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Gold Chain Repair


Hi guys, Dave Wilson here again. There’s a really interesting project to show you today. I've got this little gold bracelet, now this was sent to me by a viewer and it belonged to his grandmother so there’s some sentimental value attached to this. But as you can see in the close-up photographs, it's really twisted and gnarled and it's really in a bad way.
Now he took this to a local jeweller and they said it was unrepairable. Well I beg to differ, anything can be repaired, it's just a matter of time and cost. Now again looking at this closely, you can see the ends are fine, the lobster clasp is in situ and it's fine, looking along it, it seems that all the links are actually present, so it's just a case of getting them back into the right shape.

So the first thing I'm going to do with this is to put it into the tumbler and there’s several reasons for that. Firstly it's going to clean it, obviously, so that lets me to assess the damage a little bit better and see it more better. It also allows me to see were the solder joints are, the ends of the links are, so I can get on the right way around, but the important thing is, and this is a top tip here, if ever you trying to unravel a chain that's twisted up like this, lubricate it. Simple as that, like your bicycle chair, so by putting it in the tumbler, the soap and detergents are going to act as a lubricant.

So when I take it out, hopefully it will be a little bit easier to manipulate the chain and get the links back where I want them. The first thing to do, pop it in the tumbler. Join me in a minute. There we go that's running now and I'll take a look later.

Here it is out of the tumbler and you can see it looks pretty messed up but you know, I'm sure we can repair this. Just give you a real macro close up here what I'm doing. You can see the links here at this end, these three links they're all fine, they're all in order but the rest of them are messed up and then just going along; so this is one end, so you see these two are okay, so it's just a couple of links in the middle here that are causing the problem in this section.

All I'm doing is just twisting it, moving it, and just jiggling the chain around and then eventually you will find that they just pop back. So here you can see these are some links now that are in the proper orientation so that's what it looks like, it's better to be curb chains into all them. But as we move along you can see there's a little good section here but you can see there's a couple of knots here in the middle.

So there's a couple of links here that just refused to turn round and that's one of them. The next stage is to physically clip them, cut them out and then sort the chain out, then put it back in its correct orientation. It's gonna be the easiest way of doing it. I don't need to do a lot along the length of the chain, I probably need to do out five or six. Okay, so the one I'm gonna take out is that one there. I'm gonna take that link out this I'm gonna cut that and then you'll see that I'll then be able to sort this knot out. So I'm using some tronics flush cutters here and I'm cutting it along the original soldered line.

Now you see that, how you’ve got this knot here okay, well if I take that link out now and you can see the pattern now, it's two curb chains, so you can see that these two links automatically fall back into place. So what I'm going to do now is, I'm going to thread this link back in, in between that one and that one there.

Now you might think that this is an impossible task to do, but it really isn't. I've threaded it through and you can see just as it as long as it sits nicely, you can see it's obvious where it's gonna go, it's going to go through with all the links hopefully can see that. So just give a little squeeze together and you can see, so just by sorting out that one single link I’ve freed up about two inches of chain there. Okay so before I forget where it is I'm just going to go on solder that now.

Okay so here's this set up, I've got it holdings from locking forceps here, that is the link that I want to solder. I'm using easy solder paste, 9 karat yellow, obviously I’ve checked the hallmarks and I'm using my Smith little torch with a number 4 nozzle on. So very small, tiny flame and I'm just gonna focus it just on the tip there. So let's just get a little bit of heat on it and I'm also using some stainless steel tweezers here and I'm just gonna hold it together there. Just so that the weight of the chain doesn't open the link due to the weight.

We're just applying a little bit of heat just a little there, a little touch. The noise you can hear in the background by the way is the oxygen generator which runs the torch. Okay sorry if my hand’s in the way there, yeah and there we go, that's a lovely solder joint. So here we go you can see now that I've got about half of the cheering done and the point is I don't need to do every single link it's just a case of just clipping those troublesome links, flipping them around and putting them back.

So as you can see I've got a few more to go the other end here so I'm going to carry on going probably three, four links maybe and I should be able to get it all back in order then. So leave it with me for a few moments and I'll join you at the other end, see you in a moment. So there we go, all restored back to its former glory.

I've probably done, I don't know, seven or eight links, something like that, that I've taken out, flipped around, put back in and resoldered. So now I just need to clean it up, tempting to throw it in the tumbler, but if I do put it in the tumbler, there is a risk that some of these links will get flipped around back were started. So I'm going to clean this and polish it by hand.

I'm just going to put a little bit of the intensive polish, which is a bit like Tripoli, just on the lobster clasp there, cause there’s a couple of scratches on it and this is slightly more aggressive than the super finish. So it gets the scratches out and then I'm gonna chuck it in the ultrasonic now, clean it up. So I've got a very small swans dome mop here, SS super finish polish and this is yellow or great for gold.

So excuse the noise, I'm just going to polish up the ends, polish the clasp, just carefully give it a light tickle over. Now here we go in the ultrasonic cleaner, some hot water and solvent, when I turn it on watch this. See little clouds, that's all the dirt and the polish coming off that, so I'm just going to leave it in there for a few minutes and it'll come out absolutely sparkling and bright. So there we go, all polished up.

There is a tendency that it could get twisted again, I think that's just the nature and the design of this style of chain. But as you see it's come on really well and I'll show you some close-up pictures as well. So what I've done is I've taken out seven links, flip them round, straighten them up and resoldered them and that's been the main job. Clean, polish, take the scratches out, give it a real real damn good cleaning and then there we go. It's all back again ready for a new generation.

Hope you enjoyed this, just do a little quick video, a little bit rough and ready I know but interesting nonetheless.
I've been Dave Wilson, thanks for watching and I'll see you real soon on the next video. Bye.

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