I’ve been burned on pre-made chains so many times I decided recently to make my own. I bought ball chain and jump rings and then spent some time figuring out the best kind of clasp – turns out it’s not only cheaper, but also looks better, if you make your own! Here’s a free tutorial (including a quick video) showing two versions of how to make this hook-and-eye clasp. It includes fire!
You’ll need solid copper wire in 20ga, a ruler, flush cutters, bailmaking pliers, a hammer and anvil, and probably also a metal file (which I forgot to photograph).
Making the Hook
Cut 6cm of wire.
[Not pictured: hammer the end of the wire]
File the end round.
Create a tiny bend in the flattened end of the wire using your round-nose pliers.
Use the fat side of bailmaking pliers to create a loop in the wire.
Oh wait, you only need 5cm of wire – cut off a cm!
Hammer this end of the wire as well, and file it round.
Create a bend in this wire, angled towards the clasp loop.
Use the small side of bailmaking pliers to bend the wire end backwards until it touches the back of the clasp.
Hammer the two loops very carefully.
So hey if you want to make a balled end, keep the original 6m and complete the steps above up to just before cutting it down; and create a balled wire end as in this video:
Pile of balled end clasps!
Continue making the clasp hook with the balled end instead of the flattened end.
The two variations!
Making the Eye
Uhoh. I don’t remember how long the eye wire is supposed to be. I think maybe 8cm? Flatten one end, file it, and create the tiny P at the end with your round nose pliers.
Use the medium bailmaking plier size (3mm) and make a small hook. Make sure the p touches the wire.
Loosen your grip on the pliers and swing the smaller side of the pliers back around in the loop you just made, and create a “neck” bend in the wire.
Move the pliers out so the smaller plier side is in the neck you just made; and make a 90 degree bend backwards.
You should have this shape!
Switch to the larger bailmaking pliers (5mm) and make a large loop in the wire end.
Create a wrapped loop with the wire end around the straight section you created.
Cut and tamp down the end.
Hammer both loops.
Finished! I dumped these into liver of sulfur and then tumbled them overnight with some soap to make them shiny, antiqued, and hardened!
Use jump rings to attach the clasps to the end of your chain!