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Making my own eyeglasses frames


#1

Anyway, I am looking into making my own eyeglasses frames and am
curious if anyone has done this? And, if so, what suggestions/helps
would you have?

thx


#2
curious if anyone has done this? And, if so, what
suggestions/helps would you have? 

Contact your lens maker first to determine what he/she can and can’t
accommodate. Weight will be an issue calling for careful design.
Maybe you can get a friendly eye glass shop to let you weigh some
frames for guidance.

DAn Culver


#3

Brenda,

Deb Stoner who used to teach at the Oregon College of Art and Crafts
make wonderful eyeglass frames. She will be teaching this at Penland
this summer

Alma


#4

My sweetie Tim made his own eye glass frames out of 18 kt and
Mokume. You can see them on our web site, www.timothywgreen.com, in
our portrait photo. I’m seriously thinking about making some for
myself as well.

He did it backwards. Tim approached it like making a setting for a
stone. He had some lens and made the frames to match. Turns out you
just make the frames and have a lens grinder fit the lens to the
frames. He made the screws etc. The hardest part was getting the nose
thingies to wiggle right. Contact him off line at
[timothywgreen at gmail dot com]

Also Deb Stoner is a great resource. I still have a catalogue of her
show Op Art.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer


#5

Hi Brenda,

I suggest you contact Deb Stoner about attending a workshop she
teaches on the subject of eyeglass frames.

Her website is www.DebStoner.com . I have taken the workshop from
her when she taught for the Florida Society of Goldsmiths and highly
recommend it!

Jean Marie DeSpiegler
Florida Society of Goldsmiths


#6

I’m kind of surprised that metalsmiths don’t make their own eyewear
more often. I had an optician in one of my classes about 10 years
ago, and I collaborated with him in making my first glasses in 14k.
We found the best lense shape for my face in an existing pair he had
in his shop, and I used that shape to fabricate my own. Actually,
I’ve made over 5 different pairs now, and it is getting easier each
time.

I make use of pre-made nose pads, which swivel nicely and are
comfortable (made of silicone) and easily replaceable. I also use
monel metal hinges, which is more durable than precious metal, and
solders easily to gold. Part of the tricky part of constructing the
glasses is getting the correct curve to match the lense shape, and
getting the entire fabrication soldered symmetrically. Getting
everything soldered accurately, and keeping the weight down to a
comfortable level takes some effort. I am planning a folding
adjustable jig that will help get all components in the right
position for soldering, which will really streamline the assembly
process. I have been thinking of offering a custom eyewear workshop
sometime in the future, here in San Diego in collaboration with my
optician friend. My latest pair has progressive Zeiss lenses, with
anti-reflective coating, darken in sunlight, in a 14k yellow gold
frame. I wear them everywhere, even camping, and they are quite
durable as well as comfortable. They are also the only ones like
them in the world.

Jay Whaley


#7

Check out occasional Orchid contributor Brian Adam.
http://www.adam.co.nz/eyewear

He made me a very cool set of sun glasses. He lives in New Zealand
but teaches on occasion here in the US.

Jim

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#8

What no one has mentioned is that an optician will measure the
spacing of your pupils and use that in setting up the lenses/frames
so your eyes function correctly.

Ok, so you can bend optical wire around a lens and solder it.
Doesn’t mean you really know what you’re doing.

Hey, maybe I can check myself for glaucoma with my watch blower! Its
just a puff of air, right?


#9
What no one has mentioned is that an optician will measure the
spacing of your pupils and use that in setting up the
lenses/frames so your eyes function correctly. Ok, so you can bend
optical wire around a lens and solder it. Doesn't mean you really
know what you're doing. 

You are right about needing to know a little more than how to bend
wire, with that said when I took my Brian Adam frames in to have
them fitted with lenses the optician was down right admiring of the
fact that the center of the lens openings were aligned perfectly with
my pupils. Which is rarely the case with factory made frames as they
are “standardized” to fit a wide variety of faces. The hand made
frame can fit much better than the mass produced ones. It is not
magic just needing to know what needs to be done with the design. I
cannot recommend Brian highly enough.

Jim
James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#10
What no one has mentioned is that an optician will measure the
spacing of your pupils and use that in setting up the
lenses/frames so your eyes function correctly. 

No need to mention it. If you order lenses from an optician, they do
that. The measurements are apparently independent of the frame,
since they can be done before you choose a frame.

But that brings up another point. There’s probably another
requirement for self-made frames - they should be adjustable in the
same way that commercial frames are adjustable, so that the lens
plane can be properly established.

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


#11

It’s a rewarding experience, I’ve found. I made my first frame in
1981, and in those days I treated the lens eyewire as if it were a
bezel - I didn’t bother with little screws to open the eyewire and
all that fuss.

That worked well enough as long as I didn’t show them to an
optician. I showed some frames like this to an optician and he nearly
died.

Then I tried with screws salvaged from an old 2nd-hand frame (at
that time here in New Zealand the import restrictions meant I
couldn’t buy the parts). Next I made the screws and devised hinges
from sheet metal and tubing. One hinge I did was inspired by the
front wheel kingpin assembly of a Morris Minor.

Flash forward to now… I put a few pages up on my sight, er site,
for you all to have a go:

http://adam.co.nz/making

Have fun.

I’ve taught eyeglass making workshops, as James said, in a few
places over there in the US and A. Maryland I think was my first
place in 1996, where Deb Stoner gratiously invited me to co-teach the
class with her. Then all over from NYC 92ndY to Revere Academy, up in
Canada a few times too. I’ve had professionals from the optical trade
attend as they dodn’t have the practical components anymore in their
training. So they were very inspiring to watch as they went about
building a frame.

I mainly teach from home nowadays, and have started up an online
series of classes. My approach nowadays is towards eyeglasses with
optical functionality.

So try it out, it’s exacting and rewarding. And if you get into
strife send me the pictures and I’ll see if I come up with anu ideas.
But no doubt any one of you Orchidians could sus it out how to make a
frame. I have just developed a few vital tricks to help me apply a
design to a given face.

Cheers
Brian
Auckland
New Zealand
www.adam.co.nz


#12
What no one has mentioned is that an optician will measure the
spacing of your pupils and use that in setting up the
lenses/frames so your eyes function correctly. 
Ok, so you can bend optical wire around a lens and solder it.
Doesn't mean you really know what you're doing. 

True. There’s scope for messing it up. But there are some things we
can do to get it right. Especially if the lenses are in their
original frame (properly dispensed). And assuming also the Rx still
applies.

My first optical frame I made was a way to get experience. I used
existing Rx lenses in their frame. I carefully noted the Distance
Between Lens measurement (DBL), optical centres, retained the
rotational alignment of each lens by drawing a horizontal line over
each, and marked each lens L and R. All before removing the lenses
from the old frame.

The optical centre (OC) of each lens must be right over each pupil,
as you say, Neil. And we can gauge with some accuracy where the OC is
by feeling for the thinnest part of the lens (for a short-sighted Rx)
or the thickest part (long-sighted Rx).

But definitely the best way to go is to make a frame that you want
to wear with lens-holding mechanism that the optical trade
understands, and fit it with non-Rx lenses. You can buy these 'plano’
blanks. Take the frame into your dispensing optician so they do their
stuff to cut the new Rx lens blanks to suit your frame. They have
gear that follows the eyewire and builds up a 3D computer trace, and
another machine grinds and cuts the lens to fit right into your new
frame.

Do not test yourself for glaucoma!

I’d further advise people to see an ophthalmologist for eye-health
checks, as they are trained in that. Optometrists are trained mainly
to measure eyes, with a bit of health tests thrown in. My optometrist
missed diagnosing a detached retina.

Brian
Auckland
New Zealand
www.adam.co.nz


#13
I make use of pre-made nose pads, which swivel nicely and are
comfortable (made of silicone) and easily replaceable. I also use
monel metal hinges, which is more durable than precious metal, and
solders easily to gold... 

Me too. However, for high-end frames I do do box hinges! See the
James Binnion frame construction process at www.adam.co.nz/making - I
couldn’t have put nickel or monel hinges on a 12-layer mokume frame,
now could I?

... Part of the tricky part of constructing the glasses is getting
the correct curve to match the lense shape, 

Actually I was disabused of this fallacy myself a few years ago when
teaching eyeglass-making in Toronto and a few optical professionals
were on the class. One was from Rapp Optical lens lab and he politely
interrupted and said no, you make the frame and we can cut the lens
for it(!)

One of the other optical professionals on this class was Mel Rapp
himself, a genial and generous man who afterwards showed me around
his upstairs workroom where he made his prototype frames.

and getting the entire fabrication soldered symmetrically. 

Yar, THAT is difficult.

... I have been thinking of offering a custom eyewear workshop
sometime in the future, here in San Diego in collaboration with my
optician friend. 

Bring me over there, Jay! I like collaborating too.

Bri
Auckland
New Zealand
www.adam.co.nz


#14

Tsk Tsk Neil…you talk like folks were trying to do their own
cataract surgery…Why not make your own glasses??? Fun Fun Fun!!

Mary
Namaste