas the slide hook will lock into.
Image: coil_clasp3.jpg
Retract the 2mm mandrel far enough that you can wrap a couple more coils, but leave the mandrel far enough inside the tall coil that the point is not pulled out of shape as you work.
Image: coil_clasp4.jpg
And then repeat for the other side.
Image: coil_clasp5.jpg
Trim the ends of the coil to suit your needs.
Image: coil_clasp6.jpg
Using your round nose pliers, turn a loop on one end of the 5” length of wire. Lay it next to the coil so that the apex of the top ring lines up with the top connectors on the coil. Mark your wire

where it lines up with the bottom connector.
Image: coil_clasp7.jpg
Grasp the mark between the jaws of your round nose pliers. Using the top jaw as if it were a mandrel, wrap the wire around the jaw, repositioning as needed, so that once the loop is complete, the wire

crosses at the mark.
Image: coil_clasp8.jpg
Line the loops up with the coil and make adjustments as needed.
Image: coil_clasp9.jpg
Now, lining the coil and the loops up back to back, mark the wire above the coil. Estimating the length of about two wire diameters should give you a good spot.
Image: coil_clasp10.jpg
Again, clasping the mark between the jaws of the round nose pliers, this time bend both sides down, forming a U-shape with the apex at the center.
Line the wire up with the coil again and place another mark on the wire just below the bottom of the coil.
Image: coil_clasp11.jpg
Bend another U-shape.
Line the wire up with the coil on its connecting side and mark the wire at the bottom of the first connector.
Image: coil_clasp12.jpg
With your tips of your chain nose pliers, grasp the wire right above (toward the working end) the mark and make a 45 degree bend away from the loops.
Image: coil_clasp13.jpg
Without letting go, bend the working end of the wire back toward the loops at a 90 degree angle.
Image: coil_clasp14.jpg
Grasp the wire in the tips of the chain nose pliers again, as close to the 90 degree bend as you can, and bend the working wire back out 45 degrees.
When the clasp is finished, this bump will slide into the hole created by the two raised coils, locking the slide hook into place.
Image: coil_clasp15.jpg
Line up the apex of the 90 degree bend with the bottom connector and mark the bottom of the upper connector on your wire.
Image: coil_clasp16.jpg
Following the same three steps as for the first bump, complete another 45-90-45 bump.
Image: coil_clasp17.jpg
Lining the bumps on the slide hook up with the connectors on the coil, mark the working wire about 3/8 to ¼” above the top of the coil. Use your cutters to trim the end off.
Image: coil_clasp18.jpg
Grasping the second U-bend in the jaws of your chain nose pliers, pinch to tighten the U. At this point, do not tighten all the way. A final adjustment will be made during fitting.
Image: coil_clasp19.jpg
Tighten the first U-bend in the same manner, however, here you will want the distance between the legs of the U to be slightly larger than your wire diameter.
Image: coil_clasp_open.jpg
Turn a loop at the unfinished end. Markings can be removed with rubbing alcohol. Slide the clasp together for fitting.

  • If the hook is too large to fit, tighten the U-bend at the bottom.
  • If the hook does not fit snugly, widen the U-bend.
  • If the bumps don’t lock into place, adjust the length between them by making the bumps either shallower or deeper. Adjust the bottom one first. Shallower will add length, deeper will shorten the length.

Image: coil_clasp_closed.jpg
Your finished clasp!
Original URL: http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articledisplay.php?key=536