Coil links, also known as garage door spring links or just plain ole' spring links. These are very useful links for creating lovely bracelets and necklaces. This quick and easy tutorial shows how to create the basic link. You may vary the length and look of the links by increasing the overall number of coils used, pulling the coils apart slightly and/or changing the wire gauge. Below the tutorial I've included some finished jewelry using variations of this link. Have fun!
Cut about 30 inches of 16 gauge dead-soft wire. Wrap around a 1/8 inch dowel or mandrel, creating a coil. Inexpensive knitting needles work great as mandrels. Slide coil off mandrel.
Count every fifth loop and divide with your round nose pliers, easing the plier tip between the links to gently separate them. Be careful not to mash your coil.
After easing the tip in you can push the pliers further in, creating a larger gap. This will make cutting the links easier. By cutting every fifth link you will create links with three loops in the center.
As you cut your coil sections from the main coil be sure to cut the wire on both ends of each coil so that the cut ends line up with each other straight across the coil.
Slightly pull the last ring away from the coil, keeping the cut end at the bottom.
Holding the coil vertically and VERY FIRMLY (notice the white fingers) as shown, rotate the pliers away from you so that the cut end of the coil ends up inside the coil, forming the end loop.
Note: It's important to hold the coil firmly as this helps to maintain its shape while you make the loop end.
Repeat on the other end.
While this link is very simple, it is also very easy to mess up. Practice in copper and get the technique down before moving on to more costly metals.