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Copper Bangles with Added Tricky Bits

Why make simple copper bangles when you can make "tricky" copper bangles? That's tricky to me anyway, other people would probably find them super simple! I'm talking about copper bangles with five small sterling silver concave discs soldered to the outside. Not hard to make just tricky.

I wanted to combine copper and silver as I love the look of the two metals together. The fiddly bit was the soldering of the silver discs to the outside of the copper bangles. I wanted then evenly spaced and was about to Google how to divide a circle into five parts when I realized I know how to do this already - just remember the length of wire you used for the bangles and divide by five!

After quite a lot of faffing about with my third hand and my fibre board soldering block (and swearing, mustn't forget that) I got the first disc soldered to the first bangle. Only 14 more to go. I had to pickle in between each soldering too which made it quite a laborious process but I got a little production line going in the end and managed to get the bangles finished with a big sigh of relief.

The main problem I have is that my reverse action tweezers I use with the third hand don't have a very good grip so things tend to move just when I don't want them to. I'm not sure what to do to sort this. If I could find some that had a firm grip I could possibly hold the bangle upright myself in the tweezers whilst I solder.

I recently bought another version of a third hand which looked a lot more sturdy. It has two grippers - for want of a better word - and it's own small soldering block in between. The grips seemed a lot sturdier when I first got it (after I tightened up all the screws about three times), but when I tried it with the bangles I found it even more awkward to use to be honest! It was hard to position and get it to stay in position. Oh well. It's the cheap version so that's probably why. I almost set fire to the rubber that covers the small feet underneath it too. I wondered what the funny smell was........

I also made some more twisted wire bangles with some of the wire I twisted at college earlier this year. These are great to make. The only fiddly bit is matching up the ends. I normally pick solder the join on bangles now as I find it a lot easier and quicker than chasing small bits of solder around when the flux bubbles, especially on twisted wire!

If anyone can help me out with suggestions for tweezers I can use to hold metal as I'm soldering that have a firmer grip than the wooden handle reverse action tweezers that are widely available then please do leave a comment!


  1. I loved this post because YES those discs are a true pain in the neck to solder on! I've tried it myself for rings and I don't have a 3rd hand. I gouged out some of my solderite board and put the ring into that to sit and propped the sides with pieces of broken charcoal block for heat and stability. then after the flux has done its bubbling and spitting, gently and carefully lay the disc on and hold it with my solder pick while I join the two pieces. Not always successful but I make do with what I (don't) have lol. The bangles turned out beautifully! Great job. x

  2. Ooh I couldn't imagine life without a third hand! How do you do it?!

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds soldering challenging sometimes :D

  3. I've read so many pros and cons about using a 3rd hand that I haven't made a definite decision on buying one yet! So far the gouge/charcoal method works....I've actually shelved the disc soldering for now because it's so fiddly and drives me crazy! Challenging, yes...:D

  4. Oh yes, that looks soooo difficult to do, third hand or not. Wish I had advice for tweezers but am afraid I don't!

    But like a lot of things that take so much work, thought, and swearing, the finished bangles look beautiful, and I'm also very admiring of the join on the twisted bangle - never, ever easy!

  5. Thank you Mossy, it really wasn't easy! The twisted bangle joins were a breeze in comparison!


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