Check Ball Earrings

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About: Awesome Gear I've designed myself.

The other day I was waiting on my wife and daughter while they were trying on clothes at Kohls. I decided to look at the jewelry for some ideas. This design was among the earrings however, they were made from gold wire and oyster pearls.

Gold and pearls? Don’t have em’. Paper clips and a busted automatic transmission? That I have. These check balls were inside the transmission.

There are plenty more parts left. I think I’ll make a desk lamp with the gears.

Step 1: Shape the Paper Clip

Extend a paper clip leaving the outside smaller bend intact.

Use cone nose pliers to roll a loop at the bend. Make sure when you wrap the loop you use the longer of the two free ends.

That way after the loop is complete the free ends will be the same length.

Bend the free ends towards the center so that it opens the loop as shown in the picture. Next bend the loops back, working the loop apart.

Adjust the loop as necessary so they are parallel to each other. 

Step 2: Fit the Ball

Place the ball on a flat surface. I also used a paper clip to help keep the ball from rolling away.

Hold the free ends of the wire form with pliers and force the ball into the form.

Adjust the wires so the fit nicely around the ball.

Step 3: Attache the Backings

The backings I’m using came from the craft store.

Using cone nose pliers, form loops into the free ends. Adjust the wire so that the looped ends overlap each other.

Fit the backing into the loops.

Step 4: Make Adjustments

Because the wire started out bent, you may have to play around with getting the earrings to match each other.

Don’t worry too much about that though.

Unless your wearing both earrings on one ear at the same time, no one will notice a slight difference.

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    33 Discussions

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    daveand5

    7 years ago on Introduction

    many long laughs,
    I can just see the $1400.00 lamp on my $25 early salvation army end table
    thats what it cost for my last tranny repair, so i figure the lamp made of the offending tranny guts would be worth that at least!

    2 replies
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    agate123

    7 years ago on Step 4

    You sir, deserve the highest of fives.

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    rawkergirl

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Wow, those are beautiful! Unfortunately I don't have a busted automatic transmission lying around (actually, maybe that is fortunate), but I imagine other materials could be used instead.

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    Mrballengrawkergirl

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    You could use anything round: beads, marbles, or even sling shot ammo. Thanks for the comment.

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    johnny3hMrballeng

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Although I've never made jewelry, I have used "ball bearings" for many different projects.

    Another good source of free ball bearings is failed trailer bearings which come with many in one "race."  When I have to replace the bearing set in a trailer for myself, or a friend or neighbor, I save the old ball bearings for later use.

    I've also used these ball bearings as check valves in homemade liquid pumps.  If you don't have access to friends or neighbors as a source for ball bearings, try checking with your local trailer repair shop, OR a boat dealer or repair shop.  If they don't have an old bearing set laying around, ask them to hold the next set replaced and leave your name and phone number so they can let you know to go pick it up.

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    sergiosparks

    7 years ago on Step 4

    Wow ! a simple idea that turned into an elegant work of art !

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    askjerry

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Nice design, and very professional photography too.

    I'll have to see what little spheres I can find and do something similar. I can build stuff... it's just sometimes I need inspiration and this is certainly great for that!

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    jwzumwalt

    7 years ago on Introduction

    I could see this idea adapted for beautiful marbles too.

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    Harvard82D00M99

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I really wouldn't call that reverse engineering, it's more of repurposing. It's not like he's now building transmissions.

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    D00M99Harvard82

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Well, by reverse engineering I mean that he saw the earring design at Kohl's an reverse engineered it. Right?

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    old_code

    7 years ago on Introduction

    Those photos are among the best that I've seen on this site. Esp. maintaining the focus on the close ups.

    Comments are correct; those look great enough (and what a conversation piece!) to sell.

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    haakon.k

    7 years ago on Step 4

    Beautifully photographed (and executed).

    ball bearings from the valve body" when i worked in a tranny shop in the late 70's we gave all the valve bodies to one of the guys that was blind, and he rebuilt the valve bodies, i just had to do a visual for cracks that he couldnt feel. i think it was the only place in the auto transmission that had ball bearings. Exceppt maybe the torque converter,since they all went to one guy to work on and i didn't see much of what was inside them