How to Measure Chainmail Jump Rings

You just got back from a year long hiatus of chainmail, and you open an unlabeled bag of stainless steel rings. You look at them and decide, "I want to make a byzantine bracelet". So you look at the tutorial, and you see that the aspect ratio needs to be about 3.5. You think about what the aspect ratio is for your rings, but you don't know! And you can't calculate it because you don't know the dimensions of the rings. Running out of options, you do the only thing you can do: you learn how to measure jump rings.​​This page will show you how to measure rings using different tools. If all else fails, just try weaving the rings. If you can't weave it easily, your rings are probably not the right size.

The Inner Diameter of the Ring

The first thing that you need to measure is the inner diameter of the ring. Since this is relatively large, the easiest way is to use a ruler. Just measure straight across the center of the ring, from the inside of one side to the inside of the other:

Measuring chainmail jump rings- thechainmail101.com

In this case, I am measuring the ring in millimeters. You can use inches if you want, but make sure that the ring diameter and wire diameter are both in the same unit.

Another way to measure it is using dial callipers. If you don't already have dial callipers, I would highly recommend that you get some. Here is a link to some on Amazon. They are extremely useful for measuring small things and are much more accurate than a ruler. To use a calliper, put the hole measurement end into the ring and open the calliper until it touches the ring. It should already be in the center of the ring.

Measuring chainmail jump rings- thechainmail101.com

This is what a digital dial calliper looks like. You can see in the picture that it can measure to the third decimal place.

Measuring chainmail jump rings- thechainmail101.com

The Wire Diameter of the Ring (Gauge)

The second thing you need to measure is the wire diameter. Obviously this is much smaller than the inner diameter of the ring, so a ruler is not going to cut it. Here are some methods for figuring it out. The best method is through the use of a dial calliper. Just make sure the calliper is calibrated, open it up, and then clamp back down on the ring.

Measuring chainmail jump rings- thechainmail101.com

Make sure you aren't applying any pressure to the calliper, and then take a reading. Without dial callipers, you might be a little hard-pressed to find out the wire diameter. One way you can do it is by finding/buying a wire gauge tool, like this one found at Amazon. Once you have the two measurements, calculating the aspect ratio is a piece of cake. After making sure you have both in the same unit, just head over to the aspect ratio calculator and plug in your values. Or, do it manually by dividing the inner diameter by the wire diameter. Thanks for reading, and have fun measuring!


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