person making Cuban Chain on work bench

How To Make A Cuban Link Chain

Looking for a step-by-step guide on how to make a Cuban link chain? Interesting in learning how these popular chains are made. You came to the right place!

In this blog, we cover everything you need to know about making Cuban link chains. We’ll go through the tools and materials needed and provide you with an easy-to-follow step-by-step guide to creating a Cuban link chain.

 

Tools Needed

person making Cuban Link chain

  • Metal stake (10mm ball punch or nail)
  • Bench mounted vice
  • Hacksaw (jeweller saw or rotary cutter)
  • Pliers
  • Soldering set (torch, flux, solder and pickling solution)
  • Files and sandpaper (coarse file, square needle file, coarse and fine sandpaper
  • Polishing kit (tumbler, lathe polisher or elbow grease)

Materials Needed

  • Metal wire
  • 0.5mm thick metal sheet
  • A scrap of metal (5x5x3mm)

Step 1: Form Links

wrapping rod around metal cylinder

  • Heat up the wire - heat the metal until it is just getting red and let it cool down
  • Wrap the wire tightly around a cylinder
  • Saw the coil into individual links
  • Fit the links together

Step 2: Closing And Soldering Links

closing and soldering cuban links

  • Close the links together to form a chain - ensure that areas where the metal was sawed that they meet up flush. For this process, you may need to heat up the metal again.
  • Solder the links together closed one by one. Ensure that you don't solder the links to each other and that you don't apply heat to already soldered links.
  • After that clean up the solder joins with files and sandpaper to give it a smooth appearance

Step 3: Twisting And Filing Facets

filing Cuban Chain

  • The next step involves flattening the Cuban chain.
  • For this twist the chain until all links are aligned straight onto each other. If the links are hardened, you will need to anneal them again.
  • Then file the facets onto the chain to give it a flat look.

Step 4: Making The Box Clasp

making box chain clasp for Cuban Chain

  • Cut a strip of sheet metal to be the perimeter of the clasp - you want the width of the clasp to be equal to the width of the chain.
  • Measure and mark the lengths of the sides of that strip, these will be where the corners will be.
  • Cut into the marks that you made, around halfway through the metal. Ensure that the cut is perpendicular to the top and bottom of the strip.
  • File the cuts with a square needle file at 45 degrees to the face of the strip, this will make it easier to bend into a sharp corner for the box. Keep filing until the metal is thinned enough.
  • Then bend the markings into 90-degree corners.

Step 5: Soldering The Box Clasp

  • Then solder the corners of the box closed
  • File a mouth into the frame opposite where the clasp will attach Cut a rectangle to act as a lid
  • Solder the lid onto the box
  • Cut a space for the button to sit through the mouth and into the roof
  • Cut and solder a roof onto the box clasp

Step 6: Create The Tongue And Button Clasp Mechanism

  • Cut another strip of metal that fits inside of the box (this will be the tongue of the box clasp)
  • Bend it so that when it is inserted, it catches into the mouth of the clasp.
  • Cut and file the button into the shape, then solder the button to the tongue, and adjust until you get a click when sliding it in.

Step 7: Soldering Chain To Clasp 

  • For this, you will want to solder the first two and last two links of the chain together.
  • Then cut right through the centre of this new solder join, between where the links meet. After this, file the new face flat.
  • Then solder the box and the tongue to opposite sides of the chain, against the new face you just made. Ensure that both the tongue and box are the right way round.

Step 8: Final Touches

  • Check if the chain fits and that the clasp mechanism is working well.
  • Then polish the chain with abrasive like green crocus and finish with a compound like red rouge.

Conclusion

In conclusion, making a Cuban link chain requires a variety of tools and materials. The tools that you’ll need include a metal stake, bench-mounted vice, hacksaw, pliers, soldering set, files, sandpaper and a polishing kit.

The overall process involves forming the links from metal wire, closing and soldering links together, twisting the chain into position, constructing the box clasp, creating a tongue and button for the clasp and finally soldering the clasp to the chain. To achieve perfection with your Cuban link chain, make any necessary adjustments to get the right fit and polish it.

With the right tools, materials and attention to detail, you’ll be able to create a beautiful Cuban link chain that you can wear and enjoy for years to come!

Want to learn more about the Cuban Link chain? Click here.

 

FAQ

How Much Does It Cost To Make A Cuban Link Chain?

The cost of a Cuban link chain varies depending on the karat of gold, materials, length and width of the chain.

A gold Cuban link chain can cost anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, depending on the karat weight, length and width of the chain. If you were to compare a gold vs silver Cuban link chain of the same specifications, the gold one would be more expensive.

Another factor that adds to the price of a Cuban chain is the location and experience of manufacturers. Often Hand-making a Cuban link chain yourself will be cheaper than outsourcing to manufacturers.

 

How Much Gold Do You Need To Make A Cuban Link Chain?

The amount of gold you need to make a Cuban link chain will depend on the length and width of the chain, as well as the thickness.

As a general rule, you will need approximately 1g of gold per inch of your Cuban chain. So if you want a 22-inch Cuban link chain, you would need approximately 22 grams of gold.

As mentioned before, this is widely dependent on the width and thickness of the chain.


Why Are Cuban Chains So Expensive?

One of the main reasons the Cuban chain is so expensive is that it is usually made from precious metals such as gold and silver. The thicker, wider and longer the Cuban chain is, the more expensive it will be because it will contain more precious metals.

 

Back to blog

Leave a comment