Fabricated pin backs

Hello Orchid I want to learn how to fabricate my own pin backs, ones
that really work fairly easily and fasten securely, especially for
heavier pieces. I’ve seen jewelry artist use their own pin back
designs which I thought added as much to the design as to the
function of the piece. Do any of you know of a book or an article
that might describe how to design and fabricate a unique pin back
mechanism ? I hate the way the manufactured ones look and operate.I
don’t want to reinvent the pin mechanism just learn ways to make more
than one style. I have books that describe clasps, hinges, etc. but I
have not seen one with pin backs. Thanks for your help. Nancy

Hello Nancy

Try the book ‘The Complete Metalsmith’ by Tim McCreight. There is a
whole section on making findings.

Karen Bahr “the Rocklady”

Nancy, Your request brings me great joy, since I have always felt
that fabricated mechanisms add so much to the overall “integrity” of
a fine handmade piece. Commercial findings just don’t do it for me.

I am teaching a workshop on this very topic at Revere Academy in
April. I’m not sure this will help you, since it is fairly short
notice, and the class may already have a waiting list. There are a
couple of books that you might want to check out, however. Alan
Revere’s “Professional Goldsmithing” book is a wonderful place to
start. He not only describes some simple mechanisms, but includes
some bench tips on how to fabricate these without losing your mind.
Herbert Maryon’s book, "Metalwork and Enameling (Dover Publications)
and “Silverwork and Jewellery” by H. Wilson both give several
examples of mechanisms commonly made by goldsmiths around 1900. The
recently translated (by Charles Lewton-Brain) book by Erhard
Brepohl, “The Theory and Practice of Goldsmithing” contains a very
extensive chapter illustrating dozens of fine mechanisms, including
pin backs. If this book were twice the price, it would still be a
great bargain.

Still, there is nothing like sitting beside a master craftsman
watching something like this actually take shape. There are just too
many subtleties in the construction to describe in words, like why
to chose one tool over another, how to adjust the fit so perfectly,
why to choose this style pin back over another style, etc. Most of
these mechanisms are really fairly easy to make, once you know
how… :wink:

Doug Zaruba

Yes, the ‘best’ teacher possible is to sit beside a
master-craftsman. I once had a student of mine from George Brown
College here in Toronto say to me the following…! “Gerry, I’ve just
learned in the past 5 hours more than what I would have learned in
class in 30 hours”…because I am a diamond setter, many nuances can
be shown directly with using the “one-to-one, approach”…so much to
learn and see (in action)…:>) I am available to anyone who
wishes my time…at my office!!! @Gerald