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Cuff Bracelet Repair

Kathy, I’d like to make two comments about cuff bracelets before
addressing your repair directly. First, be sure to anneal the whole
bracelet well when you repair it. When you reinforce it,the former
thinnest spot on top will be replaced by the next thinnest spot, and
that will be where the next stress cracking will occur. This cracking
will be delayed somewhat if the area is annealed. The reason that the
bracelet cracks it that he is bending it when he puts it on and takes
it off. This brings us to my next point about cuffs. His cuff is too
large. If there is a big enough gap in a cuff to get it on and off
without any bending being necessary, then it will never crack. If the
design allows, cut material off to widen the gap so that he can just
barely get it on without bending. I try to do this whenever I get a
cracked cuff to repair, with the warning to never bend it again!

Once the piece is annealed, you can add a bit of sheet or wire in
back and it will most likely not crack there again, since it will
probably no longer be the thinnest spot, anyhow. If none of my design
ideas will work for you, perhaps you could anneal it for him on a
periodic basis, before it starts to crack again. Because if it keeps
getting bent without relieving the stress, crack it will! The repair
itself is not too trickey, if you are a good solderer. Use a high
temperature solder.I hope this helps.

M’lou Brubaker, Jeweler
Goodland, MN
www.craftswomen.com

The reason that the bracelet cracks it that he is bending it when
he puts it on and takes it off.

Too true! And, kibbitzer that I am, I cannot resist adding to this
point.

I am continually trying to educate my customers on the proper way to
"don and doff" a cuff bracelet-- ideally before they can wreck the
one they’re trying on! Here’s an attempt to describe the method that
seems to be gentlest and allow the best-fitting bracelet (smallest
opening compared to arm size):

Start by pressing one end of the bracelet into the space between the
main tendons you can feel on the wrist, right in the center, just at
the narrowest part of the wrist. This point is where most people
wear a snug watch-- NOT where you can feel the bulge of the wrist
bones. The end of the bracelet will insert pretty readily between
the tendons, as long as it has no sharp places on it. Then
r-o-t-a-t-e the cuff from this point around the wrist. In other
words, that end stays put, and the other end travels in an arc first
past the near side of the wrist, then the back of the wrist, then
past the other side into place. If the bracelet will not go on this
way, it is too small, or at least too small an opening. Reversing
the process takes a little practice, and this is where the customer
usually reverts to their habitual abuse of cuff bracelets before I
can intervene.

If you can figure out what I’m describing here, you can avoid ever
bending a cuff again, though some people simply insist on squeezing
the bracelet tight once it is on. I think they think that is what
you’re “supposed” to do, and if it breaks, it is the maker’s fault!
Or they just plan to toss it and buy another when it breaks.

I hope you can make sense of this, and that it is useful.

–Noel