How to Make a Bracelet Tension Hinge

By April Khan

Things Needed

  • Layout block
  • Pencil
  • Compass
  • Drill press
  • Ruler
  • Small saw (thin blade)
  • Hinge wax
  • Drill shank bit
  • Hot wax pen
  • File
Modern bangles contain tension hinges.

Tension hinges are used on hard bracelets such as bangles to allow them to open and close without having to slide them over your hand. They also allow the bracelet to be tugged without the hinge breaking easily. There are several variations of tension hinges, some hidden inside the bracelet and some visible on the outside of the bracelet. If you are making your own 6-millimeter bangle, attach a tension hinge for easy opening.

Sketch a 3-by-6-millimeter rectangle on the inner edge of your bracelet layout block.

Sketch a 3-millimeter circle where the hinge is to be placed. The edge of your circle should overlap the outer edge of your bracelet layout.

Draw a line across the 3-milimeter circle, dividing the circle in half. Draw a line down the center of the circle.

Cut a slit down the outer edge of the circle using the vertical line as a guide.

Drill the 3-milimeter hole using a drill press and blow away any debris after the drilling is completed.

Cut one 2-milimeter and two 3-milimeter square-edged pieces from your hinge wax.

Slide the three pieces on the drill shank with the two 3-milimeter wax pieces on the outside and the 2-milimeter piece in the center. Press the pieces as closely together as you can get them.

Push the pieces into the 3-milimeter hole. Tack the pieces in place with the 2-milimeter wax piece to one wall and the two 3-milimeter pieces to the other wall using a hot wax pen.

Slide out the drill shank.

File the outer two pieces to be flush with the bracelet.

About the Author

April Khan is a medical journalist who began writing in 2005. She has contributed to publications such as "BBC Focus." In 2012, Khan received her Doctor of Public Health from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She also holds an Associate of Arts from the Art Institute of Dallas and a Master of Science in international health from University College London.