Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Replacing spring of lobster claw clasp


#1

I have an 18 K gold chain with a large lobster claw clasp. The spring
in the clasp broke. I only have 14 K clasps and they are of a
different color gold.

Has anyone replaced the spring in one of these? Would someone know
how to do it? And where would you get a spring?

Derek Levin


#2

In our jewellery store, we use guitar strings to replace the spring.
I am not sure though if there is a better way because some of our
customers come back after a few months for the same repair.


#3

You have to get the spring wire from a wholesale house and make your
own or rob one from a good clasp if you have time constraint.

Russ Hyder
www.thejewelrycadinstitute.com


#4

Derek,

We have had to replace quite a few of these things. Not too hard. Try
using steel guitar strings - not sure of size - really depends on the
spring you’re replacing but just compare the old spring to the
string.

Roger


#5

Hi Derek;

I’ve done that. Try to find a similar size and style in silver or
gold filled. Start by prying apart that one, it’ll inform you on how
the one you want to fix is constructed. On most of these, you can
gently separate the lower portion enough to get the remnants of the
old spring out, replace the spring and squeeze it back closed. If
the broken Lobster is actually riveted together, you can find the
rivet by lightly sanding the area and putting a little iodine on the
area, then drill out the rivet.

David L. Huffman


#6

You first pry open the clasp just to the point where the trigger
will come out. Then reinsert the trigger w spring fitted, finagle the
axle ‘nubs’ of the trigger into the detent which you cannot see while
making sure the ou ter end of spring rests correctly in the cutout
opposite the clasp opening and the inner end sits within the trigger
center.

clear as mud, right? Really its not hard if you have the thing in
front of you, its the telling that’s tough. Take it apart, see how it
works, put it back together.

Sometimes the spring may have just popped out of alignment. If its
definitely broken good luck making one, better to rob one from a
same style/size silver lobster. Be careful not to cinch it closed too
hard. How hard is too hard? When it doesn’t work anymore you’ll know
how hard not to go next time.

Or you can sell a new 18K lobster.
I vote the second option.


#7

Done it a bunch of times. Cannibalize one of your 14 kt clasps that
is the same size. Take the spring out by gently prying the clasp
open with a case knife or sharp edged graver. Do the same with the 18
kt one. Then slip the new spring in and just squeeze the clasp closed
over the new spring with smooth jawed parallel pliers.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer
www.timothywgreen.com


#8
Has anyone replaced the spring in one of these? Would someone know
how to do it? And where would you get a spring? 

Flee!!! Run for your life!! Somebody brought us one of those that at
least had a rivet. And it was also a custom catch that matched the
bracelet. We referred him to someone who said he’d had some success
with them. Cost $350 to do it… Wholesale… Usually they are
made as two halves and then bent and pressed together, so you’d need
to unbend it, unpress it, rebend it and repress it, all with the new
spring inside, which you’ll have to make yourself after you track
down the right gauge of spring wire (guitar strings…)

Or you can just buy Stuller series 208 - 18kt. 8mm wide x 16.25 long

  • for $116.16. And if your customer won’t pay a couple of hundred for
    a new catch, you can be sure they’re not going to pay you for 3 hours
    or 4 of tinkering around with it.

There are millions of unique springs in stock in the world. And then
if you need a different one there are plenty of people ready to make
it for you. Unless what’s needed is some really standard thing -
like on garage doors - it’s virtually impossible to find just some
certain one, unless you are a spring expert/salesman. Especially
tiny ones that the general public doesn’t use.


#9
In our jewellery store, we use guitar strings to replace the
spring. I am not sure though if there is a better way because some
of our customers come back after a few months for the same repair. 

Could it be that you are using plain steel strings that corrode
after a while? Have you tried stainless steel?

Regards, Gary Wooding


#10
In our jewellery store, we use guitar strings to replace the
spring. I am not sure though if there is a better way because some
of our customers come back after a few months for the same repair. 

Guitar strings rust and die. Use stainless steel spring wire.

Hans


#11

derek -

since the spring doesn’t show does it matter what the color is? a
different color/base metal spring might last longer, thereby
eliminating future grief.

ive
think more now, regret less later, people.


#12

Why would you offer the service of replacing the spring in a lobster
claw? If you don’t offer, then they have to replace the LC. You make
more money replacing then you do fixing at half the labor. And you
don’t have to worry about it coming back because you used the wrong
wire. What do you charge to replace the spring?


#13

Can you open up the lobster? There should be three components - the
main body, which you need to open, the trigger/jaw, and the spring.
The spring will probably consist of a coil with a with a straight arm
at each end:…

Don’t know if that will come out properly on the mailing list, but
it’s hard to describe otherwise; if you’re lucky, you might be able
to scavenge the spring from another clip. The trick is getting it
all assembled again without getting the spring hot, because you can
lose the “springyness” - a laser welder really helps here, or maybe a
paste that protects stones from heat.Make sure that the time and
effort and hassle is worth it - it might seem like a money-saving
idea to fix it yourself, but it isn’t if it takes all morning.

Jamie
http://primitive.ganoksin.com


#14

If you can obtain a silver lobster clasp of the same design it is
simple to prize open the bodies of the two clasps, switch springs,
and squish the 14K body closed with new spring enclosed.

The customer must pay for the whole silver clasp plus labour, and
this is suficciently cheaper than buying a new 14K clasp plus the
fitting.

If the clasp has a rivet as the pinion then the clasp is an old
style and a silver copy will be very hard to find. Then a new 14K
clasp will be best.

Alastair