How I Make Jump Rings
Making jump rings for chainmail is actually a very easy process once you have the hang of it. However, easy and time consuming are two different things. Cutting 250 rings off a coil doesn't take a small amount of time. Fortunately, once you get into the rhythm the rings will seem to just fall off. This is a wire wrapping tutorial to help you get started with making your own rings:
1. Collect the necessary materials. These include a drill, a pair of wire cutters (these are the ones I use), the wire (duh), work gloves, safety glasses, 2 clamps and the Coil Maker that you built in Getting Started.
2. Be Safe! Put on your safety glasses and gloves.
3. Clamp down the Coil Maker in two places.
4. Connect the drill to the end of the rod on the Coil Maker. Make sure that it isn't the end with the small hole drilled in it.
5. Put the end of the wire in the hole that you drilled in the rod. Decide which way (forwards or reverse) you want to spin the rod.
6. Using one hand to control the drill, and the other to guide the wire, begin to slowly power up the drill.
7. Watch the wire wind around the metal rod. The goal is to minimize any gaps in the coil and to make it as tight as possible. If the wire wraps around the wire that is already coiled, Don't Panic! Just pull tight on the wire while putting the drill in reverse until the wire is off the coil, and resume normal coiling.
8. Once you get to the end of rod, stop the drill. Cut the wire as close to the rod as possible. Then, cut the wire where it goes into the small hole. Then, while pulling the dowel-rod out of the holes, start to slide the coil off.
9. After the coil is off, the only thing left to do is cut it. Depending on the shape and strength of your wire cutters, you may only be able to cut one ring off at a time. Start at one end and begin to cut them off, putting them in a designated container, until you are done.
Now you are finally ready to start Weaving Chainmail.