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  #1  
Old 05-04-2010, 06:15 AM
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Default Looking for help from Jewelers. Repair gone bad!!

I recently took on a repair job for a friend with great confidence of my abilities to fix the broken joint of this bracelet. I packed Heat Shield all around the stone, piled it on. I, as you can see from the pics, have sucessfully burned out the center of the stone. :( :( :( ... I need some guidence now. What can I do to save this family heirloom? I have this sinking feeling in my gut that this is gonna be one of those life lessons to learn from and move on. Is there a poxy that i can use to make the stone look whole again, and possibly extract the stone(which i was trying to avoid in the first place) and save this piece.. I am using a small propane torch which has worked well up to this point. I can not get a great amount of heat all at once with it. I don't know any other forums, you guys have been so helpful on my road to engraving that I thought of you first. Please HELP!!!!
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  #2  
Old 05-04-2010, 06:47 AM
jingke01 jingke01 is offline
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Default Re: Looking for help from Jewelers. Repair gone bad!!

hello.I am steve from china.

I have visited your website.they are so good.
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Old 05-04-2010, 06:49 AM
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Default Re: Looking for help from Jewelers. Repair gone bad!!

Hi Turtle

I've been in your situation before it's part of the learning process of becoming a jeweler. You are going to have to replace the Turquoise there is no saving it don't even waste your time trying. That type of jewelry does not use calibrated stones so you will have to have one cut to fit or buy one already cut that looks close to the one you had and sand it down to fit the bezel and fix the repair with the stone removed. also when you reset the stone pit some sawdust or a pice of cardboard behind the stone to cushion it a little.
Hope this helps, it's always the favors that end up burning your butt

David
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Old 05-04-2010, 07:11 AM
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Default Re: Looking for help from Jewelers. Repair gone bad!!

Thats what I was thinking, I lost the stone. :( damn.. Thank you soo much for the suggestions! What started out as a mothers day repair has ended up a lot longer repair. Can you sugest a lapidary artist that might be able to help? There is no good or bad, its just lessons up to this point.
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Old 05-04-2010, 12:48 PM
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Default Re: Looking for help from Jewelers. Repair gone bad!!

I have a good friend who is a lapidary but he is in Tampa Fl.
give me a call after 8PM eastern time 407-493-5603

Under no circumstances do you want to tell the owner what happened!!!!![/SIZE]
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:55 PM
Mark M Mark M is offline
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Default Re: Looking for help from Jewelers. Repair gone bad!!

A propane torch is no where near hot enough to solder silver with a stone in place. You need oxygen and gas and a hissing oxidizing flame to get in and out fast. Putting the stone in a tin of water with wet paper towel tweezered around it might have helped. Of course a laser welder is the way to go! I would jhave charged a lot to repair that job. You might get by with mixing some powdered cheer laundry soap in some water clear epoxy and trying to blend the burned out section. Also when you torch solder silver use the white paste flux sold at welding supply stores instead of the green liquid flux. It keeps the joint clean and makes the solder flow like water. It is easty to shape the soft turquoise with a heatless wheel in a handpiece.

Mark
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Old 05-05-2010, 05:12 AM
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Default Re: Looking for help from Jewelers. Repair gone bad!!

Thank you for the different perspectives!! I am on my own up where I'm at and any new ideas for me are sooo welcomed. My mentor is only up here in the summer, so for me, that's another month of trying to figure out things on my own before he returns. The help, critiques, and support I get here are soo appreciated and soo welcomed! What role does the powder cheer play? I use a white paste flux called "handy flux" right now. I havn't tried any other fluxes yet. Thanks again!!
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Old 05-05-2010, 07:58 AM
Mark M Mark M is offline
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Default Re: Looking for help from Jewelers. Repair gone bad!!

The cheer used to be used to create fake turq. inlay. When it is mixed with water clear epoxy it looks like the real thing. You can also use ceramit to simulate the material and get a decent color match.
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Old 05-05-2010, 01:32 PM
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Default Re: Looking for help from Jewelers. Repair gone bad!!

turtle You are in an area where there's many rock shops and all cut semi pre stone...
Cut a stone and tell the customer and suggest earrings for to broken turq...
Don't do silver repair with a stone even for your sis or mom and not with a propane torch...
It's more work to do SS than AU...
Even with the LaserStar Laser...
Silver is so different than Gold, so go play...
KDave has the right idea but, I would tell them and save the broken parts for maybe earrings...
Jerry
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Old 05-05-2010, 05:03 PM
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Daniel Houwer Daniel Houwer is offline
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Default Re: Looking for help from Jewelers. Repair gone bad!!

If there is going to be a next time, could you not just pop the stone out?
With a thin piece of silver with a 90degree angle cut to a blade, you could just put it inbetween the stone and the bezel and get the bezel loose.
Take the stone out and solder what you want.
Might take longer than you would like, but it would keep the stone alive.
Still, these are hard calls to make. Every sytuation is different and every stone is too.

Hope you get this fixed to both comferts.
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  #11  
Old 05-07-2010, 04:58 AM
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Default Re: Looking for help from Jewelers. Repair gone bad!!

I was nervous about taking the stone out, in fear of messing up the bezel. I ordered the heat shield and it took a week for it to show up here. It took me three minutes to make a 90degree tool out of my solder pik and I extracted the stone like a pro. Silly I avoided this process. The repair went good, now I am dealing with the stone replacement. I talked to a gentelman lastnight out of florida that can replace the stone. I'm sending the turq on its journey today. There's a quote from a cartoon my son watches that keeps ringing in my ears these past couple o days. "One often meets his destiny on the road he choses to avoid it" In retrospect, I have learned how to extract a stone and not take the easy road out, and I have hooked up with a lapidary artist which will be my first in my book of hook ups. I told my friend what happened and showed him the stone. He said to set it, but I know better. I want my work to be top notch with a reason to come back for more. I will go the extra mile and do it right. Besides, he might not see the problem with the stone, but his wife will. LoL.. Cant hide that grand canyon of a crack. Thank you so much to everyone. I feel less anxity and more of a resolve. I would have been at a loss with out you guys. You guys are the original hook up! Thank you!!!!!!
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Old 05-07-2010, 06:47 AM
Roger B2 Roger B2 is offline
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Default Re: Looking for help from Jewelers. Repair gone bad!!

Turtle,

It's something they don't tend to tell you in books but when soldering silver the whole piece has to be heated and when ready concentrate the heat on the solder join area - otherwise the metal will draw the heat away from where you are playing the flame. Gold doesn't do this as much and you can get away with the heat paste.

I've been caught out before on a silver ring with MOP and it gives you that sinking feeling when you peel away the "protective" barrier only to see that you have passed the point of no return.

Roger
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:33 AM
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Default Re: Looking for help from Jewelers. Repair gone bad!!

KDAVE GAVE YOU SOME GOOD ADVICE..
I use a Surgal knife to lift the bezel just a little and thenz work it up just enough to be able to force it up and remove the stone, don't go all the way around the stone just to release it...Just release at 1 end and the 1 side so it's easier to reset without notice...
I hate working indian jewelry w/stones, have paid my dues and made plenty in the start of jewelry in "74"??????
Do what Dave said put some sawdust under the stone it last longer...
Jerry
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:58 AM
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Default Re: Looking for help from Jewelers. Repair gone bad!!

Hi Turtle,
Great you got the stone out.
I also use a surgical blade sometimes but for these stones and thin silver bezels I think they are a bit to sharp. Ofcourse this can be helped
But still for these kind of settings with very soft stones a piece of silver or silver solder rolled hard, seems to not damage the stone and leave the bezel intact.
For tougher bezels and harders stones I made a high polished bezel opener that are like surgical knifes but a bit thicker to be able to pry the bezel of the stone.

For your damaged turqoois, you could mix 2component glue (or preferably uv hardening stuff) with some turqoois filings to fill up the gap. Not the best way ofcourse but sometimes a good way to keep the same stone workable.
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Old 05-08-2010, 05:03 AM
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Default Re: Looking for help from Jewelers. Repair gone bad!!

I sent out the turquoise yesterday for its journey to Florida. I talked to the owner yesterday afternoon and told him what I was planning and he has insited on paying for the new stone. I told him "no way am I going to have you pay for my mistakes". He still insisted. So we came to an agreement to go in halfs. I would rather pay for it in it's entireity but he is just too nice of a guy. I don't think I could have gone on like nothing was wrong and not told him what walls I was butting up against. Its not in my blood to hide mistakes. I'm not very good at looking someone in the eye and telling them something else besides the truth.... So I have a question bout backing? I was taught to put thin layered cardbord paper behind the stone.. Is there a big difference between cardboard and sawdust? Or is it just a preference?
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Old 05-08-2010, 05:36 AM
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Default Re: Looking for help from Jewelers. Repair gone bad!!

it's preference, the sawdust is a little softer, you should just put some sort of cushion esecially on a fragil stone like turquiose
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Old 05-10-2010, 02:27 PM
goldsmith11 goldsmith11 is offline
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Default Re: Looking for help from Jewelers. Repair gone bad!!

Hi, with gold I can just heat the point I want to solder and get out quick. With silver, generally I heat the whole thing evenly and then the solder runs smoothly. So more heat is heading for the stone with silver. If your torch doesn't have the heat to do the job right, you'll take too long and the flame will torture the silver piece and probably load it up with firescale, which you don't want. Try a half of a pop can filled with budgy gravel and soaked in water so the water rises to the surface of the gravel. The coarser gravel size works better than sand. Push the stone into the gravel completely under the water with the part you want to solder sticking out, above the can. Finish your soldering before the water vaporizes down to the stone and you lose the cooling benifit of the wet gravel around the stone. Or add more water and continue.
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:22 AM
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Default Re: Looking for help from Jewelers. Repair gone bad!!

This is awesome!! I am getting to know so many little secerets that I will need to know for the future!! Thank you everyone!
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Old 07-31-2010, 01:54 PM
hand e dave hand e dave is offline
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Default Re: Looking for help from Jewelers. Repair gone bad!!

Hi Turtle, Yup, I know you posted this many months back, but I have a couple of suggestions. First, unless you have really deep pockets and can afford some of the suggestions from others, do yourself a favour and buy a $30-$45 torch kit. 2 bottles, one oxygen and one propane, a small handpiece, and two regulators. You adjust the small flame using the regulators attached to the bottles. By using oxygen and propane, you can get a very fine hot flame. Well worth the money.


Second, sorry to say, but when silver soldering sterling silver, the entire piece must be heated. That cool stuff you mentioned won't work on sterling, only gold. Gold can be soldered at the joint, without having to heat the entire piece up. Sounds strange, but sterling is harder to solder than gold.


That said, my policy, when I made a living making jewellery, was that I only repaired MY OWN WORK. It'll save you alot of heartache and frustration. Yup, I know it was for a friend, but it was a hard lesson to learn.

I hope the pics help you out a bit. All the best. Dave.
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Old 11-13-2010, 06:53 AM
mehoose mehoose is offline
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Default Re: Looking for help from Jewelers. Repair gone bad!!

Turtle,
I'm glad this was sorted openly and with a good result in the end.
You are right, it would have been noticed.
Once this has happened with Turquoise, one good knock and it would have crumbled. You might have been feeling embarrassed initially but you certainly saved yourself a worse moment.
1. Don't do repairs unless it's your own work. (WAY too many stones glued in, even today)
if you forget 1.
2. Remove all stones. Sometimes the heat shield might not be sufficient. OR.
You might use Borax or flux to coat the silver before heating trying to reduce firescale, some stones can't handle this touching them when heated.
3. You will forget to breathe so go back to 1.
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Old 02-13-2011, 09:02 AM
rwgoldsmith rwgoldsmith is offline
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Default Re: Looking for help from Jewelers. Repair gone bad!!

it is possible to do this sort of repair with silver and the heat shield, i dunno about turquoise but i have done it with a large heavy included emerald, the trick is to heat it very very slowly, one might even use a kiln then have someone with a second very hot torch get in there and flow the solder, then slowly back off with the flames, air cool, i charged a lot of money for that job i will never ever ever do it again... except for a lot of money.
RW
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Old 02-13-2011, 05:02 PM
chickenscratcher chickenscratcher is offline
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Default Re: Looking for help from Jewelers. Repair gone bad!!

This has been an interesting post. I had a trade shop and we had 10 jewelers at one time to do repairs for. I must admit that we had problems , all kinds but in over 35 years working on other peoples creations admitting to these mistakes and taking care of them only made us more trusted. AND I have had the privilege of figuring out how to repair work of some of the old master craftsmen ( craftsmen much like some of you). I wouldn't give up getting that knowedge for anything.
Also in those years of work we got a lot of practical experiance maybe 400,000 different articles. Out of all those items way less than 1/10th of 1% problems.
If you don't known the gem, the metal or method of construction check it out first or ask your freinds here. chickenscratcher
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Old 02-13-2011, 08:07 PM
Mark Gerrasch Mark Gerrasch is offline
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Default Re: Looking for help from Jewelers. Repair gone bad!!

Turtle,

This repair was a result of a bracelet that was to large for the wearer, so they kept squeezing it to fit their wrist. Don't feel to bad as this stone is easy to come by, not like burning a diamond!!!! I can repair the bracelet and cut a stone for you for fifty dollars if you are interested. It's a small price to pay for a mistake but a lesson that teaches you to never take on a job you're not completely sure you can do with certainty.

Mark G.
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Old 02-15-2011, 02:29 PM
Jeffrey Jeffrey is offline
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Default Re: Looking for help from Jewelers. Repair gone bad!!

Hi Turtle

Sorry I missed this post, I've been busy at the bench for the last few days. So sorry about the turquoise, and your customer is a real gem! Just for informations sake, I'll relate how I usually handle soldering silver, especially when a gem is present, as I've done a lot of this kind of work over the years while running a trade shop.

For silver repairs on a heavy piece with a stone present, I exclusively use acetylene/oxygen with a larger single orifice torch, definitely not a mini of any kind but rather the size of a small-medium size casting torch. The trick is to get in and out extremely fast by using a very hot and sharp flame. Since silver is super-conductive to heat, you have to overpower the heat conductance with the amount of energy you're pouring into the silver with the torch. To protect the stone I use sopping wet paper towel generously wrapped around the stone area and keep a bowl of water very close by to immediately dip the freshly soldered piece into. The heat resistant compounds you can purchase don't work so well with silver as they can't be refreshed like water-soaked paper towel can. I haven't lost a stone yet this way, but it takes some practice to not melt the jewelry item. If you have to solder close to the stone then you'll have to take out the stone or use a powerful laser welder. One of the new electric welder (like a PUK) might work as well but I have no experience welding silver with one. I have welded prongs onto a very expensive and large emerald with one though, they work very well. The down side with electric welders is they blast through very thin metal. By the way, once a turquoise is heated enough to damage it, the color changes as I'm sure you noticed, and it becomes quite brittle, that's my personal experience anyway.

On a side note, I'd veer away from using any gas/air setup, it's just not hot enough for most jewelry work, although I've known jewelers that cast this way. While propane/oxygen is not the best setup, it's probably the most commonly used other than natural gas/oxygen. I personally think the very best setup is hydrogen/oxygen, but most will probably not agree with me for various reasons. For casting, Hydrogen/oxygen is definitely the best if you must use torch melting. Sorry to go off on a tangent, once I get going on this subject it's hard for me to stop

I'm always happy, if I'm able, to answer any questions or offer any advice related to jewelry making or stone setting. I worked in or ran jewelry trade shops for about 40 years and have seen a lot of what comes through trade shops. The jewelry trade is simply amazing. No one can learn everything there is to know as jewelry work derives from so many related fields. I once got a chance to closely examine some exquisite jewelry made at the pre-Bolshevik workshop of Fabrege' in Russia that made me feel like a fledgeling apprentice again!
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