Silver cufflinks
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Written by John van Spaandonk   
Thursday, 17 February 2005
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Silver cufflinks
The mechanism
The result
Surface structureThis pair of silver cufflinks I made last year. As usual I wanted to make them because of the technical challenge. In particular, the mechanism proved rather difficult to make. But I think the design turned out all right as well!

I don't like to wear jewelry. Yep, you read that right.
So it is not easy to create something I can wear for myself... The exception being cufflinks!
I try to wear them when I can. Usually this is when I visit a customer, because normally we have an informal dresscode.

When I made them a year ago I was thinking about a way to create a nice natural looking surface texture on a silver sheet. One  way is to make impressions on the surface by rolling a sheet of silver through the rolling mill, sandwiched with leaves or pieces of textile.
Another way is to use a propane torch to melt just the surface of a silver sheet. When you do this seven times (!) with a piece of silver of 0.8 mm thickness you get something like this.

Image

The sheet measures about 3 by 6 cm.
Creating the surface structure can be a lengthy process because after each surface melting you have to pickle the silver and polish it a bit with a brass bristle.
The structure is different each time and varies from place to place which allows you to cut out the parts you particularly like. Because you really heat the silver and it is just a thin piece, the sheet of silver will cease to be flat. In fact its surface will become very uneven, which is clearly show by looking at the backside of the above piece.

Surface backside

This means that for the cufflinks I had to solder a backside onto the pieces of silver I used for the front. But I was not satisfied with a cufflink of just a nicely looking piece of silver with a natural structure. Therefore I cut out a small corner of each front plate. I put in that place a piece of silver of 2 mm thickness. The surface I sanded in one direction, giving a special kind of  brushed look. I soldered both this piece and the actual front part on the backside part, to create the basic cufflinks.


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 22 February 2005 )
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