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Re: [Orchid] Installing replacement leverback earrings backs
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R.E.Rourke Thursday, May 23, 2013
   
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Hello Jon,

    One thing to remember is once you take it apart the tiny spring will
    probably bounce off the bench if you aren't prepared for it. or if
    you have a Secura Brand leverback there will be NO SPRING! so don't
    get out the magnet and try finding it on the studio floor or bench !
    Ordinarily the spring is sprung and hence the problem with no"snap"
    to the back. so to fix it, you need a 2-4 oz. riveting hammer
    (jeweler's hammer), and either make your own or use a watchmaker's
    anvil with many rivet holes on the face, and for the actual lever
    you can use some channel wire to form a tapered piece or just buy the
    back part (some vendors sell it with the rivet too). If its a Secura
    brand leverback, no worries- nothing but the replacement lever and
    making a rivet. 

    Remove the rivet with a small cut off wheel or just grind it's head
    off with any bur you like that will do a precise but quick job of
    cutting metal- (I like a ball bur coated with diamond as it's fast
    cutting action takes seconds to remove the metal that will allow the
    pin to slip out. You may need to coax it by inserting the
    appropriate size wire and tapping it to help the rivet out if it's
    tightly fitted) in choosing the bur or bit all you want to do is to
    be able to remove the old rivet not to enlarge the hole, Once the
    rivet is out measure it (for making a new one, remembering to add in
    a mm or so for the new 'head" on one end and enough to allow the
    metal to spread on the opposite side as well), then cut a new length
    of wire (or buy the rivet already made in the same metal- some
    vendors sell them as a set so then the colours will match if it is a
    gold) and work harden it a bit if dead soft. You don't want the rivet
    wire to bend when trying to insert it and a spring at the same time
    as the action comes from "spring loading" the assembly. If You make
    your own lever replacement get out the drill gauge and twist drills
    and after shaping the new piece mark the spot you'll need to drill.
    Fill the channel with a small piece of jett-sett or cork to keep the
    channel from collapsing in on itself, then lubricate the drill and
    drill straight through the new piece/back (a drill press works best
    for this). Remove the cork or jett-sett and slide the spring back
    into place (unless it's a Secura type earring- i love them just
    because of the 'no spring' feature and solder-ability)... If you ever
    have the choice in designing your pieces that involve a lever back
    earring try and go for the spring free Secura's- Often when earrings
    need repair (a dangle falls or rather breaks off, or a jump ring
    fails, etc.).people try and solder the element back on and melt the
    base metal spring which has a far lower flow point than the earring
    assembly. Secura eliminates that problem and you can direct solder
    the repair. rer

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