Band or bangle bracelets come in many different styles and materials, but there's nothing quite like metal for an eye-catching gleam. At the same time, a thick metal bracelet is one of the more subtle and comfortable ways to wear a thick band of metal, whether you prefer silver, gold, copper or another style of jewelry. Create your own metal bracelet to customize your design and master some basic metalcraft techniques.
List of Items Needed
- Jewelry sheet metal
- Rotary power tool
- Diamond bur cutting wheel
- Diamond bur grinding bit
- Sawhorses or desk vises
- 3-inch-diameter dowel, or larger
- Ball-peen hammer
Cut a 2-by-6-inch strip of jewelry sheet metal using either a jewelry saw or a rotary power tool with a diamond bur wheel.
Trim off the corners of the metal strip using your saw or rotary tool. Round the corners very slightly.
Prop the dowel firmly in a horizontal position; do this with desk vises, between two saw horses with duct tape, or by any means that will secure it.
Bend the metal around the dowel as best you can using your hands and the vise grips. Don't bend the metal directly with the curve of the dowel (this is too sharp a curve), but use it to help wrap the metal into a bangle shape that will fit your own wrist. This will be an incomplete curve with the ends not quite meeting one another.
Strike the metal with the ball peen hammer while it's wrapped around the dowel. Move the metal so that you strike all of it, always with the round dowel behind the point where you're striking. This will shape the metal with a permanent curve.
Switch to a diamond bur grinding blade on the rotary power tool. Grind down the edges of the bracelet and any rough places or burrs that occurred during cutting or hammering.
Use a polishing bit and polishing grit to polish the entire piece of metal. Wash away the polish with jewelry cleaner.
Tips and Warnings
- Use the completed, basic bracelet as a base for your own jewelry designs. Use the rotary tool with an engraving bit to inscribe letters or shapes, a drill bit to create perforated filigree, or use a soldering iron to attach other metal pieces. Attach gems or beads with epoxy or cyanoacrylate adhesive.