During Christmas we had another project come through that really
taxes a jewelers patience. We got one of these same “can of worms” a
few months before, that I married for a full day, plus! Dan breezed
through the latest one in around nine hours!
Here are the details. The product is called a “bracelet jacket.” The
idea is to take an existing tennis bracelet and fit it down the
center of this “jacket.” There are a few styles available and the
center area measurement varies to accommodate the width of bracelet
you are working with. I think they are a fine solution for a worn out
tennis bracelet. They also definitely provide a bigger look, if that
is what suits the customer.
Here is the problem. They come bare on each end! There are no clasp
parts available from the supplier, the sales people tell us. The idea
is to expect (light duty, worn out, usually) the bayonet (both of our
projects were bayonet type), or last legs box clasp, to serve duty
for this bracelet of three times the size and weight of the old
bracelet. Yes, we are both capable of fabricating clasps, etc., for
what is required. At $90 per hour (our retail shop rate) we are quite
conscious of our time. Dan and I approached the project differently I
ordered a double bayonet, and then waxed and cast a receiver and
proceeded from there. Installing the old bracelet to the jacket
requires a dozen or so solders alone, in addition to this nonexistent
clasp nightmare! The manufacturer (unnamed for now) should also be
capable of having suitable clasp parts available. Dans’ effort turned
out much better, in less time as well. He utilized one of the
existing links as the tongue depressor and made a nice hidden box
Rather than ideas and discussion of methods and how to make hidden
clasps for bracelets; what I am hoping for, is some of you with
vendors who supply this product, can refer us to them, for the clasp
parts (complete enchilada)! to accompany their bracelet jackets. Both
jobs by the way, were bid with four hours of shop time anticipated.
We have plenty of work already, without hand fabricating what
manufacturers should have available. Who makes these units with a
clasp for duty? Your thoughts appreciated!
PS The pictures in the catalog look great! Customers like them. I
like them! Right now they are too labor intensive to work with!