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YAP: yet another pos

G’day; Here’s my farthing’s worth for ear-posts. I bought a
pair of very cheap, but small & quite good (Fuller’s) pliers of
the flat-nosed type. I ground down the edges of the jaws so
they were about 3mm (1/8") wide. Using a jeweller’s saw I made a
shallow groove across one jaw at right angles to the length, then
made one on the other jaw, so they met exactly when closed. I
slightly increased the little slots to about 0.5 - 0.6mm with a
ball-burr. With these I can grip a piece of 0.8mm sterling wire
firmly without deforming it much.

However, these are not for placing the wire for soldering. I
make a tiny centre-pop mark in the centre of the earring back
after hall-marking the work. I take a piece of annealed 0.85mm
wire about 150mm long (6") and having straightened it, I pick up a
ball of solder with the fluxed wire. The ball-end is placed in
the centre-pop mark and held it in place with a 'third hand’
after fluxing the earring back and the wire end. A pencil flame
is used to heat the earring, and the solder flows nicely. The
post is cut to 10mm length and the end rounded. Now, this is
where the mutilated pliers come in: they are used to grip the
post right down at the earring back whilst with a pin vice the
post is gently twisted left and right a couple of times. So: we
have an ear post which is soft where it hits the earring back and
with the remainder fairly hard. This means that it doesn’t bend
when inserted into the ear piercing, and yet can stand a certain
amount of abuse before it eventually breaks off just above the
joint. (Don’t they all, eventually?)

But there is one more step with another pair of small El Cheepo
mutilated (Fullers) pliers - or rather - diagonal side-cutters.
I very carefully file a tiny semicircle to mate in both jaws and
this is used to made a small depressed circle around the wire
about 2mm from the rounded end, which helps to hold the ‘nut’ (I
prefer the words ‘butterfly’ or even ‘scroll’) in place when

And there you go - and I bet very few of you have ever seen a
farthing! Cheers, johnb at Mapua, New Zealand where it’s still
sunny and pleasantly warm. Well, most of the time.