I’ve been making my own clasps lately and I really like the look they give to otherwise generic-looking chain. The process of fabricating one is extremely simple, so I thought I’d post a little tutorial on it.
Tools & Materials:
18g sterling silver round wire
Cross lock tweezers
Round nose pliers
Rolling mill or hammer & metal block
Method of polishing
Making the clasp
1) Snip about 2 inches of wire using your metal shears.
2) Holding the wire with your cross lock tweezers, dip one end of the wire in flux.
3) Use your torch to melt a small ball on the end of the wire with the flux.
4) Hold the wire with your round nose pliers (close to the narrowest part of the pliers) right above the ball you’ve made. Curve the end of the wire so that the ball rests against the wire.
5) Holding the wire at the top of the small curve you’ve just made, curve the wire around the widest part of your pliers.
6) Use the rolling mill to flatten the largest curve of your clasp. This will add strength to your clasp, as well as being a nice design element.
It will look like this:
Note: If you don’t have access to a rolling mill, you can complete this step by hammering the curve on a metal block. Marks left by the hammer can be smoothed with emery paper.
7) Trim the tail of the wire to your desired length. Using the narrowest part of the round nose pliers, curve a small bit of the tail outward and file it flat.
8) Lay a small bit of solder between your ball and the clasp and brush with flux.
9) Solder these ends together and put the clasp in pickle.
10) Smooth all rough edges with emery paper or an emery stick.
11) Polish your clasp using your method of choice.
You now have a pretty little clasp! Add one jump ring to the looped end and attach it to your chain. Add a second jump ring to the other end of your chain and you’ll have your “eye” for the hook to go through.
5 Replies to “Metalsmithing 101 – How to Make a Simple Hook Clasp”
This is an beautiful clasp. It really has a lot of style. Great idea to use the rolling mill to flatten the curve!
Oops! forgot to ask – would you be interested in writing a tutorial for my website? I can’t offer much, except a permanent link to your blog and/or website, and my undying gratitude of course 🙂
here’s the site: http://www.how-to-make-jewelry.com
Nice tutorial! Thanks for posting it. I covet your rolling mill by the way. Definitely on my wish list 🙂
It’s seriously not hard at all! All you’d need is a butane torch and the basic tools like pliers you’ve probably already got.
Hmmm, my comment from yesteday never posted! I said that looks REALLY HARD! I love your Alasken bowl that you’ve been using in pictures. LOVE. It reminds me of seaweed.
I still want to take a PMC class. AND learn to use a torch. Looks useful.