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[Favorite tips] Chain repair


#1

To solder a link closed in a hollow link bracelet, take a small
section of wire that matches the color and karat of the bracelet
link. Use a wire diameter that will semi-snuggly fit inside the
link. Then, place some paste solder in each end of the link and
insert the wire. Gently hold the link closed and heat until the
solder melts. The wire will provide more surface area for the solder
to flow to make a stronger joint. Brad Simon CMBJ www.BWSimon.com


#2

Brad: Here’s another trick for chair repair: Take a small piece of
copper sheet and drill or punch small holes of various sizes in it.
Now, lay your chain to be soldered on the charcoal block. Place the
copper sheet over the chain and find a hole that will allow you to
see only the link that you want to solder. When you apply the torch
flame, the copper will act as a heat shield to prevent the adjacent
links from getting hot.

This little jig will make easy work of repairing those extra light
micro chains and hollow chains that always seem to come in for
repair. You will love this jig so much, you may want to kiss it. If
so, remember to let it cool down first!

Doug Zaruba


#3

Thanks for the chain tip! I have always used chips and pieces of wire
to solve other joint problems. It NEVER occurred to me to plug the
hole on a hollow link then solder. An aggravating job will now be
easier. That means more profit or at least less frustration.

Thanks.
Bill


#4

Another tip for chain making: Fold a piece of copper sheet in
half. Then cut a V in the fold. Unfold to where it will stand up on
its own, and the V is at the top. Use the V to prop the jump ring up
so that the joint is visible and ready to solder. You can use tweezers
to move the chain along as you solder. This helps keep from
soldering links together. Hope this is helpful to someone. Sarah Philbeck


#5

One more point on the hollow link chains. Clean them with every tool
in your shop before starting the repair. I never will forget when I
had one catch on fire and burn like a fuse. What a mess that was to
clean up.

The darn things are a magnet for body oils, flaky skin, hair spray,
and anything else that likes to crawl into small places. It all
burns once it gets up to temperature, and not cleanly either. After
the fuse experience, I would soak them in a jar of Acetone over
night, then an hour or so in the ultrasonic, followed by visit to the
steamer. Then I would pray to the bench god to “let it be clean”.
Usually he didn’t listen. I finally got to the point that I would
not work on them anymore.

Don


#6

I used to hate working on hollow chains until I read somewhere on
this list about cleaning with Lye, so I went and bought some crystal
drain cleaner and tried it in a jar in the ultrasonic ( don’t let it
get too hot, the fumes are nasty) It works so well our watch repairmen
are using it to clean Rolex bracelets ( they can be very disgusting)

Dean D Amick


#7
    I used to hate working on hollow chains until I read somewhere
on this list about cleaning with Lye, 

G’day; Lye is caustic soda, sodium hydroxide. Fine for semi precious
metals such as gold, silver, palladium, platinum, rhodium, etc, and
modern stainless steel. But don’t let it anywhere near articles made
of aluminium or titanium (or flesh) which it will rapidly dissolve and
ruin. A strong hot solution of washing soda; sodium carbonate has
less potential for harm, and will adequately clean all the aforesaid
precious metals, but don’t let that near aluminium or titanium either.
– Cheers now,

John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ


#8

Dear Dean

   I used to hate working on hollow chains until I read somewhere
on this list about cleaning with Lye, so I went and bought some
crystal drain cleaner and tried it in a jar in the ultrasonic 

What is “lye”? What would I be able to use instead if we don’t get
it in Cape Town, SA?

Thanks, chow for now
Ethel


#9

Lye is simply sodium hydroxide, a very basic-as in high pH, not
every day-chemical… Available through most chemical/scientific
companies. They may have really cracked down on what is ordered and
delivered recently… Heidi


#10
    What is "lye"?  What would I be able to use instead if we
don't get it in Cape Town, SA? 

G’day; Lye IS used as a drain cleaner; it dissolves fat and grease
when hot and converts them to soap and glycerine. Proper name is
sodium hydroxide. Household name is caustic soda. Most hardware
shops sell it. Dissolves people too, so don’t get any on you. –
Cheers for now,

John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ


#11

“lye” is Sodium Hydroxide NaOH (vey strong base.) Always add to
water, NEVER add water to NaOH!!! Use in GLASS container.
David Barzilay, Lord of the Rings


#12
        I used to hate working on hollow chains until I read
somewhere on this list about cleaning with Lye, so I went and
bought some crystal drain cleaner and tried it in a jar in the
ultrasonic 
    What is "lye"?  What would I be able to use instead if we
don't get it in Cape Town, SA? 

Ethel – “Lye” is Sodium Hydroxide. Available from any chemical
supply house. Margaret


#13

Ethyl, Lye is sodium hydroxide…it is extremely caustic and very
dangerous when not used with great caution. It has been the
traditional constituent of drain cleaners here in America, but now
other less dangerous compounds have taken its place. It is one of the
few ways to kill the spores of anthrax…a five per cent solution
is supposed to do the job.{ Anthrax spores can last from 50 to 200
yrs !.)On the other hand, I am not qualified to say what applications
might be safe in using this solution…you will probably be
hearing from John in Z’land. Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.


#14

David:

I think you meant to say never use in a glass container as hot
sodium hydroxide etches glass. Use a tightly sealed plastic container
as the solution will absorb carbon dioxide from the air. Ed Katz (a
biochemist in a former life)


#15

Hi Gang,

FWIW

Don’t use any aluminum around lye/sodium hydroxide either. It’ll
really do a number on any aluminum.

Dave


#16

Often oval jump rings are used to attach clasps on the end of
chains. The oval shape causes all of the wear on the end of the
jump rings. Changing the direction of the oval can extend the life
of these jump rings. Place your pliers across the length of the
oval and gently squeeze. Then the ends of the jump ring, which
received all of the wear, are now on the side. The former sides,
which did not receive any wear, are now on the end to receive future
wear from the clasp and chain. Brad Simon CMBJ www.BWSimon.com