Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Bracelet Repair for a Friend

I recently received a request from a friend to fix her husbands magnetic hematite bracelet..the clasp, also magnetic, was rusted beyond recognition..yucky!

It's hard to see in the picture...but in between each bead was old crusted on dirt and maybe rust..I'm not sure. I don't really understand what magnetic hematite beads are made out of as I never use them. I'm wondering if they are actually hematite that has been made magnetic or if they are a magnet with a coating that looks like hematite. These beads were worn dull on all the outer parts that would rub against things as well near the holes. And on the dull part the dirt..some rust colored was stuck really hard..so that made me think they are made of something else with a coating and that the something else was rusting a little.

It was a LOT of work to get the very much stuck on crud off in between each bead, I don't even think soaking them in water would have worked. I didn't try it though because I looked up caring for magnetic hematite jewelry and it said to not get it wet..and if you did to dry it off. Well it's hard to dry off the inside of the holes..so I didn't want to take a chance of any left over moisture with this already rusty bracelet. I used a 400 grit polishing paper on parts that would not come off at all..all near the holes..it worked pretty good. Then I polished up with a polishing cloth. Not sure it was the best choice..the bracelet was already in sad shape.

I did not want to redo it with an magnetic clasp because in my research I found out that this rust problem can happen in places where it's more humid...well we are in Hawaii..so it's definitely humid here. I opted for a slider clasp..but did not think that bright silver would help it to keep it's 'manly' appearance..so I tried my hand at blackening the silver. Sadly my liver of sulpher is about 6 years old..I've never ever used it..and I guess it looses it's potency after time because this did not work like it was supposed to. It took hours rather then seconds and did not color the silver evenly.

Previously it was strung with some kind of monofilament..very thick and held its shape. I have no idea what it was...it worked well though to keep the magnetic beads all behaving. I used Soft Flex brand Soft Touch...21 strand micro stainless steel strands with a nylon coating. The strands stay pretty good..the bracelet lays nicer when it's on the wrist. Before it looked like it was a cuff...like a hard wired bracelet...now it's a little more floppy..but not a whole lot.


Christina said...

Interesting. I haven't used that type of magnetic clasp. Thanks for sharing your process - it sounds like a whole lot of work! I think it turned out nicely.

Wezz said...

wow, that was a rusty bracelet! But now I'm wondering, if having it wet is not a good thing, what do you do when you sweat? I mean, manly bracelet, what when they are working? They'll sweat, right? And being in Hawaii won't help. You did a great job cleaning that up! How long did it take you?? I like those slider clasps, too bad they're so costly.

Jonara Blu Maui said...

Christina..yes it was a lot of work...I wouldn't have done it other then for a favor..I think it woudl have been cheaper for the person to buy a new bracelet!

Wezz...I know..hopefully he takes it off when he washes his hands. But I'm sure it had a lot to do with working and sweating and living on humid hawaii..plus the salty ocean air. How long did it take me? I worked on it off and on for about 6 hours...so not really sure. I kept having to take breaks cuz my hands hurt and it was kinda boring.. And yes..those slider clasps are not cheap! But all was worth it for these friends..the wife has really helped me out with Cam's illness.