This is the fourth project in a series of chainmail earrings for beginners.
This month's chainmail weave is called Boxchain. You may see references to its other name, Queen's Chain or Queen's Link. Weaving boxchain is very similar to weaving Byzantine chainbut more about this later. As with most weaves, changes in the size of the wire and the rings can produce very different looksjust see the two pairs of earrings at the right.
Boxchain Chainmail Weave
This weave is part of the European family of chainmail weaves. Take a look at this website to see other weaves in this family.
The Magic Number: Aspect Ratio
Every chainmail weave has a magic number (or range) that determines whether or not a given jump ring will "work" for it. In other words, you don't want chainmail that is sloppy looking or too tight and stiff.
In a previous project, Mobius Flower Earrings, I talked about measuring the inside diameter of a jump ring and measuring the thickness of wire (gauge). It is the ratio of these two measurements, inner diameter ID and wire diameter WD, that determines whether or not a particular jump ring will work well with a specific chainmail weave. the formula for Aspect Ratio AR is:
AR=ID / WD
(with both ID and WD measured in the same unitsinches or millimeters. Here is a Conversion Chart for converting wire gauge to inches or millimeters.
Here is an example of an Aspect Ratio Table that gives aspect ratios for particular weaves.
The recommended AR for Boxchain is 4. So, if you have 18 gauge wire, which is 1.0 mm WD, then the formula tells you that a ring with 4 mm ID will work well for this weave. ID = 4 (AR) x 1.0 (WD)
If you wanted to use 20 gauge wire (0.8 mm) then you would need 3.2 mm jump rings:
ID = 4 x 0.8 = 3.2
The main jump rings for the earrings in the top photo are made from 1.0 mm diameter (18 gauge) round sterling silver wire.
The inside diameter (ID) of the rings is 4 mm.
Quantity: 44 rings
1 pair of earring findings
• french wire, • post, • lever-back, • clip on
See: Earring Findings for examples.
2 pairs of smooth-jawed jewelers' pliers (flatnose, chainnose, tapered flatnose)
See Earring Project 1 for more information about pliers.