August 2016

My old bench pin which now is the drawplate for chain., A closeup image of the chain hole used most often, showing the grooving caused by the links., A closeup of a finished Roman Chain., A closeup of a finished Roman Chain now mounted on a custom clasp and set with a fine Sapphire.
Upon the making of Roman Chain Part 5

When the last golden ring has found a home with the rest of his brothers and a deep sigh of relief is heard from the goldsmith's bench, there remains one last hurdle. This will only take a moment but it will be a make or break moment. That is the pulling of the finished piece. Pulling a chain smoothes and evens the links which right now are slightly askew. I use an old maple bench pin which I...

The tip of the reamer is widening the pathway for the next link., Looking down the length of the growing chain to confirm the direction of the link., The first of the double-backed links in place and bent upwards to receive the next.
Upon the making of Roman Chain Part 4

Now that we are ready to insert the fifth and sixth links we need to illustrate the concept of single-backed and double backed. The true Roman Chain is always double-backed which means that each link must be threaded through the last two. Threading or weaving links oscillates from one axis to the other. It doesn’t matter which side of the chain you’re going through. Look through the top of the...

The starter links have been soldered unto their base and are ready to weave., The starter links have been bent upwards and are ready for the next links, The links are being opened enough to receive the next link., The next link is inserted and will be bent upwards., The first link in the a axis is bent and the chain begins.
Upon the making of Roman Chain Part 3

I use two of these suspect links and solder them to a 2 mm square silver rod at 90 degree angles. These become the foundation upon which the chain is built. After they are soldered square and even they are bent upwards to become the first two links. Now I use an old beading tool which I have sanded into a long tapering point and mounted into a handle. This is what's used to open both sides of...

All of the links needed for two inches of finished chain are laid out and ready for fusing, The modified tips of a standard chain nosed pliers., A fused link ready to be stretched., A perfectly stretched link., The different states of chain links.
Upon the making of Roman Chain Part 2

Once all of my rings are cut and cleaned (22 links/inch of finished chain) I begin to fit the edges together for fusing. Fusing unfortunately doesn't work with every metal. Therefore I no longer make chain with less than 18K gold and standard Sterling won't fuse either. I have found that Argentium Silver works wonderfully and makes a splendid chain.

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