Monday, August 3, 2009

Wrench in the Gears

Or maybe, more appropriately, drill bit in the gears.

People, this is the last thing you want to see when you are in a hurry. Even if I'm not in a hurry, it's still not at the top of my list of things I want to have happen. That evil pointy thing, sticking up from the top the ring is a broken drill bit. And it is close to impossible to remove without substantial damage to the metal around it (unless you use acid to dissolve it out...but I try to use as little acid in my work as possible). If that ring had been silver I would have just scrapped it and cut my losses. But that was 14kt palladium white, so I had to fix it somehow. What made it even worse was that I couldn't really enlarge the hole at all since I had to set a small stone there, one that was not very much larger than the drill. Argh! These eternity rings are really starting to be the bane of my existence, I'll be honest. They are just so high stress...there is so much that could go wrong. I'm either going to have to give them up in gold entirely, or only make them with slightly larger diamonds. 2.1mm versus 1.7mm. The smaller stones just make it so much more difficult to center in the middle of the band. My other version in silver is much easier to do, because the stones are 2mm. Stressful.
Ok, resolution: I finally got the drill bit pieces removed through persistence and judicious use of a hammer and punch. Whew.


Elizabeth said...

Oh, please don't discontinue the eternity band! I have my eye on it for my upcoming elopement. It is just the most perfect ring I've seen!

Good luck to you! :)

Ashley said...

Have you ever tried Alum? I heard about it from the Etsy Metal blog:

Your work is lovely by the way!

joanna said...

oh justine!!
sorry to read about the broken drill bit!!!
OMG!! new rings= GORGEOUS!!!:O)

Goddess of Sea said...

You only need to buy pickles in the grocery store. Eat the pickles and use the liquid in your studio. The liquid contains Alum (preservative to maintain fruit and vegetable crispness).
Leave the ring with the broken drill bit in the liquid over night and you will be fine.

B.t.w. fun to read your blog :)

My best,
designer goldsmith in Iceland