Jewelry making TIP JEW0002 - How to make and polishing those small, pesky, fly away jewelry end caps.


End caps are one of the things I prefer to buy rather than make, but sometimes you HAVE to make them (color, texture or shape needs to match the rest of your necklace.)

This was the case with the necklace I made last week, I had silver end caps and copper end caps but nooo... brass end caps.

So had to get out the brass tubing, sheet and wire and get to work!



Metal tubing in appropriated size

Metal sheet 22-24 gauge

Metal wire 16-18 gauge


Tools & supplies

Permanent marker


Tube cutter

Disk cutter

Brass hammer


Flat nose pliers

Jeweler’s saw

Wooden dowel


Soldering station

Soft fire brick

Third hand




Get the appropriate diameter tubing. Measure and mark the size of end caps you need.

Cut the tubing with a tube cutter or jeweler’s saw.

Sand both ends flat and free of burs.


Cut the two circular top pieces, I used a disk cutter with the appropriated size.


Cut the rings.


Sand the ring flat on the cut side.

Make a hole in a piece of soft firebrick with the tubing.


Dip the cut piece of tubing, circle and ring in the flux.

Put the circle on the soft brick, place some hard solder on the edges and carefully place the cylinder on top.

Turn on your torch and solder, quench and pickle.


Dip in the flux again and place on the hole in the brick.

Put a small piece of soft solder in the center of the end cap.

Center the ring with the third hand on top of the solder.


Be careful the ring is small and heats really fast, keep the flame of the torch moving around the whole piece, the moment you see the solder flash silver take away the flame.

Quench, pickle and dry.



Sand the little buggers.

When working with small cylindrical end caps, it is easier to sand and polish them by hand.

 Cut off the end of a chopstick, press down the end cap on to the chopstick cut end so it’s a tight fit.

Now it will be easier to sand and polish by hand.


TIP: If you try to sand and polish with a Dremel tool, the cap will fly off to never be found again.

So on that note, save time, when cutting small rings, tubing for rivets, and other small stuff, if it falls to the floor and you do not see it in the next 2 minutes, forget it, is faster to cut a new one.

The finished necklace with the matching brass end caps.


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Jewelry making TIPJEW0001 - Craft foam your new best friend in the jewelry studio!

1.- Use Craft foam in between your dapping block and your textured metal to preserve the texture while forming.

2-If you are using wood dapping blocks and punches, wood scratches pretty easily against textured metal.

To avoid this, sandwich your piece of metal between 2 pieces of foam.

 This will protect the wood of both the punch and the dapping block from scratching.

3-Cut a couple of foam disk with the disk cutter in different sizes.


4-Keep the cut foam circles in the dapping block box.

5-Use a piece of foam under your steel block to protect the table surface.

6-if you store your hammers all in the same drawer or are traveling to a class, wrap your expensive hammers heads in craft foam sheet squares with rubber bands to protect them.

7-when shaping a cuff over a Mandrel, it’s easier to lay it over a piece of craft foam, to protect the finish of the front of the cuff while shaping the ends down close.

8-If you work over a dark surface table. Use a piece of white craft foam on the table over your working space, you will see what you are doing better, and find the different parts for your piece faster. 


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Launching my new series of tutorials called "METALWORK FOR YOUR LAMPWORK"