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Help on Bayonet Catch?

Hi all,

I am up to making the catch for my crocheted bracelet. I would like
to make a bayonet catch. I made the tubing for the tab end already
and made the tubing for the receiver (spring end), and woops!
…couldn’t cut the slot. The only way I can think of to approach
this is to cut the slot before making the tubing. Is that the correct
approach? Any advice would be greatly appreciated…

Mary Ferrulli Barker

Mary, it is best to cut the slot for the trigger into the female
section of tubing before soldering the face plate onto this half of
the clasp. Then you will only need to make two saw cuts through the
face plate to join the opening of the slot.

If you have soldered the face plate in place prior to cutting the
slot you can still saw the opening, but it is a much more tedious
job. In this case, once the two saw cuts are made for the sides of
the slot (parallel with the length of the tube) you will need to
hold the saw frame at a steep angle to make the perpendicular cut
across from one side of the slot to the other, which defines the end
of the opening. The resulting cut can then be cleaned up with a
needle file or graver to correct the angle.

The second time you make this style of clasp it will be much easier.
In my experience the first attempt at fabricating a new mechanism is
often both experimental and developmental.

Michael David Sturlin
www.michaeldavidsturlin.com

     it is best to cut the slot for the trigger into the female
section of tubing before soldering the face plate onto this half
of the clasp. Then you will only need to make two saw cuts through
the face plate to join the opening of the slot. If you have
soldered the face plate in place prior to cutting the slot you can
still saw the opening, but it is a much more tedious job. In this
case, once the two saw cuts are made for the sides of the slot
(parallel with the length of the tube) you will need to hold the
saw frame at a steep angle to make the perpendicular cut across
from one side of the slot to the other, which defines the end of
the opening. The resulting cut can then be cleaned up with a needle
file or graver to correct the angle. The second time you make this
style of clasp it will be much easier. In my experience the first
attempt at fabricating a new mechanism is often both experimental
and developmental. 

Thanks again, Michael. I ended up remaking the clasp of course, and
I cut the slot before making the tubing and left extra length (just
in case the end of the tubing got mashed). So that worked. Then I
hid the slot under another piece of metal.

But I learned another lesson about crocheted chain bracelets-- you
don’t want a clasp (like a bayonet clasp, for example) that takes
pressure on the chain to work it, unless (I think) you put some
reinforcement inside the chain. I noticed when I remade the clasp
that working it caused the chain to become slighty flattened where
it went into the clasp. Of course this could have been because I was
so fascinated by the clasp that I kept playing with it! But the
wearer would be doing the same thing.

So, the end result is that I will remake the bracelet with a
different clasp, understanding the design implications a little bit
better this time!

Thanks all!
Mary Barker

Mary Ferrulli Barker
Addison Avenue Information Technology
Mon- Thu 6:30 am to 2 pm Pacific Time

Mary,

I am glad your second version of the clasp worked out well. As with
everything, we learn as we go forward, adjusting, refining, and
improving upon our first attempts.

I have used this style of cylinder clasp on many bracelets and have
not experienced the problem of the chain flattening out as you
described. That in turn could be due to any number of factors
including the diameter of the chain, the metal and gauge of wire
being used, and the tightness of the crochet structure itself. For a
fine silver bracelet a good alternative to a cylinder clasp would be
end caps and a toggle style clasp.

As you progress with the crochet, and the resulting chains become
tighter and more consistent, you will probably notice they are much
less susceptible to wear. An open chain, or one in which the size of
the crochet loops is large, tends to be less dense and compact and
this allows the structure to be more easily compressed or deformed. A
very well made hand crochet chain of this technique is not overly
delicate, and it will hold up very well to daily use. The necklace I
wear is crocheted in 22kt and shows no visible signs of wear, even
after many years.

Michael David Sturlin
www.michaeldavidsturlin.com