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Tension/ball catch for hinged lids


#1

Hello everyone! I am going a bit bonkers working on a pair of
small-scale rings, each of which have two hinged lids. The top lid
is a small flat circle that is hinged to a slightly bigger circle
below it, which in turn is hinged to a half-sphere base. Each of
these two lids need secure catches, as they’ll be worn on the finger
and subject to jostling. I’ve decided that the top one will have a
little tongue of wire soldered onto it with a ball on the end that
extends just past the edge of that piece, and just before the ball
it will catch into a nearly closed ‘U’ shape soldered onto the piece
below it. For the bottom catch, I’ve soldered a piece of tubing to
the underside of that lid, and plan to solder balled silver to the
half sphere below, with a wire going through the tubing and forming
a little oblong shape that will catch around that ball.

The trouble is that I can’t find really clear exact on
the placement (or even construction of) these elements to ensure a
nice tight catch, and since I’ve already got two sets of hinges on
these bits I can’t mess around with heating them too much; would
really rather plan it out well and execute once as perfectly as I
can manage. I’ve checked all the usual sources for tips, including
the ganoksin site & tons of books (even including Tim McCreight’s
’Metalsmith’s Book of Boxes and Lockets’)…but none give precise
directions or even drawings/photos of the catch from all angles.
I’ve ordered Charles Lewton-Brain’s ‘Hinges and Hinge-Based
Catches’, but it’s still in transit and I’d like to keep moving on
these pieces.

If anyone can offer me any help, I’d really appreciate it! I just
need a little more preparatory before I feel comfortable
going forward.

Thank you!! Jessica in gorgeous sunny warm San Francisco, although I
spent the entire day at the bench so missed it all! :{