Jump Rings, Spring-Loaded

O rings in Pliers


O Rings — Jump Rings and Split Rings

If you don’t want to read, scroll on down to Video 2 at the end, which captures everything in this Tidbits & Tricks.

I’ve come to the conclusion that O ring simply describes the shape of the ring. For example, an O ring is round and an oval ring is oval. O rings can be closed (Photo A) or open (Photo B). Jump rings refers to open O rings that are cut or have a split in them (Photo C). The cut allows the ring to be opened then closed to secure two elements of jewelry together, such as a pendant onto a chain or a charm onto a bracelet. After closing the jump ring, the jump ring can be soldered for a permanent hold. I will not discuss soldering here; there are plenty of videos online. Split rings are jump rings that to me look like the large split ring on a key chain (Photo D). Just like spinning a key around a keychain ring, the jewelry component spins around the split ring for a connection that does not require soldering. I will not be discussing these either. Some jewelry components have parts that act like jump rings, such as the botton O on ear wires (Photo E). 

Pliers

Flat nose, chain nose, round, needle nose pliers and other models of jewelry pliers are available (Photo F). Each one of these pliers has a particular purpose. Utmost is that the pliers do the task at hand without damaging or marking the jump ring. If you purchased one of each kind, I’m pretty certain you would find yourself consistently using the same two for your jump rings. It is simply a matter of personal preference.

Jump rings come in various gauges (16, 18, 20, 22, etc.) and sizes (2, 3, 3.2, 3.5, 4.0, 5.0 etc.), which are most often inner diameter units of mm (Photo G).


Steps for a Spring-Loaded Jump Ring

  1. Grab one side of the jump ring with a pliers with the split in the direction of twelve on a clock (Photo H). Grab the other side with another pliers (Photo I). 
  2. Twist the jump ring so that one side comes toward you and the other goes away from you, while pressing the two ends together, (Photo J) so that the ends pass each other. (Photo K). Twist open the jump only as far as needed to accommodate the two jewelry components. If you happen to pull the jump ring apart (Photo L), start over with a fresh one: First, this stresses the metal, which weakens the jump ring; and trying to close it will have an impact on its roundness (you’ll likely have an oval ring before you know it). At this step #2, there is a tendancy to twist the jump ring, resulting in the two ends not meeting as desired (Photo M). When you close enough jump rings, you will discover your twist tendency, which is easy then to correct by changing the angle of your hands and thus the twist motion.
  3. Place the two jewelry components on the jump ring (Photo N). The size of the jump ring is a whole other story. A couple of things to consider are these: one, will the two jewelry components be able to swing and move freely; and two, will the jewelry components stay in place? For example, will your jump-ring charms slide over a jump-ring end on a lobster clasp (Video 1)?
  4. Closing the jump ring is the finesse part. Hold the jump ring as when you began the original twist. Move the ends toward each other so that they are touching. Now slightly pull the two ends apart, not enough to bend the metal but rather just enough so that they can almost slide by each other. Hold the ends as they touch, then apply just enough pull so that the ends meet each other — CLICK! The click indicates that they are spring loaded, that they are not simply touching each other but they are pushing against each other. Carefully adjust the jump ring ends by rocking them back and forth, less and less, so that the seam becomes invisible; as in, the ends meet inline with the rest of the jump ring. This is demonstrated in Video 2.
  5. When a jump ring is spring-loaded, the tiniest of jewelry components will stay in place  (Photo O).
O rings

Photo  A — O rings that are closed


O rings

Photo B — O rings or jump rings are open and have a cut or slit in the metal.



O rings Correct

Photo C - Jump rings refers to open O rings that are cut or have a split in them.



O Rings Split Rings

Photo D - Jewelry split rings



Findings ear wire

Photo  E - Treat the loop in this ear wire like a jump ring



Photo F — Various kinds of pliers


O rings

Photo G — Various gauges and sizes of O rings, open and closed




Steps for a Spring-Loaded Jump Ring

O rings Photo H

Photo H — 1. Grab one side of the jump ring with the split in the direction of twelve on a clock.


O rings Photo I

Photo I — 1. Grab the other side with another pliers.



O rings Photo J

Photo J — 2. Twist the jump ring so that one side comes toward you and the other goes away from you, while pressing the two ends together, . . . 


O rings Photo K 2

Photo K — 2 . . . so that then ends have passed each other. 
Open the jump ring only as far as needed to accommodate the two or more jewelry components.


O rings V

Photo L — 2. If you happen to pull the jump ring apart, get a fresh one: First, this stresses the metal, which weakens the jump ring; and, trying to close it will have an impact on its roundness (you’ll likely have an oval ring before you know it). 


O rings Twisted 1

Photo M — 2. At this step #2, there is a tendancy to twist the jump ring, resulting in the two ends not meeting as desired. When you close enough jump rings, you will discover your twist tendency, which is easy then to correct by changing the angle of your hands and thus the twist motion. 
This would be the view from the top of the jump ring.


O Rings Photo N

Photo N — 3. Place the two jewelry components on the jump ring.


Video 1 — 3The size of the jump ring is a whole other story. A couple of things to consider are these: one, will the two jewelry components be able to swing and move freely; and two, will the jewelry component stay in place. 
For example, will you jump-ring charms slide over a jump-ring end on a lobster clasp?



Video 2 — 4. Here is a one-minute video of the CLICK.


Digital photography reveals all. If you watch this video in the expanded view, you will notice that the jump ring has a little, V-shaped space between the ends. This was due to that twist factor I taked about in step 2.

O Rings Photo O

Photo O — 5. When a jump ring is spring-loaded, even the tiniest of jewelry components will not slip off.

Digital photography is the teller of truths. It reveals what you cannot see with the naked eye or opticals. This photo shows that the chain, which is a 1.8 mm flat drawn cable, will likely not slip through the 2.8 mm jump ring slit, as it is snug.



For online courses in metal clay, go to I Love Silver, where you learn how to design and create your own silver creations.



© Kris A Kramer 2017