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Attaching findings


#1

How do I attach findings to finished jewelry pieces? For
instance… I cast a piece I wanted to make a pin out of. The piece
was finished, polished and all, and I bought a nickle silver pin
assembly. It was the complete kind, not the kind you put the hinge
in later. I soldered it on, and the nickle silver annealed. What
other way is there other than glue? What about lever backs? Those
tube ends for rope chains? For that matter… any chain end on any
chain? I’m being asked to do more repair than custom work and I
usually don’t do it, but I also don’t make much money…and repair
would help. Thanks for any advise…

Cindy Leffler
Leffler Jewelry & Sculpture


#2

This is what I do. If the finding doesn’t have a spring, after
soldering, tumble in steel shot for 30 minutes or so to work harden.
If the finding relies on spring action to work correctly, such as
cufflink findings, you have to either disassemble it to remove the
spring before soldering or somehow shield the spring from being
heated. You can shield pieces from heat by burying them, but what you
bury them in, exactly, I don’t know. I know you can buy heat shield
compounds but I don’t know what they are. I don’t have a lot of
experience with this because I work with employ cold connection
methods almost exclusively.

Christine in Littleton, Massachusetts, who wants you to know that
lung cancer kills more people than breast, prostate, and colon cancer
combined.


#3

How do I attach findings to finished jewelry pieces? For
instance… I cast a piece I wanted to make a pin out of. The piece
was finished, polished and all, and I bought a nickle silver pin
assembly. It was the complete kind, not the kind you put the hinge
in later. I soldered it on, and the nickle silver annealed. What
other way is there other than glue? What about lever backs? Those
tube ends for rope chains? For that matter… any chain end on any
chain? I’m being asked to do more repair than custom work and I
usually don’t do it, but I also don’t make much money…and repair
would help. Thanks for any advise… Dear Cindy, To give the best
advice, a couple more facts are needed…What metals do you most
commonly work with? precious (gold, silver,platinum) or base (brass
or nickle or pewter, etc), and How much do you want to invest in
equipment? If you are working with precious metals, a ‘Little
Torch’ can do most of what you need - if you buy the right findings.
If you are in base metals you can also use a little torch - with
practice - to lead solder most findings, instead of glue - the trick
is to heat the piece of jewelry not the finding. A large piece of
jewelry will act as a heat sink, absorbing all the heat , causing
you to heat the finding to much before the lead flows. This is also
true if you are attaching precious metal findings with gold solder.
You always have to concentrate more heat to the larger, denser
material when soldering unlike articles. I hope this helps,
georockman p.s. At the risk of sounding like an advertisement, try
Rio Grande in Albuquerque at 800-545-6566 for tools & findings, ask
for their free catalogs, geo


#4
How do I attach findings to finished jewelry pieces? 

If it’s okay to allow yourself a little dream, think about the
Sparkie II fusion welder. If you’re doing a lot of work or have some
extra money, you might even be able to justify it. A fast and easy
way to attach findings to almost anything with no torch and almost no
cleanup. The Sparkie uses special findings (widely available) with a
"nib" on them that actually fuses the finding to the work piece in an
impressive but harmless explosion of electricity.

I’ve been fruitlessly looking for a used Sparkie II for a while…
the basic setup is over $1000 new, and I’d need a few add-ons,
bringing the package price closer to $1500. The good news for
someone (hopefully me) is that there is a new Sparkie II being
raffled off at the Orchid dinner in Tucson! SWEST has generously
donated it, and the number of raffle tickets is limited. For more
on the dinner, raffle or silent auction, see this Web
page:

http://orchid-dinner.blogspot.com/.

All the best,
Dave
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com


#5

I use the one-piece nickel findings on my work. I work in base
metals and apply heat patinas to my pieces. High temperature
soldering ruins the patinas I have applied, so I use a lead solder
that flows at low temperatures (400 F.) These low temperature solders
are readily available from Rio, Frei & Borel, or any other supplier.
I also use a small tip to concentrate the flame only where I am
attaching the pin back, and premelt the solder onto the piece before
applying the pinback. Be sure to open the pinback and move the pin
AWAY from the flame before attaching, or it will anneal no matter
what you do.

Donna Blow, dzines by donna
@dmblow