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Soldering tennis bracelet


#1

Hello everyone,

My husband gave me a diamond tennis bracelet several years ago and I
recently broke it. I looked at it with my magnifier and found that a
small bar has broken. My question is: where do I find gold wire and
what gauge would I need, what kind of solder would I use, and am I
nuts trying to fix this small bracelet? I’m little more than a novice
and have never worked with gold. Maybe I answered my own question,
but I would like some input on this subject. I have learned a lot
just reading posts on Orchid.

Thanks all.


#2

Barbara. The best advice I could give you regarding repairing your
tennis bracelet is…DON’T TRY IT. You state you “are little more
than a novice and have never worked with gold”. How about working
with a bracelet with diamonds in it? How about working with very fine
wire in extremely small spaces on an item that is probably cast
metal. Each one of these thing, and a number of others, presents
unique problems. If you value your gift, find a qualified jewelry
repairman (woman) and have I done professionally.

Cheers
from Don in SOFL.


#3

Barbara,

I would suggest taking the bracelet to a manufacturing jeweller who
could probably repair it for you in a matter of hours.

The amount of gold you would have to purchase would be much more
than you would need to undertake the repair, then there is the solder
and depending on the tools you have available you may end up making
the repair worse by perhaps using a torch which is too big for the
repair.

One thing to bear in mind though, often if an item like this needs
repair due to wear (as opposed to a break) other wires may also need
repairing.

Good luck,
Roger


#4

Hi Barbara-

My advice? save yourself potential heartbreak from “learning” gold
on your bracelet and bring it to a competent local jeweler for
repair.

Even when you have some experience it can be daunting to repair
pieces that have personal significance for the jeweler.

Gold is fun to work with, and pretty simple too, once you get the
hang of it. But it is a different material than silver-with different
properties- so I’d strongly advise you melt your first few pieces of
gold on just that- scrap pieces of gold. Then you’ll have a better
idea of how that gorgeous metal works

:slight_smile: ciao- Maureen BZ
Sweating it out in the desert Southwest


#5
and am I nuts trying to fix this small bracelet? 

Probably, Barbara… It’s not hard at all, if you know what you’re
doing, but it’s fine work. Most tennis bracelets - "line bracelets"
use around a #72 drill bit for the hinge pins, which is something
like.8mm, as I recall (I’m in the mountains, right now…). I don’t
use gauges, but you can find that in any book, what gauge.8mm is. You
need to drill it, put in a new pin, and solder it with (usually) easy
solder. That takes a little torch… You can use a solder stop,
like yellow ocher, but it’s almost more difficult to do it that way.
Otherwise you end up with a frozen link… Take it to a pro…


#6

Maureen,

My advice? save yourself potential heartbreak from "learning" gold
on your bracelet and bring it to a competent local jeweler for
repair. 

That is excellent advice. For some weird reason it never occurred to
me to experiment on some scrap gold I have around. What a great idea!
I think I’ll follow both of y’all’s advice (I’m from Texas) and take
it to a pro. I will definitely find an experienced jeweler and take
it to him or her.

Thanks for the advice.
Barbara


#7

Barbara…

and am I nuts trying to fix this small bracelet? 

As John said it is delicate work, on usually poorly made import
pieces. Usually if one link breaks either the bracelet was snagged
or all the links are approaching toast. From your questions I’d
recommend finding an experienced good repair jeweller. Tennis
bracelets can be scary work even if you do several a week.

jeffD
Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#8
then there is the solder and depending on the tools you have
available you may end up making the repair worse by perhaps using a
torch which is too big for the repair. 

I thought of one other, imperative factor last night - if you don’t
have steam, don’t even think about it. The diamonds need to be
surgically clean or they will burn. If they don’t actually burn, the
gunk underneath will permanently glue itself to them…