How to Lengthen a Short Chain

In my new venture into Viking Knit, I’ve been creating chains like crazy.  Not always one to plan these things and having an intense dislike for math, sometimes they turn out too short.    So when my draw plate runs out of holes, I run out of wire, or I simply get tired of weaving, I find myself scrambling for a solution to a short chain.

I started this chain with a lovely bronze wire (not oxidized in these photos) in 26 gauge but because I tend to be impatient, ended it too soon.  I decided to make end caps but first, I needed to capture the ends of the chain.  Using 18 gauge wire (about 1 3/4″long), I created a little hook which was inserted into the chain and squished it a little to hold all the ends.  At the other end of that wire, I formed a loop that would serve as a link.

Using the 18 gauge wire again, (since I had no 20 gauge which would have been easier) I made a tiny spiral at one end and placed it against the loop I had made previously that was attached to the chain.  I wound the new wire with the spiral held in place by my flat nose pliers, around the top of the chain a few times to create a little coil.  This also helped to hide the ends attached to the first piece of 18 gauge wire.

OK, so now my chain is only about 12 3/4″ long!  I had to extend to at least 17″ or 18″ in order to fit an adult human neck (not a small dog, although my Jack Russel looked at me suspiciously).  Links!  I’ll have to attach some.

I made a few (10) small, figure eight, links out of 16 gauge bronze wire (I like them strong) and another, slightly larger at one end, link (this last one would be the “eye” for the clasp).  For the opposite end of the chain I made a hook type clasp.  The two clasp links were hammered and then attached to the other links on Viking knit chain.

The hook side of the chain

Both sides of the link chain attachment

The more or less finished chain

Voila!  My chain is now 18″ long and this is the haphazard way I fix a short chain.  I realize more photos would have been helpful but I’m sure this will happen again so I will do that next time.

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About zoraidabros

I'm Zoraida and I design and create handmade, one of a kind jewelry. My work is inspired by the art of ancient world cultures that have endured the shifting trends of fashion. I prefer to work in copper and semi precious gemstones but also appreciate fine lamp work beads, wood and other artistically crafted materials. Please visit my studio at http://zoraida.artfire.com and my website at http://zoraidajewelry.com
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4 Responses to How to Lengthen a Short Chain

  1. Shinrin says:

    That is friggin awesome! The weave is like fabric, so neat, smooth and flexible yet so strong. Cool how you always wanted to make one, now you make ’em damn good!
    Make me one! And a bracelet, please…

  2. zoraidabros says:

    Thanks Sam, I’ll be happy to make you a necklace and bracelet if you’ll wear them :))

  3. Janny says:

    I love your double spiral chain ends (the ones before the figure 8 lengtheners).. really pretty ❤

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