Lockets, which are hollow pendants that can be used to store sentimental items like photographs or locks of hair, can be made to any specification. A silver locket is slightly more complex than most beginner jewellery making projects, however, as it requires the jewellery maker to combine many different procedures. Necessary skills for this project are basic shaping, forming and soldering, which are used to create the locket case, attach the hinge and fashion a clasp.
Draw out the shape of the locket you would like to make on a sheet of paper. Make three more copies of the shape that match the first exactly, and cut all shapes from the paper.
Take two of the paper shapes you cut and trace the outlines, 3mm (1/8 inch) toward the centre. Cut along this inside line to create two hollowed-out pieces.
Glue all four shapes onto your silver sheet metal with the rubber cement. Saw through the metal with a jeweller's saw, cutting out both shapes completely. Peel the paper and any rubber cement residue off the metal.
File and sand down the rough edges of each silver piece until they are perfectly smooth.
Place one of the full circular pieces into a hollow section of the wooden dapping block. Place the wooden punch over the piece and tap it firmly with the mallet.
Move the punch around the edges of the piece until you have the domed shape you want. Repeat this step on the other full circular piece. These pieces will be the front and back of the locket.
Place one of the hollow silver pieces onto the soldering tripod. Paint flux onto the whole piece, then add small pieces of silver solder all over the hollow piece. Heat the solder with a small flame until it begins to melt, then remove the flame.
Place one of the domed locket pieces on top of the hollow piece, lining up the edges. Apply the torch flame to the bottom side of the piece, under the tripod, until the solder melts.
Remove the flame and place the piece, using the tongs, into the pickle pot to cool. Repeat Steps 6 through 8 on the second set of hollow and domed pieces.
Fit the front and back locket case pieces together. Wrap the pieces together with some spare binding wire to hold them still while you work.
File a groove in the hinge side of the locket using square and round needle files. Make sure that the groove is wide and long enough to fit your hinge.
Fit binding wire into the hinge knuckles to hold them in place while you work. Place the hinge into the groove. Solder the top and bottom hinge knuckles to the back of the locket. Solder the middle hinge knuckle to the front of the locket.
Remove the binding wire from the hinge and place the locket into the pickle pot to cool. Sand down any excess solder. Place a hinge pin into the hinge knuckles.
Open the locket and locate the side opposite from the hinge. Drill a hole into the "lip" part there, and solder a piece of silver wire into the hole. Trim the wire short and file it into a rounded shape.
Close the locket and note where the wire hits the opposite side. Drill a hole at this spot that fits the wire from Step 2 snugly. Test the locket to make sure the wire holds the locket closed.
Cut a small piece of silver wire with the wire clippers and fold it into a round loop with the pliers. File and sand the edges smooth, then solder them together.
Solder the wire loop to the top of the back side of the locket. You will be able to slide a chain through this loop.
Things you need
- Pencil and paper
- Rubber cement
- Silver sheet metal
- Binding wire
- Small hinge knuckles
- Hinge pin
- Wooden dapping block
- Wooden dapping punch
- Wooden mallet
- Silver wire
- Jeweller's hand saw and blades
- Jewellery files and needle files
- Soldering torch
- Small paintbrush
- Silver solder
- Wire clippers
- Needle-nosed pliers
- Fire bricks or fireproof surface
- Soldering tripod
- Pickle pot
- Drill and small bits