Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

How to make a box catch query

I would like to make my own box catches out of silver so that they
better integrate into my pieces than some of the ones available on
the limited market. Can anyone refer me to a good text for
constructing a box catch? Does anyone know anybody who specializes
in teaching findings and mechan isms? I have intermediate
metalsmithing skills. These catches will be att ached to flat pieces
of knitted fine silver so they will either have to b e wired on to
the catch, riveted or glued. Any info will be appreciated


For box catches: Look for classes/workshops taught by John Cogswell
or Tim McCreight. Check out “Complete Metalsmith”, “Metals Technic”,
Theory and Practice of Goldsmithing” and any of Oppi Untracht’s
jewelrymaking books. Also research back issues of Lapidary Journal.

Box catch texts:

Brepohl, Theory and Practice of Goldsmtihing
Morton, Contemporary Jewelry
Von Neuman, Design and Creation of Jewelry
McCreight, Complete Metalsmith
Wicks, Jewelry Making Manual
Revere, Professional goldsmithing (step by steps)
Lots of workshops around.


Charles Lewton-Brain/Brain Press
Box 1624, Ste M, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7, Canada
Tel: 403-263-3955 Fax: 403-283-9053 Email: @Charles_Lewton-Brain

Metals info download web site:
Book and Video descriptions:
Gallery page at:

Genevieve, I don’t know where you live, but we offer a Mechanisms
workshop at Metalwerx with Chris Darway. He is amazing and can teach
you anything. Check out our website or email me offline.

Karen Christians
10 Walnut St.
Woburn, MA 01801
Fax: 781/937-3955
Accredited Jewelry Instruction

Check out Tim McCreight’s book on boxes. You can find in at Rio
Grande and Amazon as well as Bryn Morgen, mentioned on Orchid.

Eve Welts

Genevieve, I’ve taken classes on findings and mechanisms from 2
excellent instructors… Beverly Penn and John Cogswell. I don’t know
their email addresses, but you can probably get in touch with them
thru Arrowmont where I took Beverly’s class two summers ago, and
where I know John has taught classes, or from Penland, where I know
John is teaching this summer. You might also try emailing Bobbi
Jessen ( who is the president of the Georgia
Goldsmith’s Group. They sponsored the class I took from John.

Good luck,

    Does anyone know anybody who specializes in teaching findings
and mechanisms? 

Susan E. Wood (formerly Susan Wood-Onstad) is a master metalsmith
who occasionally teaches a comprehensive hinges and mechanisms
workshop at the Mendocino Art Center (phone number 707-937-5818) on
the coast of northern California. It’s a five day summer workshop. I
don’t know when she’ll next be teaching it.

Rene Roberts

Genevieve- Revere’s book “Professional Goldsmithing” is a great
source for this.


Genevieve I use to make my own box catches depending of the size of
the chain in which it’s going to be soldered or attached with jump
rings. First I use two L-shaped flat wires and I solder both shapes
like making the frame for the box after this I file-flat one of the
open sides of the frame and then I sweat-solder this side to a small
piece of flat stock over a piece of wire mesh then I cut off the
excess of the already soldered flat stock surrounding the box and
file the sides of the box and then I make a small hole in one of the
extremes in case you want your catch to be opened with a needle
otherwise if you want it to be opened with a button pierce the hole
all the way out of the extreme and file or saw the open side of the
box in that extreme half way in to make the opening(slot) for the
male clasp. (the one that you still have not made) Then take
another piece of flat stock (metal sheet) and stamp it with the
quality mark. sterling,14k,etc.and then file the two pieces to make a
good connection and sweat-solder the box to the sheet over the wire
mesh,try to apply the heat under the piece watching the solder to
run around the box uniformly then cut off the excess metal sheet
surrounding the box with scissors and file.leave a small lip of sheet
in the inferior part of the opening for the clasp to rest otherwise
your box will have to much play.

Next is the making of the clasp. Take a rectangular piece of flat
stock or metal sheet about the same width of the box and two times
longer than the box then bend one eight of the sheet in one of the
extremes like in an L-shape and then anneal and fold the other long
extreme in half towards the one you previously bent and use a hammer
to flat it. anneal and then file the sides to accommodate the clasp
inside the box. as I said before you can make your box catch to be
opened with a needle or you can solder a small button to the
clasp,this might depend on your skills to solder small pieces after
this you will find many variations making box catches even with
additional safety lock.

Is easier for me to make it than trying to explain it with no
graphics Hope this helps Marco

Susan will be putting in some time teaching at CCAC very shortly, so
you could contact her there or at Mendocino.

Susan Elizabeth Wood 
P.O.Box 1314
Mendocino, CA 95460
(707) 937-6068 (mendocino)
(510) 502-4818 or (510) 492-2361 (oakland)

Jewelry Department Coordinator
Mendocino Art Center
P.O.Box 765
Mendocino, CA 95460
(707) 937-5818
(707) 937-1764 (fax)

In essence, there are many variations but box clasps all have a
couple of things in common: a box or housing with a ledge that
catches the end of a spring-like tongue, when inserted into it.

Complete descriptions along with close up photos of two variants
appear in my book, Professional Goldsmithing: Chapter 18 (Box Clasp)
and Chapter 19 (Cylinder Clasp).

Also, Tim McCreight will be teaching a weeklong class at the Revere
Academy in April, here in San Francisco. His class entitled, “Click,
Snap, Swivel: A Survey of Jewelry Mechanisms,” will cover many
related topics.

For more info on our books and classes, check out the website:

Hope that his helps, Alan

Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts
760 Market Street - Suite 900
San Francisco, CA 94102
tel: 415-391-4179 fax: 415-391-7570

Susan Wood will be teaching next year in January (2003) at Atlantic
Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach Florida (Near Daytona). It
will be a class on fiber techniques for metal. This Jan (2002) was
the findings class. These classes are sponsored by The Florida
Society of Goldsmiths. Membership is not just limited to those in
Florida. You can be a member and are assigned to a chapter if you
live in Florida. If you do not live in Florida, you are assigned to
be a member at large and are part of the state organization. Check
out the web site. John Cogswell will also be at New
Smyrna teaching stone setting. Become a member so you can learn
about all the exciting classes in the other chapters. Beth Katz