A metal ring roller, also known as a jump ring mandrel, is a wooden or plastic stand with various diameter steel rods. Jewellery and chain mail makers use it to wrap metal wire into springs and connecting rings. Ring rollers can have vertical or horizontal mandrels, which are the metal rods you wrap with wire. Metal ring rollers work best with 14- to 22-gauge wire.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Power drill
- Four 3/8-inch diameter, 12-inch long allthread bolts
- Eight 3/8-inch diameter hex nuts
- 1/8, 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2-inch diameter, 20-inch long steel rods
- 1/8, 1/4, 3/8 and 1/2-inch diameter drill bits
- Two 1-inch thick, 12-inch by 12-inch squares of yellow pine
- Wrap-around eye protection
- Heavy-leather work gloves
- Small propane torch with standard tip
- Bench vice
- Vice grips
- Large ABC chemical foam fire extinguisher
- 5 gallon water bucket
- 5 gallon sand bucket
- Open doors and windows
- Large ventilation fan
Place one steel rod in your bench vice at a time. Heat the last six inches of the rod to bright red using a propane or oxyacetylene torch with a standard tip.
Make a 90-degree bend three inches from the heated end of your rod. Make a second 90-degree bend to make a turning rod. Repeat for all four of the 20-inch long steel rods. These are your mandrels.
Drill 3/8-inch diameter holes in all four corners of both squares of yellow pine at the same time. Drill a 1/8-, 1/4-, 3/8- and 1/2-inch hole on the four straight sides of the pine squares as shown.
Screw the four lengths of 3/8-inch diameter allthread into each corner hole and secure them with a matching hex nut at each end.
Slide each mandrel into its correct set of holes. Wrap one turn of wire around the mandrel you wish to use. Keep turning the mandrel until you make the correct length spring or until you have enough turns of wire wrapped around it to make the number of jump rings or chain links you need.
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