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For the purpose of this post, I’m making a charm out of old broken watch parts, one of my favorite mediums. To make it I used scrapped watch parts, E-6000 glue, tweezers, toothpicks (reusable ones work fine), scrap paper (old flyers, in this case). You can always get blank necklace findings at jewelry or craft supply stores as well.
I started off with the base as my inspiration, which is actually the back side of a day date wheel (part that says what day of the week it is). It already had holes punched in it, so I didn’t need to worry about that. The gears from an unworking parts that would fit in theme with the base, as it has a gear in the middle already, and just as importantly, that would actually fit on my base.
After that I prearranged it on the base to get an idea of how it would work, and how I wanted it to look. I took a picture of the setup to be sure I remembered how I wanted it (and to document it). As this piece requires working with an adhesive, I wanted to be sure to quick reference it so I didn’t have to stop and worry about placement, or moving it around after attaching it to the base.
As I mentioned before, for this piece I am using an adhesive, E-6000. Any strong glue works well, or epoxy, such as Loctite Instant Mix. I place a dollop of glue on an index card, both because I don’t need a lot, and that way I don’t have to continually open the tube. Using a toothpick to take a small portion onto each gear work the glue around the sides evenly, and as the pieces can be small, make sure not to get too much on, or it will smear when placing on the base. While putting glue on the pieces, I use tweezers to hold them, more to assist in placing the gear without it sliding around and smearing glue.
After placing the gears and making sure they are fully touching the base, you wait! To be sure that the glue does take full effect, I usually wait at least overnight, but check the instructions on your adhesive. After that, it’s a matter of testing the gears to be sure they all properly adhered, and then attach it with a jump or chainmaille ring, or however you decide!
You can see that the final product didn’t turn out exactly how I had placed it, and that does happen sometimes. The actual pre-placement gave me at least a rough idea of where I wanted the pieces at. If I had been completely unhappy, and wanted to change it, all I would need to do would be to take off the gears and wipe off the glue to ensure the next attempt wouldn’t have a glue buildup. Check your adhesive instructions as many will quick set (begin to cure and harden) in 5 minutes, but will also explain how to remove residue in case you need to.