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Modifying Pliers


Making jump rings and weaving them into chainmail designs involves a lot of opening and closing of the rings. I typically use two square jaw pliers to do this, one for each hand. But sometimes the rings would slip out of the pliers, getting scratched, and requiring extra cleanup time.

I solved the problem by forming a groove at the end of the jaw that would grasp the ring gently without scratching it. Use a triangular file or cutoff disk to cut the grooves about 1.5 mm back from the tip. Then to make the grooves round so they grasp the wire without distorting it, close the jaws and run a drill through the opening formed by the two rough grooves. Start with a small drill and follow up with a drill slightly smaller than the wire size you want to grip. In my case that was 14 gauge wire, so I chose a #53 drill. Finally, polish the grooves with a rubberized disk.

Get all of Brad's bench tips in "Bench Tips for Jewelry Making" on Amazon