S Clasp

An “S” clasp is a simple, comfortable clasp that can be formed with a torch or torch-free.
Using a butane torch to ball up the wire ends to form a clasp is a nice touch when using thin gauge (20–24) fine silver. But if you want to finish the ends of thick gauge (14-8) sterling silver when forming a clasp, you’ll need heavier equipment. Here’s a torch-free approach, working with a few inches of wire, a hammer, slender half-round pliers, metal file or emery paper, and a buffing or polishing cloth.

  1. For a one-inch, 14-gauge wire "S" clasp, a nice touch is to form a small curled circle just before you shape the clasp. Hammer the end of a 2.75" piece of wire 5/8" long with a ball peen hammer into a flattened and thinned paddle. (For 16-gauge wire, use 2.50"; for 18-gauge wire, use 2.25".)
  2. Use a metal file to remove sharp edges. Polish the paddle with a buffing cloth before you turn the paddled wire end with the very tip of half-round forming pliers.
  3. Form your "S" clasp with larger barreled (5mm) forming pliers or a 1/4" dowel. Repeat the process for the other end's curled circle. After forming, hammer your "S" curves for a finished look. Polish.

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