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Thread: Soldering fastenings onto chain question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    29

    Default Soldering fastenings onto chain question

    Hi,

    Bear with me as I am a newbie

    I hate the way clasps on chains often migrate round to the front if the balance isn't right and am looking to make pieces with chains that can't spin.

    To do this i want to use a thin ball/bead chain and attach fastenings to it, like the maker has done in this necklace: (i can't post the url but it's 'silver and gold vermeil charm necklace' by Will Bishop)

    There is a lobster clasp at the back not shown in the picture.

    It seems i need to be able to solder the back clasp and front fastenings with jump rings directly onto the chain to make it secure. I am a bit daunted by this as the most i've done is solder jump rings shut.

    My questions are:

    what order do you do this in? solder the fastening onto the chain, then close the jump rings?
    will a small torch (the mini butane ones) be sufficient, if the piece is not too large?
    is the solder going to want to flow along the chain and stop the balls from flexing?
    what fastenings do you even use for this?

    help with any of these questions would be much appreciated, or a work around if this is likely to be too tricky for a beginner. I'm okay at soldering but no experience of soldering with chains.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    West Berkshire
    Posts
    588

    Default

    If I was making this, I would solder all of the rings onto the charms, then loop them through a larger ring capturing the chain ends.
    It is quite possible to lay the last ring on a charcoal block (you can secure with a pin or similar) and move the other pieces out of the way, even covering them with a piece of charcoal. Concentrate the heat on the block/ring and pick solder. It should be very quick.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central London
    Posts
    7,600

    Default

    If you are daunted by pick soldering, then just use a little more solder than usual to close the jump ring. If in doubt use easy solder.

    Now it can be attached any where, by placing the solder joint in contact, refluxing and gently re-heating.

    When joining, always make sure that the bigger side reaches soldering temperature, before including the smaller part with your flame. A small torch, with the air hole partly closed , in a dark environment should do it.

    As for fastenings, look at commercial tubular fastenings used on ball chain key rings. Alternatively, use a narrow strip of metal, with a long slit along the centre, which ends in a sideways opening. this can then be hooked between the balls and the chain moved along the slot. The fixed ball is trapped by bending the metal over itself.

    Below is a quick sketch. Dennis.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fastener For Ball Chain.jpg  
    Last edited by Dennis; 15-12-2015 at 12:39 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    cotswolds
    Posts
    3,228

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    A word of caution, though, about this style. Unless whatever you're hanging from the chain is fairly substantial, it will still swivel round in wear, but will be even more annoying because the whole thing will then be unbalanced, rather than just the chain.

    You'll also need to bear in mind that since everything is permanently fastened, you need to be aware of the total metal weight as you may well find yourself going over the hallmarking threshold.

    The simple alternative is to use a prepared chain (ball chains are not the easiest to make yourself) and switch the clasp to one that's attractive enough to incorporate into the design, and deliberately place it at the front.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    29

    Default

    thanks all for the assistance!

    I'll try and post back once I've had a go...

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