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Chain & Finding Repairs

Hi, I am starting work on an article looking at how jewelers handle some of the most common chain and findings repairs. If you have a repair story you’d like to share with the readers of MJSA Journal, please let me know.

Shawna Kulpa
Editor, MJSA Journal

1 Like

I would suggest that the article include something about replacing a head as opposed to re-tipping prongs. Head replacement is a far better repair and not much more expensive in most cases. Re-tipping is done too often and should only be used when a head replacement is not possible.

While I would agree with Wade that in many cases it is a better repair, replacing an entire setting rather just repairing the prongs, replacing just one or two prongs, or retipping several prongs on a multi stone ring makes a great deal of sense in many other cases.

Much of this is of course opinion, and there is often more than just one path to the same place. We try to educate the customer, and where there is more than one option, let the customer make the decision.

Hi Shawna

I have been using CAD and CAM to produce tongues and other clasp and hinge parts. Also to do half and full shanks along with heads, bales and any thing that I can’t order or produce otherwise.

PS I am an MJSA member

Franz- Just curious. I was always taught that cast tongues were inferior to
fabricated. How much spring and resilience do the CAD CAM tongues have? Any
long term testing done?
Jo Haemer

Hello Shawna,
Repairing hollow gold chain is pretty stinky…however, I have had success by putting short pieces of wire into the hole(s) of a link, then pushing the other end of the link(s) onto the exposed bits of wire(s). Flux the joins and using easy solder, place a tiny bit on each join. Torch flame is tiny and speed is important - in and out quickly!

Judy in Kansas

Hi Joe

I was taught that too. I have been casting my tongues in 18KW and work harden where it folds after soldering. I have also been putting a very slight arc on tongue in CAD which seems to aid in clasp staying closed. No long term testing but I have been doing for a few years with no come backs.

PS I always read your posts and articles. Thanks for sharing.

Yes I agree. I just hate seeing a 6 prong head with all the prongs re-tipped when It could have easily been removed and a new one soldered in.

The question that I responded to, and attempted to answer involved “how to”, and not what would I suggest to the customer.

Were the customer and the ring in front of me, I would be dealing with more than “how to”, but that was not the question.

With 40+ years of repair behind me I am all too familiar with customer’s sentiment forcing a less than an ideal route.
I explain the differences, the reasons behind, and the options, as well as any hazards, and if applicable, TSOD warranties (This Side Of the Door), but the customer has the final say, as long as I do not turn the job away, which I am not afraid to do.

I am sorry but that last post was meant for a different thread entirely.