Friday, July 25, 2014

Making Viking Knit End Caps From Scratch

For a while now I've been wanting to try my hand at making end caps for viking knit chains.  I had the perfect custom order to try it out with, so I decided to have a go at making some plain caps.

The first step was to cut out a strip of sterling silver from 24 gauge sheet metal.  I don't own a stepped mandrel small enough to round out the caps, so I used an empty paint roller handle.  It was just the right size!

 After the seams were as even as I could make them, I hard soldered them shut.

 I let them pickle while I cut out two circles for the tops.  These were soldered on with medium solder- almost like attaching a bezel to its backing.  At this point it felt more like I was making silver bullet casings.

 After filing off the excess silver, I drilled a hole in the top of each.

 Using various flex shaft attachments, I cleaned, sanded, and polished the caps to a shine.

The bracelet turned out really well when I finally put everything together.  Fabricating end caps from scratch was definitely a good experience, but in all honesty, it's too time consuming to do on a regular basis unless I have a special project for them.


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