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We discuss the figure 8 connector many times in this web site. The reason is simple -- we use the figure 8, or a similar connector that we call a modified figure 8 connector, frequently. It can be used to connect a clasp to a chain. It can be used to connect an earring body to an ear wire finding. Frequently we use a figure 8 connector as a way to connect two loops, that would be otherwise impractical to connect, for a variety of reasons including a size mis-match. We also use a figure 8 connector as shown above-right to connect two loops and change the orientation of the loops that are connected. This approach is frequently used when connecting an earring body to an ear wire as shown at left. Using the figure 8 connector allows us to change the orientation of the earring body, so that in this case it will hang parallel to the wearer's ear. Instructions for making a figure 8 connector begin below.
Step 1: Select a piece of wire at least 1 1/2" long. Make a regular "P" loop in one end of this wire using your round nose pliers.
Step 2: Hold this loop and straighten the wire.
Step 3: Now using your round nose pliers again, grip the wire as shown at left. Try to grip the wire at the same point in your pliers as you used when you made your first loop in step 1.
Step 4: Using your thumb, push the wire up and over the jaw of your pliers making a second loop in the wire.
Step 5: Now reposition the wire in the jaws of your pliers so that you can tightly finish this second loop. Your wire should be in the position shown above-left. Pull the wire so that the second loop in the wire rests tightly against the jaws of your pliers making it a round loop.
Step 6: Remove the wire from your pliers and using your flush cutter cut the wire at the point where the wire tail crosses the figure 8 connector.
Step 7: Using your bent chain nose pliers close this final loop and you have a completed figure 8 connector.
Many times you will find that you need to make a lot of figure 8 connectors. On the next web page (page 12A) we will discuss the technique for making many figure 8 connectors.
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