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Reversible clasp


#1

I am working on a reversible bracelet which needs a reversible
clasp. The design I have settled on is one I have never made, so I
would be thrilled to have pointers from anyone who has made this
type. (Or suggestions for a better design!)

Since it needs to be equally accessible from either side of the
bracelet (which will be hinged 1" squares) I want to make a type of
box clasp in which the tongue is flat and shaped essentially like a
W in which the space under that central upside-down V is solid. The
top of the center is hinged. The outside of the W has notches in it
so it catches when pushed into a slot. These “arms” are pressed
inward to release the catch. Got that?

I am working from nothing besides a drawing in “The Complete
Metalsmith” and a good imagination, so if anybody can save me from
having to re-invent the wheel, so to speak, I’d be grateful. I don’t
even know a name for this catch, to look for more info.

THANKS
Noel


#2
shaped essentially like a W 

yup that’s what its called a W clasp, basically a regular snap times
2

I have come across quite a few bracelets of this general layout and
often the snaps have a problem. Sometimes twisting of the two clasp
links can cause the snap to open. The problem lies in the fitment of
the tongue into its box. If there’s too much sideways clearance the
snap can rock and pull one side of the snap away from its bearing in
the box. If you make a snug fit between the tip of the tongue and
the innermost part of the box, this can eliminate the twisting. You
also could solder a wire down into the box that engages a matching
slot in the tongue. What you are trying to do is prevent the tongue
from rocking sideways in the box, as viewed from above. You want the
clasp to actuate only when the two buttons are pressed
simultaneously, not when one is inadvertently pressed while being
worn.


#3
so if anybody can save me from having to re-invent the wheel, so
to speak, I'd be grateful. I don't 

Noel, it’s a very common catch you describe - Look to Otto Frei part
#46E-91 or #46e2 for the tongues. It’s 1000% easier just to buy the
tongue, but making it is certainly do-able, too. Then the box just
has a slot that the tongue goes into with edges on the sides. And
don’t forget to put push buttons on the pushers.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#4

Hi Noel,

If you change your mind on the box clasp… a sister clasp would
also work well for this function. Sounds simply lovely.

Good luck.
Tracy
Tracy’s Treasures


#5
You want the clasp to actuate only when the two buttons are
pressed simultaneously, not when one is inadvertently pressed
while being worn. 

Thanks, Neil-- you reinforced what I had already guessed. I’m
planning to put a septum in the bottom of the box that fits into a
slot in the tongue, with a sloping funnel-like matching slot in the
septum. This will hold the tongue steady both left to right and up
and down.

This will be sterling. Anything special to tell me about how thick
the tongue should be, or proportions for the best spring?

Thanks
Noel


#6

Noel,

This will be sterling. Anything special to tell me about how thick
the tongue should be, or proportions for the best spring? 

Sterling is just too soft to use for this application. If your
design can handle the small cost increase the tongue and plate it
passes through should be 18k nickel white gold. For inexpensive
jewelry that you don’t really care about softer materials will work
but the tongue and plate take a huge amount of strain and will wear
out way too fast if softer materials are used on them. Since you put
so much of yourself into your work add this little bit of gold to
make a longer lasting piece.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#7
If your design can handle the small cost increase the tongue and
plate it passes through should be 18k nickel white gold. 

Agree. However keep in mind that if you fabricate this clasp from
sheet stock you will have a huge amount of waste. I suspect trying to
form it out of wire may overstress at the bends, even if you anneal.
Buy a gold finding and you’ll be cost effective with a sturdy long
lasting clasp.

If you opt not for gold it ‘could’ be done in nickel but then there
goes calling the piece sterling.

IF you must use sterling make it beefy, .040" or more With just
enough of a recess at the holding point to do the job. If you make
the recess or notch too deep you will of necessity bend the tongue
passed its memory point merely to open the clasp and it will take a
set and never be right.

It just occurs to me that if the bracelet has enough sideways flex
you might investigate a bayonet clasp. This could be effective in
sterling because the tongue is so long stress isn’t confined to a
single point.