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This was a job where I had to make tiny white gold tubes
and join them to a fine chain.
It was an antique brooch and the design below was so that
the brooch could be worn as a pendant as well.
Basically an engraved
white gold tube through which the pin of the brooch
slid and clicked closed.
The two little "loops" behind the chains in the picture were
to ensure that the brooch does not fall forward and to hand
the chain from. She wanted it to be a brooch and pendant.
I did it as the following pictures illustrate.
certainly not the only way to make little tubes. One can hand
hold and solder as well, but I chose this method because it
is more accurate and more consistent. These pictures were
taken 'on the fly' so the burrs and scratches were all
draw the right
diameter wire . In this case, I was going to set
.05ct diamonds, so the tube was about 3.23mm, since the
diamonds are about 2.5mm in diameter.
I drill a .5mm hole through the wire. This is done at just
culet point of the stone to be set in the
wire, that will be drilled out later..
widen the hole a little bit to accept the jump ring so that
it sits nice and flush before it is soldered in
rings were so small that I modified a double round
set of pliers so that they could bend really small
These are the
jump rings. They not really
rings, but you get the drift... Now you can see why I
used a barrel frazer to make the hole larger.( 4 pictures
put the white gold wire into my soldering tweezers. It just
happened to fit.
That's one side soldered.
Careful flame control.
The next picture shows a bad solder joint. I rejected
that one because if you solder correctly you have nothing to
I drill the center
with a .7mm and then a 1 mm drill. Then the right size
frazer, so most of the metal is removed . This
makes the final shaping much easier when you ready to set. I
also drill before I cut them off--much easier to hold
through the wire, being careful not to saw
higher than the hole I drilled, because most of these
tubes had closed backs.
When I say closed back, these ones above are open. All the
others were closed, because when you have them open, and
they turn around on the chain, then you see into the back.
This is very
noticeable, like a black dot, so it is better to keep the back closed
and then bright engrave it. The jump ring were used to join
the tubes to the chain, which was 18ct white gold.
I took two pieces of nylon and drilled a
appropriate size hole so that the clamp holds the
tube without distorting it. And
of course so it does not slip out when the tube it is
being pushed over when setting the diamond.
This is the rough unfinished setting
part being bright engraved.
The rest of the work was simply cutting the chain to the
right lengths, joining them with the jump rings shown 3
pictures above and then soldering them closed.
In soldering I used a little torch with a No3 sapphire
nozzle. That's a tiny flame and a bit of a mission to
keep alive with
but there is more accurate soldering and less chance of
This was the finished piece.
The brooch is circa 1920 and is a stunning example of really
fine filigree work.
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