Not all omega clips are of the same quality. Some of the lugs
(bases) are cast and poorly finished. Others have lugs that are
hollowed out to lighten and cheapen them in terms of metal content.
The best ones are solid, die struck ones with no hollowing out. The
just have the grooves cut for the spring locking and the rivet holes.
I like the Cobb Omega clips. I believe Frei and Borel carries them.
I almost always need a different angle or height, so I disassemble
the clip, anneal the lug and bend a curve using nonmarring pliers.
This works with good quality lugs, not the lightweight hollowed ones
which tend to crush or deform. Depending what I’m soldering the lug
to, I may do one of the following: (1) file the lug bottom for good
contact on a flat surface, (2) round the bottom of the lug, use a
ball bur to make a round divet in the earring back and solder the lug
in the divet, or (3) use a cylinder bur to cut a round groove on an
inside wall of the earring, back the lug into the groove and solder
it in place. I have even soldered extensions to the bottom of the
lug to get more length and more positioning options.
I always check my positioning prior to any soldering by testing with
a temporarily assembled omega clip. Then I disassemble for soldering.
After I solder, I double check for positioning and proper working
action by temporarily reassembling. If necessary, I make adjustments.
If all is well, I prepolish, set stones, polish, etc. Then when
reassembling the omega clip, I take a ball bur and slightly
countersink the rivet holes on the outside of the lugs. I replace my
rivet, pushing it farther out on one side. I then wrap up my clip
with a piece of wet paper towel to protect it from accidental
annealing, dab a little boric acid/alcohol on the extended rivet tip
and melt a small bead by aiming my torch flame away from the earring
and clip. I use a pretty hot flame, working quickly and taking care
to get a nicely shaped bead, not a wrinkled, pitted one. Then I push
the beaded end snugly into the countersunk hole. I trim any excess
rivet if necessary and then melt the bead on the remaining tip, once
again taking care to aim the heat away from the clip and the earring.
By countersinking the holes, I can slightly shift the rivet so it
looks balanced with the beaded tips partially imbedded in the lug. I
don’t like seeing balled ends with wire exposed. I then clean and
finish polishing the clip, rivet ends and lug. After I thoroughly
clean the piece, I put tiny drops of oil to lubricate the moving
parts. NOTE: If you pre-bead your rivet before reassembling, you may
have problems sliding a soft, annealed rivet through the lug and
spring without it bending or breaking.
Something I do when using omega clips without posts is to do one of
(1) Thread 1mm wire with a threading die. Make appropriately sized
jumprings which will serve as the pad against the ear. These
jumprings are positioned so when the spring is down in place, you’d
see the threaded donut within your spring loop. In the case of small
omega clips, your threaded jump ring may be about the same size as
the loop of your spring.
(2) Make discs and dome them. Solder threaded jumprings so they rest
on the edge of the domed discs. Position the domed disc/threaded
jumpring assemblies in much the same way as above. NOTE: I
sometimes logo and quality stamp the discs before I dome them and
solder on the threaded wire. That way, my quality/ID tag is
integrated into the piece and not just added on.
(3) With good quality lugs that are securely anchored, I can adjust
the grip of the spring against the threaded jumpring or disc/ring pad
by bending the lug slightly. This is the reason I always put a
slight bend in my lugs. Straight lugs don’t lend themselves to this
adjustment very easily. You end up stressing the solder joint
instead. Also, different people have different comfort levels and
lobe thicknesses. Some customers like to know their earrings are
secure and want to feel pressure. Others can’t handle much pressure.
You never know what’s going to be the case until they try the
earrings on. If you precut the lugs and established the distance
between the spring clip and the pad, you can’t do much in the way of
adjusting. Squeezing in the spring to kill some of the tension just
makes for an insecure, improperly functioning spring.
I got carried away. I hope this helps.