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Pounds sterling silver necklace

Hammered disk halves overlap in this supple necklace that's deceptively simple to make and easy on your budget.
Poundssterling

Sterling silver is economical, and because the metal itself is beautiful, you don’t have to buy anything else to ornament it with. Even though this necklace is simple to make, it’s not necessarily quick; you’ll need a little patience to create the hammered texture on the disks.

If you want a different look, try a different texture: you can stamp designs on the disks, sand them lightly for a brushed finish, or leave them smooth. Try changing the metal, too. In place of the silver, you can use gold, copper, or brass — or try a combination of metals. If you choose to go the hammering route, you’ll be doing quite a bit of it, so make sure your ears are protected when you texture the disks.

 

SUPPLIES

  • 11 Sterling silver disks: 18-gauge (1.0 mm), 1-in. (25.5 mm) diameter
  • Sterling silver wire:
    • 14-gauge (1.6 mm) half-round, half-hard, 16 1/2 in. (41.9 cm)
    • 18-gauge (1.0 mm), round, half-hard, 1/2 in. (13 mm)
    • 14-gauge (1.6 mm), round, half-hard, 2 in. (51 mm)
  • 18 sterling silver jump rings: 18-gauge (1.0 mm), 11 mm inside diameter (ID), soldered
  • 9 sterling silver jump rings: 18-gauge (1.0 mm), 4.5 mm ID
  • 1 sterling silver jump ring: 14-gauge (1.6 mm), 11 mm ID, soldered
  • Sterling silver sheet: 18-gauge (1.0 mm), half-hard, 4 x 6 in. (10.2 x 15.2 cm) (optional)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

PoundssterlingPhoto1
Photo 1
Click on images to enlarge.

Hammer the disks. Place a 1-in. (25.5 mm)-diameter disk on a steel block. Holding the disk firmly, hammer it with a planishing hammer or the ball-peen end of a chasing hammer (PHOTO 1) until the disk is uniformly textured. If the disk buckles, place it on a wooden surface and flatten it with a rawhide mallet. Repeat with the remaining 10 disks.

PoundssterlingFigure1
Figure 1

File and drill the disks. File any uneven areas on the edge of a disk with a #2-cut, flat hand file. Find the center of the disk by laying it on FIGURE 1. Draw the vertical centerline on the disk using a ruler and fine-tip marker. Follow the dotted horizontal centerline 1/8 in. (3 mm) in from the edge, and make a dot to indicate the drill hole. Repeat to mark the second drill hole. Repeat with the remaining disks.

Use a center punch to make an indent on the drill-hole marks. Using a flex shaft and a drill bit large enough to fit 14-gauge (1.6 mm) half-round wire, drill the holes. Sand the holes with a fine-grit sanding stick. Repeat with the remaining disks.

PoundssterlingPhoto2
Photo 2

Cut the disks. Hold a disk on a bench pin, and use a jeweler’s saw with a 2/0 blade to saw the disk along the centerline. File and sand the sawn edges. Repeat with the remaining disks. 

 

Dap the disk halves. Set a disk half hammered-face down into the largest depression of a wooden dapping block. Using a wooden dapping punch and rawhide mallet or hammer, form the disk half into a slight dome (PHOTO 2). Repeat with the remaining disk halves.

PoundssterlingPhoto3
Photo 3

Cut wire for tabs. Use flush cutters to cut 22 pieces of 14-gauge (1.6 mm) sterling silver half-round wire to  3/4 in. (19 mm) each. File the wire ends so that they’re slightly rounded.

 

Solder the wire tabs. Clean the back of a disk half with fine emery paper or steel wool, and then rinse it to remove debris. Apply flux to the back of a disk half and to one end of a piece of wire. Lay a disk half on the soldering pad with the hammered side facing down and the straight edge toward you. Place a pallion of hard solder 1/8 in. (3 mm) from the straight edge and place the wire on top, flat side down. Heat the assembly until the solder flows. Immediately remove the flame (PHOTO 3). Quench, pickle, and rise the assembly. Repeat with the remaining disk halves and wires.

PoundssterlingPhoto4
Photo 4

Shape the hooks. Using roundnose pliers, grasp the tab near the edge of the disk half. Bend the tab 90 degrees toward the back of the disk half. The closer the bend is to the edge of the disk half, the better the finished necklace will look. Reposition the pliers and bend the wire into a hook. If the hook interferes with the drill hole, trim the excess and file the end to smooth it. Grasp the wire 5/16 in. (8 mm) from the bend, and slightly bend the wire away from the disk (PHOTO 4). Repeat with the remaining assemblies.

PoundssterlingPhoto5
Photo 5

Connect the links. Hook two disk-half assemblies together by inserting the hook of one assembly through the hole of another. Press the open hook end down firmly against the disk. Repeat to assemble all the links. Insert two 11 mm-inside-diameter (ID) 18-gauge (1.0 mm) jump rings into the last hook.

Solder the open hook ends to the disk halves, using medium solder (PHOTO 5). Quench, pickle, and rinse the links.

Solder the reinforcement wire. Work at the curved end of the assembly. Bend a 1/2 in. (13 mm) piece of 18-gauge (1.0 mm) round wire into a curve that matches the curve of the disk. Using easy solder, solder the wire onto the disk half halfway be-tween the drilled hole and the curved edge. Make sure the solder flows along the entire length of the wire. Quench, pickle, and rinse the links.

PoundssterlingPhoto6
Photo 6
PoundssterlingPhoto7
Photo 7

Add extender rings. Beginning with the reinforced end link, open a 4.5 mm ID jump ring, and thread it through the hole in the disk and two 11 mm jump rings. Close the jump ring (PHOTO 6). Thread another 4.5 mm jump ring through the two 11 mm jump rings, and attach two more 11 mm jump rings. Close the jump ring. Continue threading 4.5 mm jump rings through pairs of 11 mm jump rings until the chain has five 11 mm jump ring pairs connected by five 4.5 mm jump rings.

Apply anti-flux to the reinforced disk half. On the 4.5 mm jump ring threaded through the drill hole, apply flux, and place a pallion of easy solder where the ends of the jump ring meet. Solder the jump ring. Repeat on the remaining 4.5 mm jump rings. Quench, pickle, and rinse the necklace.

At the opposite end of the necklace, attach a 4.5 mm jump ring to the two 11 mm jump rings already attached to the end link. Add three more 11 mm jump ring pairs and three more 4.5 mm jump rings. Attach an 11 mm 14-gauge (1.6 mm) jump ring (PHOTO 7). Solder the 4.5 mm jump rings. Quench, pickle, and rinse the necklace.

PoundssterlingPhoto8
Photo 8

Make the hook. At one end of a 2-in. (51 mm) piece of 14-gauge (1.6 mm) round wire, make a loop using roundnose pliers. Make a U bend in the middle of the wire by bending the wire around a 1/4 in. (6.5 mm)-diameter wooden dowel. Use roundnose pliers to grasp the wire 1/4 in. (6.5 mm) from the end without the loop, and slightly bend the wire away from the looped end. 

Thread the loop through the last two 11 mm jump rings on the reinforced end of the necklace. Apply flux, place a pallion of easy solder where the end of the loop meets the hook, and solder it (PHOTO 8). Quench, pickle, and rinse the necklace. 

 

Polish the necklace. Use a flex shaft with a buff attachment to polish the necklace. Apply tripoli to a dedicated buff to remove fine scratches. Rinse the necklace in hot soapy water to remove the tripoli. Apply rouge to a dedicated buff to polish the necklace. Rinse the necklace with hot soapy water to remove the rouge.


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