Next step is to trim up the edges of the link, and solder on any decorations you want. I decided on three small bezel cups (pre-fab from Rio) and soldered them first. In deciding whether to do the bezel cups or the tubing first, I weighed the risk of which one would be easier to accidentally melt when soldering the other one. I decided it would be easier to accidentally melt the tubing, so I soldered the bezel cups first.
I trimmed the top and bottom edge flush, to match the rest of the links, and left a small bit (like 1/16th) on the side without the garage door, where the hinges will go. Then I soldered tubing to the lip. The garage door side is going to connect via the hinge pin on the tongue, so the box doesn't need its own hinge on that side. During that soldering step, I placed a third hand across the tops of the bezel cups as a heat sink, so they would be less likely to overheat and melt.
Cut and finish the hinge knuckles just like for the other links. Pay attention to which way you make the clasp face (so that you cut the tubing the right way). You want the TONGUE (not the clasp) to have a middle hinge, while the clasp itself has the double outer hinge, since the tongue is narrow.
The next step is making the tongue for the box clasp. This is easily the hardest part of the whole project, IMHO. It's fiddly, and difficult to get the springiness exactly right. I used 22g sterling - anything thinner and it's too flimsy. I haven't tried using thicker sheet - might work better, but would require a thicker clasp probably.
Here's a pic of the one from the pinolith bracelet I made previously, to give the general shape we're going for: (sorry it's blurry).
The narrow neck pops up into the narrow part of the garage door, securing the clasp. The shoulders (the widw part to the right of the neck in the above picture) push against the walls of the box, outside the narrow opening of the garage door, preventing the tongue from sliding out unless it is squeezed.
Start with a strip of sheet a hair narrower than the wide part of your garage door, and about 2" long (so that if you screw up you can cut that part off and start again!)
I started by cutting the end of the tongue.
Mark it so that the neck you are cutting is a hair narrower than the narrow part of the garage door.
Then cut (had to do it twice, I messed up the first time.) Using the jeweler's saw works a lot better than using snips for this, it turns out.
You should be able to insert it in easily into the garage door (don't worry about how far, we're just measuring the width and length of the neck.) You want the neck to be as short as possible and still fit, and as wide as possible and still fit:
and lift it up so that the neck nicely goes into the smaller part of the Garage Door:
You can see a little better with it flipped over:
Please excuse the mess - I didn't pickle yet because I find it easier to clean the piece pre-pickling to get more of the excess solder off easily (easier to see then). I always use too much solder, which is a bad habit I'm working on. But it's better than using not enough solder, like I used to do!
Back to picture of previously made tongue again, for reference:
Then, you need to measure how long the folded part of the tongue will be (the part that sticks into the box).
Just stick something inside the clasp and measure the depth. I think I stuck my ruler in.
Then, transfer that measurement to the piece, measuring from the shoulders back (you're measuring the part that will be inside the clasp when it's closed - the fold will be at the marked line).
Here's what you end up with:
We now need to fold at the line. The first of these I made, I did the fold first, then worked on cutting the neck in the clasp. Total PITA. This way is much better, cutting the neck out first while the metal is still nice and flat.
Here's how I did the fold. Ignore the markings and messy cut on the left end of the sheet - that was my first attempt at cutting the neck, where I flipped it around to cut the real neck on the other end. I'm basically just holding the sheet at the line with straight pliers, and bending it. Carefully. Make sure it's annealed, and if you're nervous about it snapping, anneal it again halfway through the bend. Then hammer the seam lightly to close it all the way.
You get this:
Then, when you insert something thin and strong (small metal ruler works well), and pry it gently open, you get this:
Starting to look like what we want!
Stick it in and check it:
While you have the tongue stuck in to test that it fits, mark where you want to trim off the bottom piece (where the hinge will attach the tongue to the next link.
It takes a little trial and error to figure out exactly how long to cut it. Hold your clasp, tongue, and next link up together to get the length right - too long, and there will be too much space between the clasp and next link. Too little and the handle part of the tongue will smash against your next link.
Cut it, and you have this now:
Solder on a middle section tube to the tongue (on the non-neck side). Be sure to use too much solder like me! That will ensure your cleanup time is as long and annoying as possible! I purposefully lined up the right side of my piece of tubing where I wanted the hinge to start, so I only had to trim off one side afterward. You could be a total pro and cut the tubing exactly the right size, and not have to trim ANY off later. I didn't though. ;-)
Final step is to solder some large ball wire (or something else if you want - just needs some height) to the part of the tongue above the neck (the head, if you will). This will be the "handle" you use to depress the tongue and open the clasp. And trim off any extra sheet. The handle doesn't neeeeeed to be any wider than the neck, so the width is personal preference.
It ended up a little rough looking, but I cleaned it up later.
At this point, you'll need to work harden the tongue. I grabbed it with narrow pliers and very slightly (like 1 degree with each motion) bent and unbent it a couple times all along it's length. And open/close it a couple times too, to establish the angle it wants to stay at and be springy. This is the hardest part, getting it at the angle you want it and springy enough to stay there, without accidentally breaking it.
Next I cleaned up the clasp itself and soldered on a jump ring for the safety chain - you want this on the garage door side, as the other end of the safety chain will be on the tongue:
I decided on a horizontal brushed finish. This one didn't come out as clean as I would have liked, but I wasn't going to start over at this point!
Setting the little stones: (Wadded up papertowel inside the clasp to protect it from the pressure of setting.)
My stone setting punch was in the storage unit so I had to set all three of those little boogers with a regular bezel pusher . . . argh!
Came out fine though. Those are little 4mm and 5mm carnelians from Rio.
Entire project so far:
Time to set the big stones! I chose to set the stones before doing the hinge pins, since setting the big stones is a muscle intensive job (at least with 26g bezel wire) so I didn't want to slip and mess up the hinges. Easier to handle them one at a time. If you were using really fragile stones like Opals, I might do it in the opposite order, since hammering on the hinge pins a few millimeters from your stone would be a little scary with some stones.
Testing bezel height: Look who is too short and needs a booster seat!
I like to use plastic, like from the lid of a food container, to boost up short stones. Cut little ovals and put under the cab to boost it up to the right height in the bezel. Some of the stones needed a lot of boosting, some none.
A long time, and some VERY tired hand/arm muscles later, 6 bezel set cabs:
So far so good!