A big part of this blog page is to share the ins and out of day to day life in the jewellery game but the biggest component was for me to show the process in a more in-depth look than i show on my instagram ( @rustysjewellery ) It’s important to me for you guys to be able to see how things are done as I believe the process is a massive part of the end product and makes it extra special!
find below how i make my solid silver Cuban link bracelet:
I’m melting around 70g/80g of sterling silver scrap and pouring two ingots. One into an old school ingot mould and the other into my durston adjustable ingot mould. Once these have been poured, quenched and pickled, I then forge the ingots into a rough square shape ready for the rolling mill. I use 70/80g of silver to be safe. It won’t weigh that much but it’s better to have too many links opposed to too little, you’d have to do this whole process again to make more.
I’m rolling the ingots out into square wire which I will then draw down to round wire. I roll until the silver has almost doubled in length, I roll in small increments (around 10 minute turns on the rolling mill) that way I don’t stress the silver too much which can cause cracking. I’m always checking the silver to see how hard it is.
I haven’t got a nice posh drawbench...dammit man I wish I did. So I use my bench vice. I pop the drawplate into the vice, use some self locking pliers with jaws, brace with my foot and give it a good old pull. This isn’t glamourous at all but does the job. I either file or forge the end of the square wire into a taper so I can go into the smaller hole and force it through.
To make the jump rings I pop a flat drill bit into the vice along with the ugly end of the silver wire next to it so both the bit and silver are secure. The drill bit shank is perfect for what I need. I simply wrap the silver around the drill bit tightly for nice even jump rings.
Cheeky screen shot of a soldering video, each link is then soldered individually, it’s pretty time consuming and you’ll find some people don’t actually solder links on chunky link bracelets purely because the thickness of the links alone is pretty strong but I wouldn’t feel comfortable that the bracelet would last a lifetime...that’s my thinking.
‘I don’t show a photo of the forming but I then work each link so that it has the classic Cuban link shape.
The chain must hang/lie straight. I opted for a simple/secure S catch. The catch is then hardened so that it is more secure and less likely to bend.
Once I’ve filed and cleaned up each solder joint and removed any tool marks I then polish to a high shine! I love this piece, it’s super classic/old school and will look awesome however you wear it.
There you go! That’s how I make my Cuban link bracelets! You have grab it here: http://www.rustysjewellery.co.uk/shop/handmade-cuban-link-bracelet-solid-stering-silver
One thing I want to make clear is that this isn’t the only way to make a Cuban link it’s just how I work it and it works for me. I also want to point out that I’m not a teacher, this is just deeper look into my little workshop.
Anyway! I hope you enjoyed this blog post and if you did, please share with your friends, comment or like, it will encourage me to do more!
Peace and love. Rusty. X