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Lapidary / Gemstone Community Forum
December 13, 2018, 03:27:18 am
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Fordite earring help

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Author Topic: Fordite earring help  (Read 200 times)
SSA
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« on: November 30, 2018, 06:22:15 am »

I have a customer that has asked for a couple pairs of fordite earrings and he wants them very simple with only pearl caps on top.  The (man, I need to learn how to post pics) fordite bodies are less than an inch long but run with the grain all the way down and are cylinders about 1/4" in diameter.  So my first attempt split the body in half (top to bottom) when attempting to "screw" the pearl cap in place.

So, should I drill a tiny hole and use epoxy?  Will epoxy "melt" or deform the fordite??  Should I cut off the "pin" and just epoxy the cap tot he top??  Any other thought, suggestions or harebrained ideas??

Thanks,
Robert
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2018, 08:06:05 pm »

No idea how I missed this post yesterday..

Most of the material now days that is labelled fordite is straight up epoxy..  True fordite came straight off the factory paint booths..

Can you add a pic of the rough piece you are thinking of splitting ?
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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2018, 08:58:58 pm »

I purchased my forte at least 10 years ago, maybe even 15.  I knew the guy that sold it to me and the story behind how he came about acquiring the material in the first place so I'm sure it's good stuff.

I'm not trying to split the material, I'm trying to NOT split it when I add a post to make earrings.

I'll try to get a pic or two tomorrow.
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Robert
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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2018, 09:55:35 pm »



I'll try to get a pic or two tomorrow.

Sounds great... And in the meantime, can anyone else chime in with suggestions ?
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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2018, 07:46:08 pm »

Hopefully this works...

1st pic shows the top end and how it split into
Pic 2 shows the two sides post split
Pic 3 shows the new replacement earrings with side view and top view


* UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_22e0.jpg (91.4 KB, 768x1024 - viewed 1 times.)

* UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_22e1.jpg (147.01 KB, 768x1024 - viewed 1 times.)

* UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_22dd.jpg (146.07 KB, 768x1024 - viewed 1 times.)
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Robert
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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2018, 09:43:33 pm »

I am not sure how to help..

I mostly always make my earring pairs super thin.. So if I were working with your fordite pieces, I would probably split them yet again, or flatten them out a bit they way they are leaving just enough for an ever so slight a dome.

Are you maybe planning to do some shaping, thinning or anything to the two halves you have ?

I have worked with fordite and would feel comfortable just drilling holes with as small core bit for the sterling earring loops, or you can even make simple bezel setting for them to hang from.

I feel a bit like probably have not really helped answer your questions though  bricks

By the way... Good looking fordite ! 


* aearring3.jpg (141.94 KB, 742x633 - viewed 0 times.)

* pendant3.jpg (81.62 KB, 379x407 - viewed 1 times.)
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Debbie K
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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2018, 07:05:06 am »

If it were me, I would do something like what George shows in his picture. You've already established that the fordite is fragile and brittle, so I think I'd forgo any experiments in drilling.

I made some crystal earrings a few years ago and will see if I can find them and take a picture. I cut a groove on the outside of the top of the crystal and used snap-in prong settings upside down to mount them in; no glue. But considering the size of the fordite, I'd do tests and see if could use glue along with a bezel setting (like George's). A good, two part epoxy ought to be okay. If you think you can make a groove it would give you a mechanical hold along with the glue, in case the epoxy fails.

Good luck!
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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2018, 07:43:11 am »

Thanks folks - given what the customer wants/needs/asked for, I think I'm gonna try the small drill hole with 330 epoxy.  Ill definitely experiment before trying again.

They are a little fatter than I like but the customer wanted to see if he could get 2 different looks - hopefully I pulled that off


* UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_22e3.jpg (123.36 KB, 768x1024 - viewed 2 times.)
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Robert
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2018, 04:46:21 am »

Is it just me or do those look like they will be real heavy?
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« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2018, 08:09:08 am »

Is it just me or do those look like they will be real heavy?

They are extremely light as they are just layers of paint.  I haven't weighed them but I'm betting they are lighter than amber if you have ever worked with amber before.
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Robert
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« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2018, 10:40:58 am »

This is an update for anyone that is curious...

I tried several different ways of attaching the post to the earrings including trying to melt the resin with a red hot post (that was a big fail - don't try this).  I was surprised that the 330 epoxy was also a fail.  It would hold but upon tension being applied, it would pull away and separate.  What I found that worked the best was Locktite superglue - I drilled a hole, small dab of superglue over the hole, used the post to "swirl" the glue around the post and stuck it in, let set for a few minutes (actually it was over an hour cause I forgot about it).  I've tried several times to pull it out without success so I'll go with this method.



* UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_22e7.jpg (100.46 KB, 768x1024 - viewed 0 times.)
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Robert
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« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2018, 12:33:46 pm »

Excellent Robert, and yes, keep us updated !

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« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2018, 01:47:22 pm »

Looks like things are progressing nicely.

Any special drill bit ?
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Jay
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« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2018, 03:29:49 pm »

Looks perfect!
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« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2018, 06:23:03 pm »

Looks like things are progressing nicely.

Any special drill bit ?

Jay - nothing special, just the smallest one I could find - bout 1 mm
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Robert


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