Did you lose a clasp to your favorite necklace? Get a kink in your watch? Going to a jeweler for repairs can be costly. You can pick up jewelers tools fairly cheap and fix most problems yourself, saving time and money, while also teaching yourself some neat skills in the process.
First, assess the damage and what needs fixed. You can use a magnifying glass to get a close look at small problem areas.
Gather supplies needed to make the repair. Some basic tools include round nose pliers, crimping pliers, flush cutter, liquid jewelry cleaner, jewelry repair glue, solders, a magnifying glass and jeweler’s cloth. You do not need to invest in all of these jewelry tools. You can choose what you need based on what needs fixed. Most of these supplies can be found in craft stores, as jewelry making is a popular hobby, and you will use many of the same tools for repairs. My daughter Abby loves to make jewelry. I need to learn to repair some!
Use the tools to fix a problem:
- A broken clasp likely requires a new jump ring to reattach it. You can use pliers to open and close the jump ring, but make sure to close it securely so it doesn’t fall off of the chain. You can purchase a new clasp at a hobby store if the whole clasp needs replaced.
- Use jewelers glue to insert a fallen stone or charm. Make sure the glue you use for this dries clear. You want to use as little as is required for the job, so it does not overflow. Tweezers may be useful in placing the stone if it is small.
- Clean tarnished jewelry with jewelry cleaner. You can use a buffer or a cloth to polish it and get its shine back.
- Pliers can be used to fix bent ear wire or earring posts.
- You can use a solder to fix broken chain links. This can be a risky task and may best be left to a professional if you aren’t familiar with torch work. Another alternative–if it is just one or two chain links and the chain itself is pretty large–is removing the broken chain links and use pliers to open and attach the remaining chain back together.
- Crimping pliers may be used if a beaded necklace has broken at an end. Crimps hold the string of beads in place.
- You can use fine sandpaper to get rid of any pointy edges of wire.
- Use a magnifying glass to attach small parts, such as gemstones, threading wire or repairing small parts.
- Use wire cutters to trim any stray wire or string.
Jewelry making and repair is being taken on by more and more DIY amateurs. This is to be applauded, but if you’re going to take on the task of making or fixing your own jewelry, make sure you have the right tools.