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Stuller issues with stock earrings


#1

Orchid,

Reading the post from Grace & her problems with Rio’s head pins
snapping off, brought me around to my own problem w/ Stuller’s
earrings. In the past 4 months I have set up about 100 pair of stock
earrings for various clients. About 30% of them simply twist off
while in my pin vise. Normally, I would attribute the problem to
fatigue & really trying to crank out product. Not so in this case. I
have had this problem over the years & seems to be getting worse. Is
it just me, or have any of you in the Orchid community had issues
like this with Stuller’s earrings?

Walt Teats
American Goldworks
www.donranddesigns.com


#2

I’ve had it whenever I use their earrings. I usually resolder but
it’s a hassle. The quick answer is hold them in your hand while
setting, but you know they’ll break off when they leave your shop.

Stanley Bright
Owner
A&M Jewelers
Baltimore, MD


#3

Walt,

... In the past 4 months I have set up about 100 pair of stock
earrings for various clients. About 30% of them simply twist off
while in my pin vise. 

Are you holding a friction post in a pin vise and then attempting to
set the head soldered to it, without further support for the head?

If that’s the case, it’s not just Stuller. I don’t think I’ve ever
found a brand of that type of earring, or much of any other head
soldered to a friction post, that would consistantly stand up to that
method of holding the thing for setting. Cutting the seats twists the
heads off some, and slight bending back and forth during setting the
prongs breaks off others now and then.

A better solution, at least for me, is not to use a pin vise. They
just don’t adequately support the heads when just held by the
friction posts. OK for polishing if you need, but not for setting, at
least not in my experience.

Get yourself one of these cute little setting jigs from Rio. They
work well, and hold the earring by the head itself, so you don’t
break off the posts. And they work for more than just post earrings.
Pendants, or just plain heads not attached to anything, etc.

http://tinyurl.com/3px8me

Item: Rio Mini Setting Vise™
Item Number: 113140

Description: This small, all-metal, handheld vise holds ear
posts or settings securely;while you set stoneswithout damaging
the ear post or head.; The vise holds the smallest of settings,
even with a post or bail.; The black oxidized areas are
lightweight anodized aluminum.

Hope that helps.
Peter Rowe


#4
About 30% of them simply twist off while in my pin vise. Normally,
I would attribute the problem to fatigue & really trying to crank
out product. Not so in this case. I  have had this problem over
the years 

My opinion is that you have to be extremely careful using a pin vise
to= set stud earrings. With the torque involved and the pressure
needed while burring, it is really easy to bend or twist the head
and either weaken or break the connection. I have a vise with a
handle like a file handle, it has a v shape cut in= the center, I can
use that to hold the base of the head or basket rather than just
holding the post, which is just a thin piece of wire. If your burr is
not real sharp, more torque…head spins. I think unless you have had
better success with another vendors products, blaming Stuller’s
quality is unfair. Probably a vendor item. It happened to me with
Hoover and Strongs products and Stullers. What was in common was me
using a pin vise. There is a special tool for holding studs so they
do not get damaged while burring.

Richard Hart


#5
 Get yourself one of these cute little setting jigs from Rio.
They work well, and hold the earring by the head itself, so you
don't break off the posts. And they work for more than just post
earrings. Pendants, or just plain heads not attached to anything,
etc. http://tinyurl.com/3px8me 

I just happened to recheck my own URL, above. It’s correct, but
there’s a gotcha. You can’t just click it and go to the item,
because Rio’s web page is one of those darned sites that demands you
log in before it will let you browse. Very annoying. It’s a good
thing they don’t make you phone them for permission every time you
want to look for something in one of their print catalogs. I can see
making you log in to actually place an order, or to use such a scheme
at a site restricted to “trade only”, as Stuller’s is, but Rio isn’t
such a firm, so the required initial login is just an annoyance.
(Listening guys? What makes you so sure I can always happen to
remember my password or am willing to bother with that hassle? Other
than Stuller (who’s site I tend to avoid for just this reason, and
they only restrict access to prices, not the items themselves), none
of your competitors do that. Not Gesswein, not Progress, not
Allcraft, not Contenti, not Frei and Borel… )

OK, done ranting.

To see that URL, start your browser, go to Riogrande.com, and log
in. THEN switch back to your email screen, without closing your
browser, and click the link. Then it works.

Way too much busywork, huh?

Once logged in, you can also just go to the tools section, and
within that, stone setting section, and within that, accessories.

Or just skip the site and grab your Rio tools catalog and look it up
the old way. No darn passwords.

cheers
Peter Rowe


#6
There is a special tool for holding studs so they do not get
damaged while burring. 

I’ve used that tool but didn’t especially like it, not the fault of
the tool, its just my preferences I guess. I generally like to keep
my fingernails a bit long, portable tweezers. I’ve found,
particularly with platinum that a hard rigid metallic type clamping
encourages bur chatter, so I’d rather burn my fingertips. And since
I once ran an eighth inch drill thru my left forefinger there’s not
much feeling there so…


#7

I have always just held them between my fingers failing to
understand how a pin vise would not snap off the post. I’ve been
setting earrings in mass lately and tearing my fingers up.

I had not come up with an idea for a holder until this topic. Think
this might work?: Take a pair of parallel pliers and cut a shallow
cylinder between the jaws using a setting bur (or series of
graduated cylinders) and glue thin layers of leather to each jaw.
Put just the base of the earring in and cut the seat, set and finish.

For setting 3 prong earrings I use the handpiece from an old
flexshaft as a holder.

P.S. A little late but an idea for the proper tattoo that other
jewelers would recognise would be to tattoo both thumbs and
forefingers black! :wink:

J. Rose


#8

rio grande stocks a small earring holder which i’ve used
successfully for years. it puts zero pressure on the post. it works
very well with basket settings.


#9
Rio's web page is one of those darned sites that demands you log in
before it will let you browse. Very annoying. 

Yep, I couldn’t be bothered to log in either. I do like Rio Grande
very much though. They have been the easiest of the US vendors for
me as a UK resident to deal with, but I agree with you that it’s
annoying to have to go through the rigmarole of having to log in just
to look at something.

Helen
UK
http://www.hillsgems.co.uk


#10

Am I missing something on this one? I set every piece whether it’s
earrings, pendants, necklaces, bracelets or rings using Thermo-loc by
GRS (or there’s JettSett, etc). Soft when hot, rock hard at room
temperature. I make things in batches so do each step to every piece
before moving onto the next step. So I have a number of items to set
at once - therefore setting up for stone setting is not a problem. I
mount one thing at a time, remove the “blob” containing the piece
time I’ve finished that, the first one is cool enough and therefore
rock hard enough to set so it goes back in the vice and the stones
are set (I’m very tempted to pick up an engraving ball at some point
though, as my vice is VERY ungainly indeed!).

Although I guess that’s okay in my circumstances. If you’re running
your own bricks and mortar jewellery store and doing repairs or
custom orders where you’re working one at a time then my way of
doing things might not be very economical time-wise. But such
materials do support the head or setting of a piece rather than
relying on holding the post - and any metal type of holding device
will only leave more unnecessary tool marks which will need cleaning
up afterwards - that’s not a problem with thermo-plastics.

Helen
UK
http://www.hillsgems.co.uk


#11

What about using a piece of cork to set the stones? Sink the post
into a small hole in the cork, and let cork take the pressure and
give you a surface to hold on to.


#12
What about using a piece of cork to set the stones? Sink the post
into a small hole in the cork, and let cork take the pressure and
give you a surface to hold on to. 

It isn’t the pressure, Melissa, it’s the torque caused by the bur
when you cut the seat.

Jerry in Kodiak