How to Remove Pin Mechanism from Back of Brooches?

by Carol Super.

How to Remove Pin Mechanism from Back of Brooches to Turn Them into Pendants? - Discussion on Jewelry Making Journal

I want to repurpose brooches into pendants.

I want to take the locking mechanisms off completely.

I have read that one of the best ways to remove the locking parts is to use an end cutter / nipper / nail puller tool.

Can you recommend one, or can you tell me what size I should get? Thanks very much.

Carol Super

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  • Margaret says:

    Carol, I’ve done a few of these and depending on how the pin finding was attached I can either just use chain nose or flatnose pliers to pull and twist til it comes off or use an end cutter to just kinda cut it off. I use a separate end cutter or pliers that’s dedicated for stuff like this so I don’t damage my nice cutters and pliers I use for wire . Its an end cutter made for 15 gauge and smaller. Maybe even check a hardware store for a deal on jewelry size tools for your demolition tasks, LOL. Anyway, once you get the pin finding off the back of the brooch you usually need to sand or file any mess left from the pin back. Good luck and hope to see your brooch pendants.

  • Vicki says:

    If I have to remove the pin mechanism, I grind it off with my Dremel tool, it usually leaves it smooth and filed. However, you don’t have to remove them to wear them as pendants. Fire Mountain Gems has a wonder thing called a brooch converter, and it converts your brooches into pendants for you so they can be worn either way. I have used these with some of my Grandma’s brooches so that way I can either wear them on suit jackets or as a necklace!

  • Susan McMahill says:

    Why remove it? I have several lovely pendants that can also be worn as brooches, they have both a loop for hanging and a pin back. I love the versatility.

  • Cynthia says:

    When I use old pins or brooches in my necklace designs, I use wire to hold the pin and catch together, so it doesn’t come apart while being worn. I also sometimes use a file to make the pin less pointy! This way, years from now, someone could take it a part, and wear it as a brooch again.

  • Sarah R says:

    I usually use cheap hardware store wire cutters to cut the pin back or clip earring off. Then I file any rough edges smooth. That way you’re not wasting your good cutters. I think the hardware store ones were $5-$6 and I’ve had them for 6 years now

  • Hi~.
    A wise internet friend from New Zealand told me to grasp your piece/pendant with long forceps at a place that is not part of the clasp. Simply dip your entire piece in a slightly cooled container of very hot ( post boiling ) water and voila, the offending clasp will slip off. I have used this technique quite a few times with mother of pearl pins/pendants that have been attached with glue and have been surprised at the results.

  • Dianne Haselfeld says:

    As an addendum to this question, I have another. Most of the hardware I remove has been soldered on. I am ruining my files using them to file down the solder. Anyone know how to remove solder another way?

  • Debra Lowe says:

    I use wire cutters for the pin part. Next, try to get as close to the soldered portions as possible to cut them flush with the pin back (with the cutters). There will likely be a small part to file, for this step I use my Dremel and a variety of bits. Follow with a smoothing bit. I have cut old brooches apart and redesigned them and my Dremel is indispensable. Get a variable speed one for more control.
    The solder will be very difficult to remove. I have taken a torch to soldered parts and some let loose and others don’t. Never use the torch on a brooch with stones, they will most often crack.
    You can see in my shop the many brooches I have cut and redesigned. I do some original pieces (no brooch) but I LOVE to use the old brooches in a design~
    Best of luck!

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