[tie pins] technical help appreciated

Dear Orchidians(?)

I want to make a couple of sterling silver tie pins, they will
have an embossed motif soldered onto them, but the basic design
will otherwise resemble a money clip.

In other words a strip of metal bent into an elongated U shape.
I was thinking of putting a reverse curve on one end of the clip
to help it grip a bit more firmly. To harden the clip I was going
to barrel it for an hour or so, but obviously I can’t do this
with the embossed design attached as it will erode the design

So the question is, how do I construct this? Should I barrel the
clips and then rivet the motif on, or is there another way to
harden the clip without placing it in the barrel? I’m very much a
beginner, I have made perhaps 10 finished pieces so far, so this
is a first attempt at this type of construction. If I’m going
about this completely the wrong way then it would be helpful to
know at an early (planning) stage.

The embossing will be done using a form which I am going to
first etch and then cut part of the design away giving a 3D
effect with a lightly detailed background. I thought I’d use
steel to make this form, since I want to use it about a dozen

Any advice would be welcome.


Hello Alex, I think if you mix up a two- part epoxy and coat the
area you wish to protect, you could put it in the tumbler. When
you are through, just warm the glue a bit and it should come
right off. Have fun. Tom Arnold p.s. The mechanical attachment
idea of using a couple of rivets also sounded good.

Er, it sounds like a good idea, except that I work in a lab
where we use epoxy adhesives a lot. Almost all of them are
carcinogenic, especially the more volatile components. I wouldn’t
be happy heating expoxy at all! It’s a good idea though, I just
might try something a little less dodgy. How about a thick coat
of silicone adhesive. That could just be peeled off afterwards.

My tutor suggested I should try using Nickel silver instead of
Sterling (it’s tougher and takes a “spring” more easily) and then
use the sterling for the accent (motif).

Thanks for the suggestion.

Alex Ball
Electron Microscope Unit
The Natural History Museum
London SW7 9BD

Tel 0171 938 8973/9348
Fax 0171 938 9268