Professional Jeweler Archive: Repairing an Omega Earring Clip With Tack- and Pulse-Arc Welding Techniques

July 2003

Professional Bench/Welding Technologies


Repairing an Omega Earring Clip With Tack- and Pulse-Arc Welding Techniques

Knowing how to tack-, fusion- and pulse-arc-weld at the bench saves time, increases quality and drives profits up for your shop and service department


One of the omega clips has broken off this earring. The center stone and cultured pearls are heat-sensitive, so a torch would be difficult to use for this repair. The benefits of performing this procedure using tack- and pulse-arc welding technologies are:

  • It won’t damage the center stone or small cultured pearls, so the gems don’t have to be unmounted and remounted.
  • It won’t remove spring tension from the omega earring clip, so disassembly isn’t required, saving reassembly time.
  • Prefinishing and finishing time is minimized drastically. Here is the procedure.
1. Flatten the bottom of the earring where the clip was broken.
2. Prepolish using a split lap.
3. Tack-weld the omega clip in position to hold it for permanent pulse-arc welding. For this material, the Tack II tack-welder is set to 35 volts on the high-energy setting. Using the clip and pliers leads, tack-weld the omega clip in place.
5. Shape the tip of the #2 welding pencil by grinding a 45&Mac251; angle on two opposing sides. This allows you to pulse-arc weld at the 90&Mac251; joint on each side. Recess the electrode 1mm from the top of the tip.
6. Place the tip of the weld pencil at the junction of the earring and base of the clip. Set the pulse-arc welder to 45 volts on the high-energy setting and deliver a few pulses of energy. Then increase the voltage to 50 for better penetration. Weld around the entire base.
7. Now weld-fill the joint using 29-gauge 14k yellow gold wire. Place the tip of the wire below the electrode and over the location being built up. Repeat this procedure around the full joint.
8. This photo shows the completed pulse-arc-welded job. The majority of the surface discoloration is removed in the ultrasonic, then completely with a pumice wheel. Polish and clean.
9. This procedure took 20 minutes to complete. The earring on the right is the one with the repaired clip.

IMPORTANT: All tack-, fusion- and pulse-arc equipment settings differ and are based on the volume, amount of contact and alloy of the material you are assembling. Working with like materials will give you a parameter for the settings required for your application. Record the settings and tasks for future reference.

For questions related to this process, contact Mark B. Mann at markbmann@aol.com or (406) 961-4426.

This installment on welding technologies is sponsored by ABI, Cranston, RI. For information on ABI equipment and procedures or for a list of distributors, call Janet Kirk at (888) 494-2663.

– by Mark B. Mann

Photographs by Mark B. Mann
©2003 Visual Communications

Copyright © 2003 by Bond Communications