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Bending resin inlay bracelet


#1

Hello Oh Wise Ones!

I am attempting to make a bracelet with open piercings separated by
thin Argentium strips in a geometric pattern. The plan is to resin
the inside of the piercings. My concern is bending the bracelet
around a mandrel without the thin connectors breaking or bending
unevenly. Would it help if I use masking or packing tape over the
bracelet prior to bending?

Thanks once again for your wisdom and willingness to help newbies.

Karen


#2

The general take is that pieces are formed (bent) before you pierce.


#3
The general take is that pieces are formed (bent) before you
pierce. 

I actually did bend it first and then tried to pierce it. However,
there are so many small piercings that it was very difficult to do
with the bracelet bent. Are there any other options?

Thanks, Karen


#4

Hi Karen

This is a shot in the dark, but if it works then great! I know that
when wanting to bend tubing without it collapsing, u can take water
and add a liquid soap to it, plug the one side of the tubing and fill
the tubing, freeze it and then bend it. I have never tried to but it
apparently works like a charm when musical instrument makers bend
brass tubing to make trumbones and trumpets. So maybe that would work
for your braclet. Apparently its the soap in the ice that allows
flexibilty.

Maybe try moulding clay, the type potter’s use. Pack it into the
pierced areas and thickly over the top of the braclet. Put it around
the bracelt mandrel when the clay is stiffish but not dry and hard.
bend it as far as you can with your hand or a mallet. I would along
side that have a bent piece of plexiglass (in the shape of the
braclet, with a piece of leather glued on the inside of the
plexiglass braclet) that will fit over the pierced braclet with the
clay over it. That should help mould the metal braclet and still have
the protection of the clay and leather. Tap with a mallet gently on
the plexiglass. I would try to use a 2mm-3mm thickness in the
plexiglass.

Hope these suggestions help…

Kind Regards

Raakhi
South Africa


#5
I actually did bend it first and then tried to pierce it. However,
there are so many small piercings that it was very difficult to do
with the bracelet bent. Are there any other options? 

It is difficult; there’s no way around it.


#6

I’m looking for on pearls. I was working with a mabe
pearl and the surface coating came off. It just popped off! I
believe it is called the nacre. It is like a plastic shell that has
the irredescent color of the pearl. Is this normal or do I have a
fake pearl? If the pearl was bezel set, this “shell” coating could
not pop off.

Brenda


#7
I actually did bend it first and then tried to pierce it. However,
there are so many small piercings that it was very difficult to do
with the bracelet bent. Are there any other options? 

It would seem that your option is to maybe begin the bending, into
an arc, pierce, then very carefully finish bending… I have always
found that bending or doming distorts pierced pieces and so it is
necssary to pierce last.

In the case of a cuff bracelet, though, maybe you could put the
pierced part temporarily in a “sandwich” to support it during
bending. That is, put copper sheet on both sides, with enough extra
all around to clamp, screw or rivet together. Bend, remove copper.

There may also be some way to bend the bracelet using a hydraulic
press if you have one available. The press is often gentler and
smoother han any hand operation.

Amazing, isn’t it, how much engineering and creative problem-solving
goes into jewelry making?

Noel


#8

How long are the strips/tubes which connect the settings? Are they
long enough that you could exert bending forces on just the
connections, rather than on the settings as well? Or are there
settings adjacent to connections which would prohibit this?

Helen
UK


#9
How long are the strips/tubes which connect the settings? Are they
long enough that you could exert bending forces on just the
connections, rather than on the settings as well? Or are there
settings adjacent to connections which would prohibit this? 

The bracelet is 6" long and 1" wide. The center strip is pierced
into X forms with each part of the X being.1 centimeter. The plan is
to fill the openings with resin. I am worried that when I bend it
into a C, the tiny X’s will break.

Karen


#10
The bracelet is 6" long and 1" wide. The center strip is pierced
into X forms with each part of the X being.1 centimeter. The plan
is to fill the openings with resin. I am worried that when I bend
it into a C, the tiny X's will break. 

I suppose in that case it depends on how thick your metal is and how
well annealed.

Helen
UK


#11
The bracelet is 6" long and 1" wide. The center strip is pierced
into X forms with each part of the X being.1 centimeter. The plan
is to fill the openings with resin. I am worried that when I bend
it into a C, the tiny X's will break. 

Karen, what ga metal are you working with? If it’s a heavy ga you
will need to anneal before bending anyway - could you try piercing a
scrap piece of silver - doesn’t need to be so long or wide, just so
you get the effect with the pierced "x"s. Then try bending that
sample piece and see if the x’s break. Other than that, I’d say it’s
just a risk you’ll have to take. Sometimes we find out that what we
had in mind just is almost impossible to pull off, but then again,
I’ve succeeded sometimes where I really didn’t think it would work -
and no one was more surprised than I was. And I’m guessing you will
fill the openings with resin after bending? Are you doing this for
color? Good luck and let us know what happens. I find such episodes
are good learning times for me - causes me to stop and think ahead
when planning the design to be sure what I’m planning can actually be
done.

K


#12
The bracelet is 6" long and 1" wide. The center strip is pierced
into X forms with each part of the X being.1 centimeter. The plan
is to fill the openings with resin. I am worried that when I bend
it into a C, the tiny X's will break. 

Of course they will! Make another work plan, IMHO.

M’lou


#13

The plot thickens: Used two wide leather belts, one on either
surface of the bracelet and put it over the bracelet mandrel…it
worked!!! So now I have continued piercing the outer edges of the
bracelet…kind of looks like an argyle pattern. The plan is to
finish piercing and then fill in with red, black and white resin.

I am using 24g argentium silver. This is so much fun and so
challanging.

Karen


#14

If you are committed to this design you have a few options.

  1. fabricate it already bent which I think you said you tried and it
    was too difficult–keep trying. If you had access to a laser you
    could tack it together and then solder but I assume you don’t. You
    might be able to make a mold to solder it over out of soft
    firebrick, investment, or a special clay made for this that welders
    use but I don’t know where to get it or what its called.

  2. Form a solid stucture for your bracelet for the outside and the
    important parts by soldering, then glue the rest of your design
    within using clear resin or epoxy if compatible (test!) then when
    that is dry apply your colored resins so that there is solid resin
    with parts floating or imbedded with a sturdy structure

  3. Carve it or cad model in wax and cast it. I just saw a filigree
    bracelet with flush settings that was cadded and cast and came out
    beautiful. expensive if you can’t do it yourself, but that is your
    best option

Whatever you do, make sure you have some kind of “key” which is an
undercut, or gouged up area on your metal walls to give your resin
something to grip to so that it is not as likely to fall out.

Also make this thing plenty sturdy because people flex cuff
bracelets putting them on and your resin could break. They will even
play with a cuff bracelet to see how springy it is, they do it every
time, show them a cuff bracelet and they start flexing it. So a cuff
must either flex well or be completely rigid to withstand this.

I hope you are prepared to repair it.

Celeste