One characteristic that makes jewellery so beautiful is its delicate appearance. Unfortunately, this also means that it can be easily broken. Luckily, some tools make it easy to take on simple jewellery repairs at home instead of paying experts to do the same job. These tools can be found at any craft or hardware store, often for less than the cost of professional repair. Some of them may even be already found in the toolbox at home.
This might seem obvious, but it’s very important to have a good workstation. Since most accessories are made of tiny chain links, beads and gems, anyone attempting jewellery repairs at home should have a dedicated table or desk where the project won’t be disturbed for awhile. The area should be well-lit and spacious enough to hold all of the necessary tools and placed away from small children, pets, or strong drafts that could cause small pieces to become misplaced. A magnifying glass might be useful during this process, as well.
No matter what materials are being repaired, two sets of pliers are almost always needed. One pair of pliers is used to hold the jewellery in place, while the other is used to pry open jump rings, set jewels, or attach clasps. Some different types of pliers can be used for these jobs. Round-nose pliers are useful for bending metals, while chain nose pliers are better for gripping wire. However, standard needle-nosed pliers found in nearly any tool kit will work with most projects.
3. Soldering Iron
A soldering iron is a tool that is used to melt a small piece of metal (known as solder) to form a connection between two other pieces of metal. Once the solder cools, it permanently bonds the pieces together. This is perfect for closing jump rings, repairing chains or reattaching metal beads. The pliers mentioned above will be essential when using a soldering iron, as the torch creates high heat that can easily burn the user if he or she is not careful.
4. Jeweler’s Epoxy
Sometimes a soldering iron is not an appropriate tool to use for jewellery repairs. For reattaching loose stones such as pearls or opals, many jewelers turn to jeweler’s epoxy. This is a special kind of glue that requires mixing before it can be used. Before it is applied, all of the old glue should be carefully removed so that the epoxy will bond to the jewellery. A clamp or vice should be used to help hold the stone in place until the epoxy dries.
With these simple tips and a little practice, anyone will be able to perform simple jewellery repair at home, saving a favorite piece without the hefty price tag that comes along with a trip to the shop. Of course, for difficult jobs or very expensive pieces, it may still be best to consult a professional.