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Box chain problem


#1

Hi - thankfully, this problem has occurred with a chain my daughter
has, and not with a customer, but…

She has a.9mm sterling silver box chain, made in Italy. When she
went to string a charm on it today, she picked it up and it
spontaneously “crinkled” - at least that is the best I can do to
describe it! It is actually kind of neat, but not very useful…it
is kinked/bent/swirled/whatever in numerous places along the length
of the chain. In places it actually circles around and comes back
down on the other side, if that makes any sense. In some places it
goes up and then down, or around… or whatever.

I tried straightening it manually, and it sort of worked…until
you let go of it, then it goes all crinkly again. While straightening
it I could hear it go “pop” as the box links sort of snapped back
into place.

So…anyone know why it is doing this, and what, if anything, we can
do to return it to its straight line from this new crinkly form?

Thanks in advance for the help!
Beth in SC


#2
So...anyone know why it is doing this, and what, if anything, we
can do to return it to its straight line from this new crinkly
form? 

Hard to be sure what is happening from your description, but it
sounds to be as though the “boxes” have gotten compressed so there
is no longer really room for the flat end of each link to lie
comfortably against the flat end of the next link, so they turn
sideways. This could perhaps result from pulling the chain through a
bead or some such that had a hole that was really a touch too small
for the chain.

If my conception is correct, there’s really nothing you can do ro
restore a chain that small. But you could try annealing it, then
gently pulling on the two ends. This might result in a chain that
has more oval links instead of box-shaped, but it might work.

Warning: I am not speaking from experience, just imagination, so
follow my suggestion at your own risk.

Noel


#3

Most likely got stretched when the pendant was being put on. Seems
unlikely at first, but I’ve seen it happen often, and been handed
repair jobs for just that. One way to tell is to see if the links
seem distorted along the long dimension of the chain. The side view
of an individual link should be square. When they’ve stretched, they
are some version of rectangular/oblong. This also prevents the links
from moving freely along the chain. Not sure why the twists get in
there, but not likely you will ever get them out completely.

Jim
http://www.forrest-design.com


#4

Hi Beth,

So...anyone know why it is doing this, and what, if anything, we
can do to return it to its straight line from this new crinkly
form? 

I think what’s happened is that it’s become severely twisted. Hold
it up by one end and start turning/untwisting. It should be easy to
tell which direction you need to go in since one way will make it
worse and the other better. (Boy, this is just as hard to describe as
the problem itself was!)

Here’s an analogy: You know how phone cords get twisted so they curl
up? Same thing. Or if you’ve ever sewed a hem by hand (for instance),
you’ve probably noticed the thread curl in on itself and you have to
hold it up and let it untwist. Same thing again.

The difference with a chain is that it won’t untwist itself when you
hold it up; you have to do it manually.

Beth


#5

My guess would be that if you measure the chain you will find it is
now longer then original. Replacement is the only practical remedy.

David Lee


#6

I think this is the answer. I checked it, and some boxes are square,
some are more rectangular. You can straighten it out, but it doesn’t
stay straight. Sounds like it won’t ever stay straight again. It is
a chain she has used to switch out pendants, so has had various
pendants on it and off and on…so I suppose that may be part of
the problem.

I really don’t use many box chains, so it never occurred to me that
this would be a problem!

Thanks for everyone’s help.

Beth in SC


#7

Hi Beth,

I think what's happened is that it's become severely twisted. Hold
it up by one end and start turning/untwisting. It should be easy
to tell which direction you need to go in since one way will make
it worse and the other better. (Boy, this is just as hard to
describe as the problem itself was!) 

Not sure this is it; I can manually straighten it, but then when you
lay it down it rekinks itself…kind of like a snake, except all
kinky instead of curly if that makes any sense!

It is rather interesting to watch, sort of like those things you can
buy in gift stores where you turn it different ways and little
pieces of metal move on a magnetized surface in different
ways…except this is a chain :wink:

Thanks for all the help.
Beth in SC