When I was in school I learned to make a basic box clasp. But now I
would like to make a clasp in a different shape, say like a star
fish or flower or something and have it work like a box clasp with
a tongue sliding and clicking-in. I figured I would carve a wax
model and have it cast. But, I can’t figure out how to actually do
the mechanics. I’ve tried to find instructions but only just find
the basics for making the box, etc. How do you apply the idea of a
box clasp to a different shape? Can anyone point me to a book or
other source for an example?
I would think you could do any shape of “box” because all you need
to do is make the hole on the box to fit the tongue. Check out Tim
McCreight’s “The Complete Metalsmith” to look at his illustrations.
Being thoroughly skilled in making a box clasp will allow you to
make a box clasp of almost any shape. As long as you can make the
internal box (which can be fit into almost shaped “box”) and a tongue
to fit into it, the sky is the limit. It just takes careful planning
Study Alan Revere’s instructions in his Professional Goldsmithing.
Follow it to the umpth degree a couple of times and I guarantee that
you’ll be able to make any box clasp you want. Just change the shape
of the outside frame.
Here is a link to a Step-by-step I wrote for the Lapidary Journal,
it might be useful to you: Box Clasp Step-by-Step | Eva Martin Jewelry It’s a detailed write
up of how to fabricate a box clasp. The example shown is for a tube
clasp, but to make a different shaped clasp all I think you would
need to do is change the shape of the housing and therefore the
shape of the end caps. The rest of the fabrication process would be
the same I think. The example also uses a double tongue, which isn’t
strictly necessary of course, it just means you don’t need the
‘figure of eight’ clips because the clasp is so much more secure with
a double tongue.
Its not difficult…simply morph the oblong shape of the box into
whatever fancy design you may like but keep the box mechanism below
it. Take a look at Tim McCreight’s tutortial on clasps. Check his
"Complete Metalsmith" or check the Orchid archives.
Cheers from Don at the Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut2
Thank you, all, for your responses. Eva, what a great article. I get
the Lapidary Journal and for the life of me I can’t find my copy of
that March issue - - so - thanks for the link! I’ll hit the books and
practice, practice, practice!