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Magnetic clasps


#1

Greetings all,

I am considering using magnets in a clasp I’m designing, but my
knowledge of working with them is scant. I have seen some very nice
magnetic clasps so I know it’s a viable option. The design I am
considering is for reproduction, not a one of a kind piece, so any
reasonable set-up costs would be digestible. Hopefully someone on
this list will be able to help me with several questions:

  1. How small can the magnets be and still be powerful enough to
    hold well?

  2. Are they heat tolerant in relation to soldering or even
    magnet-in casting?

  3. If they are covered by metal (say gold), how thin does the metal
    have to be before interfering with the pull of the magnetic force?
    In other words, does the metal have to be stamped (thin) rather than
    cast (thick)?

  4. Does anyone know of any reference material or source of
    expertise on this subject beyond this list?

  5. I also would like to know of suppliers.

I’m hoping this wonderful forum will produce a discussion on the
subject that will answer even those questions that I haven’t yet
thought of. I appreciate any and/or advice you can
offer.

Thank you in advance,
Tess in beautiful sunny Florida


#2

Hi Tess ! We have been using magnetic clasps for a couple of years.
They are a God send for older ladies who have difficulty
manuevering. They are especially useful for bracelets.

We have noticed that people tend to PULL them apart when taking them
off so we try to educate them to slide them apart. The magnets are
so strong that pulling them apart can sometimes result in bead tip
failure.

We have had very few problems with them inspite of having used
several hundred clasps. In one case the glue holding the magnet in
its casing failed. In another instance heat from my torch seems to
have affected the strength of the magnet.

Rio is a good source of the clasps, They come in a variety of
configurations and metals.

We suggest that you not use them on high value pieces until you are
confident that the clasps you are using are reliable for your
applications. Obviously you should be apprehensive about using them
to hold very heavy items together.

Once you start selling them be prepared to have a lot of restringing
work come your way…Regards, Ron Mills at Mills Gem Company, Los
Osos, Ca.


#3

Tess, Rare-earth magnets are the strongest I’ve found. Lee Valley
Tools has some articles on magnets at

http://www.leevalley.com/hardware/page.asp?page=42363&category=3

I replaced the pin on the back of an i.d. tag with a neodymium
magnet. Much easier to attach the tag and my blouses didn’t get
pinholes. The only problem: After one meeting I put the tag into my
pursse–and erased the magnetic strips on my credit cards!

Janet


#4

My favorite source for rare earth magnets are the guys at
Wondermagnet - http://www.wondermagnet.com

They can probably tell you whether (and how) heat will affect their
magnets.

Christine in Littleton, Massachusetts


#5

Tess, Rare-earth magnets are the strongest I’ve found. Lee Valley
Tools has some articles on magnets at

http://www.leevalley.com/hardware/page.asp?page=42363&category=3

Janet in Jerusalem


#6

Above a certain temperature, which is actually quite low and can be
achieved by heating the magnet on a stove, the magnetism will be
lost. However, once the magnet cools back to room temperature the
magnetism returns.

I know this from practical experience as doing just this was an
experiment I did while studying for my Earth Sciences Degree.

Pat


#7
 How small can the magnets be ... 

i use custom made ones about 5 mm diameter by 3 mm thick with a
center hole & usually stack them 2 up for security on heavier
pieces.

Are they heat tolerant ...

NO! they lose polarity when heated.

 ... how thin does the metal have to be ... 

i have used 20 g sterling without losing attraction.

 any reasonable setup costs would be digestible ... 

until you find someone who can learn the peculiarities of working
with magnets - how to arrange the polarities for attraction; keeping
them separated while working; finding the easiest method to secure
them in the end cap; etc, you might be paying for extra labor. all
this is probably why the ‘store bought’ ones cost so much.

good luck -
ive
life is short - never forget it!


#8

Hello all,

Quick question–Has anyone had any trouble using magnetic clasps? I
just found a good source for relatively inexpensive clasps and enjoy
using them. They hold like crazy and a small one can support even a
rather heavy necklace. I know you have to be careful if you have a
pace-maker (according to the company), but any other concerns I
should know about? Thanks in advance…

Cheers,

Karen McGovern
Rare Species Conservatory Foundation


Beadkeepers


#9

I haven’t met a magnetic clasp that I have any confidence in - the
magnetic force is too weak. I wouldn’t trust anything of any value
on such a clasp. Granted, my expectations may be too high - I can’t
stand unsoldered jump ring connections, either. I’d be curious to
test “better” magnetic clasps, if any could be recommended.

~kara


#10

Karen, magnetic clasps are the only kind some people Can use. But
there aren’t many sources with a variety of metals, etc., so if you
have found one of these marvels, hope you’re willing to share the
contact I’d love to have more choice than the couple
I’ve been limited to. Thanks in advance.

Pat


#11

Kara and all Orchadians,

I’ve been lurking and learning from this amazing forum…

We make our own magnetic clasps here at Verity Jewelry Design
(patent pending). Available in sterling and 14 and 18 karat gold they
are the strongest out there (we’ve sampled all the ones in the market
currently). They use rare earth magnets (neodynium). They come with
or without built in safety chain…you really don’t need it. Note:
the clasp is so strong all links and jump rings on the piece using
our clasp MUST be soldered closed! Email or contact me if you would
like a picture and price info…Thanks.

Wayne Verity
vjewelry@erols.com
www.verityjewelry.com
703 323 7067


#12

Hello Orchidians, Kara’s comment that she is not confident in the
"holding power" of magnetic clasps echos my own thoughts. Bracelets
are especially prone to being jerked off; necklaces are usually less
of a problem.

On the other hand, as people age, it becomes more difficult to
fumble with and secure a clasp. I appreciate the ease of closure
which magnetic clasps add. While I have some magnetic clasps for
use upon request, I suggest that a safety chain be added for
security. Once the magnetic clasp is joined, it becomes much easier
to fasten that second clasp. On bracelets a short safety chain can
remain closed, because releasing the magnetic clasp allows the
bracelet enough ease to slip off.

Enjoy the coming USA Memorial Day holiday and remember those
throughout the world who have died in the cause of freedom. Judy in
Kansas, who will be decorating the family graves this evening.

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
B.A.E. 237 Seaton Hall
Kansas State University
Manhatttan KS 66506
(785) 532-2936 FAX (785) 532-6944


#13

I haven’t been following this thread very closely (end of the
academic year craziness) and don’t know if they have already been
mentioned but I am quite fond of the magnetic clasps by Rohm. I
particularly like their oval brushed finish clasp. I have four
different styles (rounds and ovals) and sizes that they make in
silver and very much like the quality which is important since they
are not inexpensive. They also come in gold.

They’ll be at the Las Vegas GLDA show and at the JA, New York show.
They now have a US representative, e-mail,
kerri.kliewer@rohm-gems.com.

Usual disclaimers, just a satisfied customer

Linda


#14

Hi Wayne and others interested in magnetic clasps.

Magnetic clasps in gold, silver and costume jewelry have been made
in the Rhode Island area for more than 30 years…It is not a new
concept…

My personal advice is that you can copyright your artistic design ,
However, you cannot patent /copyright the use of magnetics in this
case because it has been used in the public domain for a long long
time… there are many companies that can and would prove prior
usage to you . My personal belief is that it would be wrong for a
Lawyer to advise that such a device is patentable in such a manner
to exclude all others from doing so.

I , For one would jump on the band wagon to fight a patent of that
nature and probably quite a few more companies would do so.

Magnets have been used for many types of clasps and closures in many
fields including doors and cabinets .High powered magnets have been
in use in jewelry for A long time. If the correct magnet and correct
design of the clasp is used, these are very safe as a closure ( not
reccommended around pace makers) and do not come off without a lot of
power being used to take them off. We make magnetic clasps and
other similar products/ ideas for a lot of designers … always from
their designs and exclusively for their use.

Daniel Grandi
Racecar Jewelry Co. Inc.
Tel: 401-461-7803
sales@racecarjewelry.com


#15

Rio Grande has a variety of magnetic clasps in different shapes and
sizes, but only in base metals or non-precious metals. It is not
difficult to make a precious metal magnetic clasp if you use a
little tubing and bezel-set the magnet, I also use a little 2-ton
epoxy just to ensure the magnet stays set - but it isn’t necessary
in all cases. You can use the magnet from the non-precious metal
clasp, or if you have an Organized Living store in your town, they
sell these super strong tiny magnets in two different sizes, they
are wonderful!

Also, I have added a safety chain, a solution my jeweler friend Lee
Marquardt has added to many of his customers bracelets and chains.
The saftey chain ensures that the customer will not lose their
jewelry as easily if the magnetic clasp is accidently pulled apart
while being worn. Good luck!

Sara
Studio C Designs