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Hinge Best Practices

All, While struggling to fabricate the bracelet photographed below, I realized that in order for the bracelet to fit properly, I probably need some sort of spring mechanism that will allow the wearer to open the diameter of the bracelet to put it on. This piece uses 4 gauge sterling for the main part of the cuff. In its current configuration, it is difficult to slide over my hand and then hangs too loose once in place. I’ve gone through my stack of books and have not found a good solution yet. All thoughts and input would be most appreciated.

Spring it apart a bit more and you can slide your wrist down through the opening. Then let it spring back. My guess though is that there isn’t a lot of spring in 4 gauge wire. This could be helped a bit by forging some flats in the curve of the wire. I make very light weight silver bracelets kind of like elephant hair bracelets that you open against the spring tension in the bracelet created by these flats and a heat treating process. Otherwise look for a purchased spring loaded hinge. Good luck and post your solution…Rob

From the photo it looks as though you are forming it as a bangle. That’s going to be difficult to get on and off without some sort of spring hinge. Instead try shaping it as a cuff, leaving more of a gap between the D rings so it can be put on and taken off.
The other thing to do would be to make each D ring a spring swivel. That way they could be opened up making a wider gap to get it on and off.

Thanks so much to both of you! Yes to the bangle concept yet not very wearable at this point. I think I’d like to make some sort of spring hinge as the 4 gauge wire I used has no spring to it at all. I could try making it more open and see if that works first though as I don’t think it will damage it. I’ve ordered a book by Charles Lewton-Brain that looks to be informative and has been mentioned by a number of you. I’m at a stage with my skill level that I think I need to start learning how to make hinges if I’m to progress. Thanks again for your insight!

I’m guessing that the D rings are supposed to emulate the rings on the ends of a snaffle bit. If that is the case you can design a hinge that looks like the articulation in the middle of a snaffle bit.
Another way would be to have a torsion spring hinge concealed in the thickness of the wire. 4ga is plenty thick to make such a hinge. But that is an advanced technique for which experience as a machinist would come in handy.