Hand Fabricated Golden 3 Strand Box Clasp with Hand Cut American Turquoise Cabochon

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Made in Boynton Beach, Florida

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This 3 strand golden brass box clasp was hand fabricated in my home studio in Florida and features a hand cut American Turquoise cabochon. The clasp measures 32 mm wide including the loops and 30 mm long.

I have as of yet been unable to source gold colored ready-made clasp findings, so I have been making my own. To make the metal part of the clasp, I start by "deconstructing" an old tray using heavy shears and a jeweler's saw, and then sand off the old silver plating with sanding wheels on my flex shaft.

The metal is then annealed (or heated with a torch to make it more malleable) and cut into the appropriate size shapes to form the back of the clasp and the "tongue". A narrow band of metal is cut to form the walls of the clasp, and this is formed on a mandrel to form the oval shape. A slightly smaller oval is constructed from brass wire which has been flattened in a rolling mill. The edges of the oval band strip are soldered and then the flattened wire oval is fitted into the metal band to form a "seat" for the cabochon, and this is soldered into place. Then a notch is cut in the lower edge of the band into which the "tongue" of the clasp will fit. The notch is adjusted to fit the "tongue". The back of the clasp and the loops on the clasp side are cut out using a jeweler's saw and holes for the loops on both the back plate and the tongue are drilled with a drill press.

Both edges of the band are "trued" using a "flat lap" on my stone grinding machine, so that they are perfectly flat and level. The notched band is then soldered to the back plate. Excess metal is cut off with shears and a jeweler's saw. The notch on the band and the edges of the "tongue" are adjusted using files so the the tongue "clicks" smoothly into the notch of the clasp. Then both pieces are polished.

Finally, a cabochon is cut and polished to precisely fit the clasp. After lacquering the clasp and tongue to prevent discoloration of the brass , the cabochon is cemented into the clasp with 2 part epoxy.

As you can see, this is a time consuming process, and thus I am unable to sell these handmade clasps at the same price as the ones in which I make only the cabochon. But what you get is a unique clasp which will make your hand-beaded masterpiece somthing truly exceptional.

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