by leessilver on October 15, 2010


A concho belt is created by using large jump rings to connect the conchos.

Various sizes of jump rings can be created by wrapping silver wire around various diameter of wood dowels.

The dowels are chucked in an electric drill then the wire is slowly wrapped on the wood as the drill is turned.

If the dowel is larger in diameter than the drill chuck can handle the end of the dowel can be shaved.

However shaving the ends of much larger dowels will not work. The wood will break before any coil can be wrapped.

To solve this problem I tightened 4 nuts on a number 8 screw so that all the flat edges of the nuts matched. Coated the nuts with crazy glue. Drill a hole slightly smaller in diameter than the screw in one end of the larger dowel. Make sure the hold is centered on the center of the dowel. Place some epoxy or gorilla glue in the hole. Place a flat washer on the screw and screw it into the hole until the washer bottoms on the dowel. I wrapped soft wire around the end of the dowel to insure the screw would not break out during the wire turning process. Let the glue cure.

Cut a slot in the end of the dowel that is the width of the wire diameter that will be used for the jump rings. Cut the slot a little larger than the diameter of the wire that is to be wrapped.

Bend a 90 degree tab in the wire. The tab should be shorter than the diameter of the dowel. A wire sticking out of the dowel on the side opposite the wire bend will tear a finger during the turning process.

Place the screw into the chuck of a variable speed drill.

Put a glove on the hand that will be used to control the wire on the dowel. Place your gloved hand on the wire and hold the wire tight against the dowel. Turn the drill on a very slow speed. The gloved hand will guide the wire onto the dowel as it forms a coil.

Caution: Do not wrap the wire to the very end of the wire. The last part of the wire will not bend down onto the dowel and will remain a sharp vertical tab that can cut the gloved hand.

Use a jewelers saw to cut the jump rings while they are on the dowel. The jump rings are cut by the saw which is held at an angle to the dowel so that the top of one ring is cut at a time. The remaining portion of the coil can be slid into the saw as rings are cut off.


I slip the ring through the loop on the conchos. Close the ring so that there is no gap. Set the conchos on a fire brick so that the link hangs in free air over the edge of the brick with the joint away from the conchos.

I then cover the conchos with a solder pad. I raise the back end of the solder pad so that the gap between the solder pad and fire brick is a small as possible.

I do not want to heat the pre-polished conchos so I cover them with the solder pad.

I place a drop of liquid flux on the joint and heat it to evaporate the liquid. I then place a small solder chip on the joint.

I use a large tip on my acetylene torch. I heat the link joint from below. I use a solder pick to get the solder to flow across the joint.

I polish the link with my Foredom.




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