Titanium eyeglass frames, they're super-light and strong, but what happens when they break? If you can find a bench jeweler willing to repair them the old way, it would involve removing the lenses in an attempt to join the broken halves with lead-tin solder meant for electronic circuits. This type of repair hardly ever proves to be worthwhile since the brittle, porous properties of solder will forecast another break in the near future. Golden Crown Jeweler's microwelding process fuses titanium ends directly to each other for a bond that comes as close to the original material strength as possible. Unlike a torch soldering procedure, microwelding involves no flames so the lenses can often stay intact in the frames.
Replacement frames: $175. Specially ground prescription to fit the new frame: $250. The week(s) wasted while the eyeglass store gets this all together? Irretrievable. Before tossing those metal frames, bring them to us to see if microwelding can help. Here, a break occurs near the bridge and loses it's right glass lens. $5 for superglue or epoxy? Such an attempt is lunch money down the drain every time. A crust of superglue is removed from these ends and a smarter repair process begins...
Direct microwelding is used to initially fuse the broken ends together. Just in case the manufacturer alloyed any additional metals that would've made the area brittle, pure silver is added to reinforce the area. The art of welding relies on experience to pull material in strategic directions to optimize the holding strength.
The process took less than 30 minutes and the customer saves a nice wad of cash that can be used for better things than an entire replacement.
Here, a customer's $400 progressive bifocals and titanium frames broke at the bridge. This is a high-stress structural area that is hindered by the fact that the frames were originally assembled by brazing loose titanium pieces. The original brazing alloy at that very point makes it a bit difficult to determine if the titanium is fused underneath. Are these pricey specs relegated to the junk bin? For an experienced microwelder, the frames can be salvaged through a modified repair.
A pure gold collar acts as a coupler to join the broken ends. Microwelding provides a repair that extends the usability and buys the customer more time (and eyesight) until he can order a replacement set. Update: Customer calls months later and happily reports the glasses are still in use.
Another example of eyeglasses that any shop would reluctantly turn away, resin frames. The middle eyelet in the hinge sheared off the metal anchor embedded into the resin. Solder it back with a torch? Only if the goal is to destroy the surrounding resin and permanently haze the prescription lens. At our workbench, the tiny sheared halves are microscopically fused and pure silver is used to fill any gaps for added strength. All this is done without affecting the resin or lens.
Before you give up hope, don't toss those expensive frames, Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an in-person appointment to see if you have a welding candidate. Appointments can only be made by email and extended to local customers only.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you repair eyeglasses?
We're a jewelry store with a highly specialized welding machine for fusing many types of metals precious and non-precious. Eyewear constructed of most types of metals fall under the category of something we can often repair. This is the extent of our "eyeglass repair"
I've got these plastic frames...
Plastic and resin are not metal. We don't have the facility, materials, nor inclination to get into the plastic repair business. The plastic frame example you see on this page shows welding done to the METAL HINGE embedded in the plastic frame.
How much does it cost?
Most repairs cost $65-$95. It all depends on the complexity of the repair; how much reconstruction and reinforcement is required. This can only be diagnosed in-person. Repair quotes take into account cost of supplies, reinforcement material, and the fact that reconstructive eyeframe repair is often far more time-consuming than jewelry repair. Sometimes a customer will bring in frames caked in superglue from their self-bungled repair attempt. Time spent cleaning up this mess in preparation for welding will have to be factored in. Brand-name or not, expensive or dirt-cheap, we've successfuly repaired nearly every metal frame a customer has brought in. In rare cases where experience tells us the frame is an unlikely repair candidate, we'll be the first to let the customer know.
I lost the nosepad. What does that cost?
We're a jewelry store, not an optical shop. We don't carry eyewear parts. If you still have the nosepiece that broke off at a metal point, we can repair that but we don't stock eyewear parts.
How long does it take?
Some repairs can be completed in 45 minutes, other more complex reconstructions can take an entire afternoon. The large majority are often completed in an hour. Showing up 10 minutes before we close won't be a smart move if you need the glasses back same-day.
How long does the repair last?
We've been doing this type of welding since around 2004. By rough estimate, we've repaired some 900 pairs to-date. Of that, only a small handful have returned requiring some additional reinforcement. That's a fairly impressive success rate in ANY industry. Some customers use this repair to get them by while they wait out the weeks for their optical shop to finish an updated prescription, others continue to use their repaired frames as their primary or spare pair. Because we're not inclined to intentionally break frames we just finished repairing, the indirect observation that customers are going about their busy lives is a sign our repair and reinforcement technique is holding up to everyday use. Everything's relative of course. Things will depend on how much stress is in the area that broke, the specific alloy material used in the frame, and how the glasses are worn daily. Our stance is that if the glasses break in the same spot again, you're entitled to bring it back and we'll try to further reinforce the area. Again, only a small handful of customers have taken us up on this offer.
Do you know who in the west coast does repairs like this?
To us, a "repair like this" involves specialized cutting-edge equipment, experience, and a genuine caring and desire to ensure the welded region is reinforced as much as possible. Until someone else can demonstrate they'll invest the same level of care in repairing your glasses or jewelry, giving out endorsements for work we haven't observed first-hand would be a disservice to our customers.
Will the eyeglass repair be visible?
Jewelry repair is completed for cosmetic goals. Eyewear, on the other hand, is repaired to reach structural goals to ensure the area has an abundance of material welded at the break such that it can withstand the stresses from everyday wear. With that in mind, we'll always attempt to minimize traces of the area worked on. Microwelding allows us to offer near-surgical precision where torch-soldering almost always leaves a large destruction spot. Our photographs and video provide reasonable examples of what the results would look like. The customers who first and foremost seek to regain their eyesight are very happy with the repair. If you're seeking a perfect cosmetic repair, by all means, order new frames & lenses from the eyewear shop.