Thursday, June 02, 2011

Progress report on the clasp from hell.... ;)

Week 13 & 14 at TAFE:

Both TAFE days I've been working on the padlock clasp which is proving to be a challenge. I did some work at home on the weekend and soldered the chain links of the bracelet, and while I was at it, I thought I'd just solder the top plate to the base of the padlock clasp while I was at the bench: easy peasy - a five minute job...after all it's just a variation of a hollow form and I've churned a couple out with not too many issues since I learnt the technique ......Aha! - what naive optimism - It was actually A PITA that took 4 attempts!

The top is very gently domed and there was one little section where the top just wouldn't solder to the wall of the piece, although when it was all bound up pre soldering it looked like it was all flush and connected OK. Despite me trying the troubleshooting tips from the teacher(filing & gentle hammering of the edges) I still had a tiny hairline section that just wouldn't connect!

Stick soldering saved the day - something I don't usually do because I'm not too good at this and I find that I flood too much solder on the piece when I solder this way. Anyway this time that was a good thing (yay!) and it filled the 'gap'! Now there's just this small matter of extensive firescale to address LOL!
Many jewellers will tell you that solder will not fill a gap. Bearing this in mind it's quite possible that my problem wasn't so much a gap. It may have been that the section was dirty or perhaps contaminated by pickle, which prevented the solder from flowing in that spot. Who knows? Anyway it's all fixed now!

In class I prepared the arm which I soldered on to a little hand formed tube, it had to be hardened, filed, annealed and turned up and soldered. I had to "fit" it to the body, working out the placement of the holes in the wall,which I drilled, burred & filed out ready to take the arm and be riveted in place......which is what I'll be doing next week in class!

Pin It

No comments: