Losing My Grip: Ring Clamp to the Rescue!

by Kat Cranston.
(Orlando, Florida USA)

I love to make jewelry using wire weaving and wrapping techniques, but I have never been able to relax my grip and still maintain control over multiple pieces of wire without warping them. I tried using low-stick painter’s tape to hold wires parallel, but I still had to grip the bundle in my non-dominant hand and fingers.

Some of the wrapped wire is held within the jaws (see the tail?).

Some of the wrapped wire is held within the jaws (see the tail?).

Just when my frustration level was nearing Defcon one, I discovered the Ring Clamp.

A ring clamp is designed to hold the outside of rings firmly without marring while filing and polishing. Mine is hardwood (I have seen metal ones) and has leather-lined round jaws on one end and flat jaws on the other. This type of ring clamp is used by inserting the item to be clamped between the leather-line jaws on one end and inserting an accompanying wedge into the other.

Waste wire used with flat jaw end, wedge fully inserted.

Waste wire used with flat jaw end, wedge fully inserted.

As the wedge is pushed further in, the jaws on that end are pushed apart, causing the jaws holding the item to leverage closer together, gently but firmly “gripping” your item without marking or marring.

5-wire copper bezel in progress with weaving completed using a ring clamp.

5-wire copper bezel in progress with weaving completed using a ring clamp.

Now I grip the ring clamp as tightly as I like! The pressure of my fingers no longer touches the wire bundle. As I weave and wrap, I simply open the clamp and move it closer to the active weaving point, and the completed weaving is held between the jaws without bending or misshaping.

An inexpensive (less than $10 in most places) fix for those iron grips!

Kat Cranston
The Dream Faire at Etsy
FaerieKat’s FaerieKorner

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