I bought this cable curtain kit from Ikea and placed it on the wall next to my bench. In the morning we go through the current repairs and custom work. I hang mine up so I can see all the dates and can see what needs to be performed and prioritize them. The staff can easily see what is in the cue and can move a job envelope to the left to put it on deck for the next job to be done. I like it better then them stuffed in an overloaded jobs box. I clip up just the daily goal of jobs and see how the day is going and I feel more on top of things.
Here is another channel rebuild. This time on a diamond ring. The metal holding in the baguettes was thinner than paper. It was so crooked and jagged. I found a tapered baguette to fill the hole. I rolled a gold wire and carefully formed it to the ring and laser welded it in place. Then I flowed solder to fill any gaps.
I sanded, polished, refinished and rhodium plated the ring.
The six prong peg head was in relatively good shape except for two prong tips were completely sheared off. I had concerns that the diamond was enhanced. Any retipping with a torch could potentially damage the fill material. I opted to use the laser. I fashioned the end of a 14k white gold wire to an angle so the diamond’s crown facet and wire would be in full contact. If I were to weld the wire straight up and use pliers to bend the prong in place to secure the stone, I believe that the new tip would break off now or later if stressed. It seems that weld joints are not in the annealed state and tend to be a bit more acceptable to breakage if worked.
This ring was in need for a channel to be rebuilt. I was to only repair and rebuild the one channel on the sapphire/diamond band closest to the diamond band.
I first rolled a gold wire in the rolling mill to flatten it out. I gave a sweeping arch to match the channel.
I saw that it would be easier to unsolder the rings, so I could have better access to the side of the ring. I tacked the new channel in place with the laser welder.
I then flowed solder across the entire top.
Here is the new channel shown after the initial sanding.
Instead of sanding out the wear-and-tear scratches from the shank, I burnished out the dings with a tungsten burnisher.
I polished and soldered the rings back together.
Now it really shows how worn the other channel is. But it was a huge improvement. The ring looks great.
There is a wonderful back story behind this family ring. After 10 years of marriage and the addition of 2 children, they decided to have the wedding ceremony that they never really had. Their son was the ring barer and their daughter, the flower girl. And this was the ring presented to her on that day. (Not in the condition pictured). 😉 It contained hers and his birth stones, a diamond in the center to represent the 10th year anniversary and a pink and blue stone for their two children. She admitted that it has been in this state for about a year and a half when I ran into her at the bank. The ring was missing a few prongs that led to the loss of the pink tourmaline. And the sapphire was is need of a prong tip. I told her that it was not too big a deal to fix. Not too expensive.
I laser welded on 14k yellow gold wire to act as the new prongs for the pink tourmaline. I hit the seam a few times with a strong beam at 0.3mm then opened up the beam to 0.9mm where it literally shines the surface. Very little polishing required. I covered the blue sapphire with a putty that watch makers use to remove finger prints and dust from inside a watch dial and crystal after being worked on. The putty helps protect the stone from any stray laser light as I was welding the prong with the stone still in the head.
To get to the tube, I first drilled out the old pin. In some cases the tube is replaced, but here I built up the broken tube by filling it with 14k “hard” solder and re-drilled the tube. The links were then put back together and a new wire pin was put in and soldered on the ends using “easy” solder. The last picture shows the pins sanded and ready to be polished.
She said that she was turned away by countless of jewelry stores who didn’t want to touch her engagement ring to size it. It is made of 14k white gold, blue topaz center stone with inlayed turquoise. No goldsmith wanted to touch this ring because of the turquoise inlay. I can’t blame them, you can break turquoise by just looking at it wrong and an inlay stone ring has its own challenges. To size it up I had to add a piece of shank, reshape the ring and apply heat. I could have tried to submerge the ring in water with just the shank above water and torch it that way. That often protects heat sensitive stones. But that potentially could have still damaged the turquoise or weaken the epoxy holding them in, causing them to fall out weeks from now. Plan B would be remove the stones. That has it’s drawbacks. I would most likely have a broken stones on the removal or the gluing back in. I had a third plan and I figured the worst case scenario was that some turquoise gets damaged and I have some new pieces recut by a lapidarist we use. So, I accepted the challenge. I cut the shank, opened up the bottom to add a piece of white gold, and armed with a laser welder, our new secret weapon, I lasered the seams. With the laser welder you can hold the item being worked on with your fingers. Amazingly, the light beam is so concentrated it melts the metal together but without the collateral heat that a torch creates. Most stones can even have a prong retipped with the stone in place.
A stone did become loose from bending the ring but I glued it back in place. She was happy and could wear her ring again. And I won the challenge.>
Denice always regretted setting a peridot in her ring when the original trillion blue zircon, got damaged.
I told her, that in the event we could not find a new blue zircon trillion cut stone in budget, we could rework the ring to accommodate a different shape stone.
We found a nice round stone that she was happy with.
I got to work, first, cutting off the old trillion gallery.
It left a huge hole and seat that needed to be filled. I did a controlled melt of white gold to fill the hole. I slowly brought the ring to the melting point and added beads of gold. Then pulled back the flame. I kept adding small beads of white gold until it was filled in. No solder was used.
I grind, sanded and shaped the area smooth.
I lasered on a fabricated “donut” of gold for the new seat/gallery.
I tack lasered on a big prong and then soldered it in place.
I cut a seat and set the stone.
Cleaned up and polished. The ring does not look like it went through a major remodel.