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Using glue in the construction of jewellery


#1

Hi All Been following the threads on super glue use and the one on
fixing pearls.I’m fairly new to jewellery making although I’ve been
carving (jade) for some time.I’m curious to know what all you
experienced jewellers out there think about using glue in the
construction of jewellery, is it a big no.no, or with the vast range
of products out there today, is it a legitimate technique to use. Love
to hear your thoughts. Cheers Ian Longley Nelson, New Zealand


#2

Now you have done it. Talk about the proverbial “can of worms”.

My thoughts: While glue is good, it can be a pain-in-the-ass as
well. We all know that glue is great for holding things together, and
may seem like a really good idea at times; however, it becomes a real
annoyance to anyone who has to repair/modify the jewelry in the
future. It can make a real mess or even discolor the stone you are
working on if you use heat to remove it (not to mention the potential
smells). Also, because of the sensitivity of certain stones (opals,
amber, Pearls, etc…), glue should not be used unless you can
guaranty that the piece is never going to have to be repaired. (of
course we have all broken this rule at times )

Most accept glue when used in costume jewelry, however, in standard
jewelry glue is normally considered the exception, not the rule.
I.O.W: Use glue only when you can’t figure any other way to solve
your problems, and even then use it sparingly and with caution.


#3

Ian,

First off, I wouldn’t use super glue for anything except maybe to
hold a stone on a dop when faceting. Super glue breaks down under
both heat and water and will not last under grueling conditions most
jewelry goes through.

I agree with Silverfoot (I think that is who responded first) that
glue has its place but is not normally the best answer. We use it a
fair amount in lapidary when making a doublet or triplet, for inlay,
some stone repair, intarsia, making stone boxes or pictures, when
making multicolored stones (sometimes with metal layers) etc. Glue
also comes in handy when repairing a setting with a poorly
constructed bearing and there is not enough gold left to square it
up. A little glue can create a good flat bearing to hold an opal in
place etc., but it should not be considered the final answer to
’setting’ a stone. Mechanical means is aways the best unless you
are going to work on costume type stuff. One exception is setting a
pearl on a peg. There are, as described, mechanical methods but glue
seems to do just as well. The Japanese have used a white glue stick
that was heated, dabbed on the peg and the pearl immediately added.
This stuff was tough and lasted for years.

For all the things above, use only Epoxy…and the slow cure type is
best if possible to use it. Hope that helps a bit.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut1


#4
 I'm curious to know what all you experienced jewellers out there
think about using glue in the construction of jewellery, is it a
big no.no, or with the vast range of products out there today, is
it a legitimate technique to use. 

Hi Ian, I think most people would equate using glue or epoxy in
jewelry with the low-end costume end of the jewelry spectrum. Okay
for rhinestones and plastic or base metal. Genuine gemstones deserve
quality settings that hold them with mechanical force. That being
said, there are always exceptions. Epoxy is used in lapidary work,
especially inlay or intarsia. It is also used as a resin for inlaying
crushed stone or other decorative “filler” material, which is then
ground flush with the surface of the metal and polished.

The only time I use epoxy in stonesetting, and I do it somewhat
apologetically, is when setting very steep stones, like bullets or
tongues. With the steep walls, there isn’t much compression of the
bezel to grip the stone, and the epoxy gives me a little added
confidence the stone won’t fall out.

One person’s perspective…

Dave
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com


#5

Ian, First off, I wouldn’t use super glue for anything except maybe
to hold a stone on a dop when faceting. Super glue breaks down under
both heat and water and will not last under grueling conditions most
jewelry goes through.

I agree with Silverfoot (I think that is who responded first) that
glue has its place but is not normally the best answer. We use it a
fair amount in lapidary when making a doublet or triplet, for inlay,
some stone repair, intarsia, making stone boxes or pictures, when
making multicolored stones (sometimes with metal layers) etc. Glue
also comes in handy when repairing a setting with a poorly constructed
bearing and there is not enough gold left to square it up. A little
glue can create a good flat bearing to hold an opal in place etc., but
it should not be considered the final answer to ‘setting’ a stone.
Mechanical means is aways the best unless you are going to work on
costume type stuff. One exception is setting a pearl on a peg. There
are, as described, mechanical methods but glue seems to do just as
well. The Japanese have used a white glue stick that was heated,
dabbed on the peg and the pearl immediately added. This stuff was
tough and lasted for years.

For all the things above, use only Epoxy…and the slow cure type is
best if possible to use it. Hope that helps a bit.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut1


#6

Greetings All,

(The following adhesive use can be applied to many
facets of jewelry making.)

In my briolette business I often deal with the issue of “glue”. To
be correct, glue is not the proper name for what jewelers might use
in the construction of their products. “Glue” is a protein derived
adhesive made from animal or vegetable products. More advanced
adhesives do not have biological origins like “glue” but are
synthesized in labs and factories using more recent technology. So
to be correct the word adhesive should be used when talking about
modern substances like cyanoacrylates, epoxies, urethanes, acrylics
and others out there.

Briolettes like pearls often rely on adhesives for setting. There
are 3 ways that I am aware of to fix them to jewelry. Two of these
ways rely on adhesives.

see this link for the 3 ways to set briolettes:
http://www.briolettes.com/b_setting.htm

I have done testing of these methods and found some very interesting
results. Results which support the use of adhesives over mechanical
methods. In all cases the adhesive setting methods proved stronger
than the mechanical setting methods used to set briolettes. Repeated
tests only proved to substantiate this.

see this link for the strength of the different adhesive and
mechanical settings: http://www.briolettes.com/b_strength.htm

One of the most important and overlooked elements to successful,
strong adhesive bonds is proper surface preparation. Surfaces should
not be polished or smooth but rather they should be rough or
air-abraded when using adhesives. (Air-abrasion is sand-blasting
with things other than sand, i.e. aluminum oxide, glass beads,
silicon carbide, diamond, sand, etc.) The abraded surface not only
has increased area for a bond, but also has peaks and valleys for a
mechanical grip by the adhesive.

Scratching with abrasive wheels or sand paper does not give
equivalent results as air-abrasion. (one look under a microscope
will show this fact). Also scratching induces stresses into the
surface which could cause future failure. Similar to how glass
breaks on the scratch when cutting it.

Surfaces should also be totally clean and grease free.

The proper adhesive is also very important. For jewelry the epoxies
are best in my opinion.

a… they can fill gaps up to .040",

b… they have good shock resistance,

c… can be broken down for disassembly with low heat,

d… come in near colorless transparent,

e… have good chemical and water resistance,

f… have high tensile strength (over 4000 psi),

g… come in a variety of working and cure times to meet the job
requirements

I could go on about this, but it would be easier to just look at my
site. It is all there.

Regards,

Steve Green / Rough and Ready Gems / www.briolettes.com
"now you have a friend in the briolette business" to paraphrase Tom ; )