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Thread: Jumprings on thin chain

  1. #1
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    Default Jumprings on thin chain

    I have a problem adding chain to an odd piece I've been working on.

    The piece uses very fine chain (in the sense of thin, not 999) to join two complex worked items together. The items themselves are a mix of sterling, red gold and fine silver.

    If I pickle the chain is dulled but it feels too thin to present to the rouge mop.

    I've been trying to use Thermo Gel to limit the damage, but what a mess!

    There has to be a clever trick...?

  2. #2
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    Do you have a picture Joe?
    If you put it in your Photo Album or post it here as an attachment it
    might give us a springboard for suggestions
    Nic x
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  3. #3
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    Ah, quite a lot of the stuff I do is not suitable for the forum because of grown-up themes

    I have asked forum admin about this a couple of days ago but they are probably having a think about it...

    But it's just the usual firescale. Even with my smallest torch nozzle, a few links of the fine chain get hot, scale and need pickling.

    Out of the pickle I then need to make it shiny again, but what to use on fine chain? I've broken it several times with my pendant polishing tools! Even a gentle rub with polish on a cloth seems rough and doesn't get in all of the links.

    But maybe there's a way of not getting the chain in need of pickle?

    The chain is Cooksons 2x1.5 (WVT C00) so maybe you'll tell me not to be so ham-fisted and polish it carefully?

  4. #4
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    Dear Joe,
    It is not quite clear what the question is, but here goes with some suggestions. To avoid overheating fine chain, use easy solder with easy flux. Fuse a little excess solder on the jump ring, put the chain up close. When you reheat the jump ring the chain will suddenly take up the solder. To clean the chain after pickling, I would use a soapy glass brush, followed by a soapy brass brush on a flat surface. It will be fine. Kind regards, Dennis.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe View Post
    But maybe there's a way of not getting the chain in need of pickle?
    Argotect, Magic Boric or boric acid dissolved in methanol will all help reduce the problem, but it'll still need a clean up.
    I'd probably go for Dennis' suggestion of the brass brush for preference, but in some cases I might be inclined to use a pendant motor with the chain carefully stetched over a solid backing. I'd have thought your polishing cloth wouldn't be too bad for the outside - for the inside the only thing I can think of is to use the links themselves & maybe a bit of a tumble, done manually in a jar half-full of soapy water. Won't shift a huge amount, but might be enough to brighten it after using one of the firestain preventers.

  6. #6
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    Thank you Dennis and psBond. I'm sorry if I failed to clearly describe my issue.

    The boric acid/propanol mix still leaves me a film to clean unless it goes into the pickle - I don't really understand the pickle chemistry and perhaps it's time I did! The glass brush definitely helps - thanks Dennis - but it's still a bit rubbish after the wire brush - lacklustre.

    As I fiddled about with every bit of gloop in my collection I was getting a sneaking feeling that I'd taken a wrong turn for something that some people must do hundreds of times a day and thought I should ask.

    Everything leaves me with thin chain that needs cleaning & polishing (the worst was burned thermo-gel: that is so disgusting to get off!)

    With bigger chain I just polish the high spots and it looks OK. Maybe it doesn't usually matter if there's a few dull links next to a clasp at the back... this time the chain element is just 6 1.5mm links and it's right there in front of my critical eye!

    This is the last finish on this piece and it keeps getting put aside not quite done.

    I have just got some new hi-tech 3M pumice things, I might try in my Foredom in a minute!

  7. #7
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    The mistery is that I have not experienced this with a sterling chain, only with a plated chain from an iffy supplier. I never use special precautions other than those mentioned by me above. In addition maybe work in subdued lighting to monitor the glow and pickle in a hottish solution of alum or safety pickle. Finally don't rush your soldering. It should take 6-8 seconds to heat the jump ring, remote from the solder. The chain being thin will take up the heat indirectly. D.

  8. #8
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    Joe have you tried a silver cloth they are inpregnated with polish i use them all the time

  9. #9
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    I'd say the easiest way would be to invest in a tumbler which would polish everything up nicely for you.

  10. #10
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    Well there's a decision then (as I pop another piece of chain into my sterling scrap pot)! Next week - shot and soap!

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