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Making a certain hinge

Hello! My name is Rahmat, I’m 13, and I intend to launch a jewelry

I’ve been searching everywhere, everyday, for months trying to find
out how to make a type of hinge for a bracelet that you have to pull
apart with some tension for it to snap open and then push back
together with some tension for it to snap back close. I don’t know
what type of hinge this is called but I know when I was smaller, I
would love opening and closing bangles with this type of hinge. I
loved the resistance of the bracelet when you pull to open it and the
resistance of the bracelet when you pushed the bracelet back
together, which ended in a nuce “snap”. I would like to incorporate
this type of hinge in my choker and bracelet designs. The problem
is, I can’t find how to make it. Anywhere. There is nothing on
youtube about this type of hinge (which name I’m not aware of) nor
any articles. My question is, can anyone share with me the
step-by-step process this hinge (if you know the one I’m describing)?
Once again just to be clear what with I’m looking for, in a bracelet,
it snaps open with some tension and stays open, and then snaps close
when you push the bracelet back together with some tension. I would
be grateful beyond your assumption. I’ve cried and prayed for an
answer. I know it is a big

favor to ask for but please, just consider it.

Good for you Rahmat!

In order to try to help you in your quest, do you think you could
draw what you mean and post this? I’m not quite sure I understand
and would love to seewhat you mean!

Thank you,

Hi Rahmat,

2 things,

  1. Its good that you eventually found a way to read and respond to
    posts here in this forum. A good step for you in your long road to
    learning this trade

  2. next, What you are asking for is not a hinge but a catch. Do go
    to a dictionary and look up these 2 words and you will see the

When you have done that, you will see that a catch is a spring type
of device, which can be sprung with a spring or the flexibility of
the metal its made from.

Also, please go to a library and borrow the following book. Its a
must study for all beginners in this trade, its called Metal Techniques for Craftsmen for craftsmen by Uppi Untracht.

Read it from cover to cover at least 2 times.

Now there are 2 aspects to finding out about jewellery, 1, reading
up about it, and most importantly DOING it. Thats your next step. You
wont launch a Jewellery brand without being able to make it. More in
this next time Its the same with enamelling that you asked about last

And do keep us up to date how your efforts re the above progress. If
you want our help you need to do your bit.


Hi Rahmat,

Although it’s hard to be sure from a purely verbal description, I
think you are referring to a box clasp. A google search will show
you many images of such. You can probably figure out how to fashion
one from the images. This catch is also covered in McCreight’s Complete Metalsmith, and probably in other jewelry texts. You would
need to know how to fashion a spring tongue. it you don’t know how
to do that, ask again and I’m sure folks can talk you through it.

I’m not even sure you’ll get this reply because I am not so familiar
with the listserve protocol, but…

What you are referring to is a spring mechanism. It’s almost always
located opposite the opening (1/2 way round the bracelet) and it just
works like a self closing gate. You can take a look at some vintage
pieces either on line or in person and dissect the piece. It’s not a
box clasp or any other hinge closure. it’s a simple spring hinge.

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Hello Rahmat,

Yesterday I met with a young woman who is determined to establish
herself as a studio art jeweler. She has begun to collect her library
of references. You should do the same. Any books by Tim McCreight are
great. Check them out from the library and you’ll understand what I

Hopefully you will find other reference treasures on the same shelf.
Make a list of the books you want, and request them for any
gift-giving occasions.

I wish I had such references when I started! Judy in Kansas, where
unseasonably warm temps encourage me to get into the garden. Clematis
needs to be cut back and the cherry tree craves pruning.

Rahmat, I’m not sure I know the exact thing you are looking for, but
I don’t think it is a hinge. Try Googling “bracelet clasps.” Maybe
you can find something there.

All the best,
Judy Bjorkman

I’ve a suspicion you mean a spring hinge with a cam. The sort of
thing used on many spring clip earrings.

You can cam out the spring with either a wire soldered to the
knuckle or with a tube of square section. The rigidity of the spring
determines the force needed to open or close the hinge.

I’ve attached a quick diagram.

Elliot Nesterman

In order to try to help you in your quest, do you think you could
draw what you mean and post this? I'm not quite sure I understand
and would love to seewhat you mean! 

Hi, Emma! Actually, I don’t know how it looks but I can just
describe how the catch works. All I know is that I use to play with
these bracelets that snap open after some resistance and then I would
push the bracelet back together and after some resistance, it would
snap close. But that’s all I know about what I’m looking for.

You know what, actually looking at both diagrams, I can actually see
how this catch would work and I think it would work in the way I’m

The little red ball in the diagram is what causes the resistance
while you’re opening the bracelet as it’s moving around the tube

Then when the ball moves to the other end of the tube and gets
trapped in that little space, the bracelet reacts by snapping into
open position oand it stays open since the ball can’t move). My only
problem is the aesthetic of the bracelet. I don’t think I would like
the wire outside of the bracelet (in the diagram, it’s the blue
strip). It would make the hinge area of the bracelet look kind of
messy and complex, kind of uneasy on the eyes. Of course if there is
no other way to make my bracelets/choker work how I was describing, I
would be very content with making the catch like this but are there
any other mechanisms you are familiar with that can perform the same
action as I was describing but looks more discreet?

What you are referring to is a spring mechanism. 

this catch is different. I’m actually familiar with spring hinges
because when I first started researching what this mechanism could
be, I thought it was a spring hinge. But this one is different
because bracelets with spring hinges, when you pull the bracelet
apart it snaps back close on it’s own. This catcj that I’m
describing, when you pull the bracelet apart there is some
resistance but, at one point, it snaps into position and stays open.
And then when you push the bracelet halves back into each other,
there is some resistance but, at one point, it snaps back shut.

Spring hinges just open as far as the bracelet can go and closes
back shut on it’s own–kinda like what you said–it’s self-closing.
This catch is different.

I know it’s not a clasp. It’s more like a built-mechanism half-way
around the bracelet inside of it. It makes it snap open and
close with resistance.

Although it's hard to be sure from a purely verbal description, I
think you are referring to a box clasp. 

No, no. It’s not a clasp, it’s actually inside of the bracelet and
makes it snap open with resistance and then snap close with
resistance. I’m familar with box clasps, but it’s not that. It’s more
like a built-in mechanism inside of the bracelet.

Hello Rahmet,

Perhaps you are describing a spring loaded hinge? Google that
description. The Orchid archives have a request from 2010 for a
source, but I didn’t pursue that. You get to do that :slight_smile:

Judy in Kansas, enjoying the sun.

the book you want to check out someone mentioned previously is by
Oppi Untracht-“Metal Techniques”- BUT does the hinge you want to make
have two flat wires that connect one side of the catch to the
other?it would have a spring in the actual 'tube" where the two sides
hinge together but if it’s the design I am thinking of it also has
two flat wires that extend when opened and retract when closed and
there is a decided audible snap sound when it closes. also Charles
Lewton-Brain has published a great resource called " Hinges and Hinge-Based Catches"- it is a major contribution on a concise subject and
has many ideas, illustrations and great fabrication directions- you
should obtain a copy for your permanent library even if it doesn’t
have the exact hinge you are seeking. And remember you can always
play around with your ideas by making paper models as a starting
point n experiment in your studio- you won’t hear the ‘snap’ but it
may get you closer to what you want or to the point at which you can
take some inexpensive brass or bronze sheet to substitute for 18-22
kt gold or nickel to sub for fine silver, sterling or 14 karat gold
in, say, 26-30 gauge so it’s easily manipulate o you can make some
prototypes before you use precious metals…the thing to remember
in selecting the final materials is you need the hinge to last so 14
karat will hold up better than 18 kt yet you can always use higher
karat golds on the outside of the piece with hinge inside or hidden
if you use/design in higher karat golds ordinarily I would never use
18 karat or better for a hinge due to the softness of the metal being
inappropriate for repated opening and closings… good luck finding
or inventing what you are looking for. rer


You could use the time-honored method of curious women (and men) the
world over: buy a cheap model from Claire’s or some such place, and
take it apart.


Perhaps it’s a magnetic clasp then that as you say, catches and snap
itself closed. surely you can find some images. it’s hard to help
further without any visual depiction!

inside one end of the hollow bracelet is an attached flat steel
spring extending about 10mm into the other side of the bracelet. on
the side of the bracelet the spring sticks into, a small pyramid
sits at the point where the rivet connects the two sides, pointing
toward the center of the bracelet, the flat spring barely has
clearance to move. When the bracelet isopened a bit, the spring will
snap to on flat side of the pyramid and whenyou close it the bracelet
will snap closed. It is a cool hinge. A lot of trouble on a one of a
kind piece but simple enough for production work. Have fun, tom

Hi Rahmat,

The bangle hinge that you looking for has two similar mechanisms
like cuff link springs inside it.

I attach a (sorry) bad picture of that kind of mechanism from a

That makes the bangle resist opening and then snap open and soft

They don’t like hard wear, though, and become floppy quite quickly.

Here’s a hint, though.

Don’t get to hung up on one relatively solvable problem i. e use
another hinge/catch.

Rather finish the project.

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The other day there was an inquiry about a sprung bangle hinge.

I had one of these come into my workshop for repair and I took some
better pictures.

Tricky stuff, this.

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