This project explains how to fix a broken nose wire on a pair of titanium alloy eyeglass frames.
The nose wire on my Flexon titanium alloy eyeglass frames broke and were out of warranty. My bad luck continued when the lens fell out of my backup pair of eyeglasses. Since it would be several days before my appointment with the optometrist to get a new eyeglass prescription, so I needed a quick fix for my broken frames.
Eyeglass Frame Microwelding
I took my Flexon titanium frames to a local jeweler who laser microwelded the nose wire back together. They charged $45 for the repair and the weld looked perfect with a 30 day guarantee. The weld appeared to be strong as a I gently flexed the frames before I left the store. However, the nose wire snapped at the weld within a week as I was cleaning the lenses. Of course it happened on a Sunday when the jeweler was closed and it would be inconvenient getting back to the jeweler due to my busy schedule that week. I also felt the laser microweld would probably just break again, so a different repair method was needed.
Butt Splice Connector Eyeglass Nose Wire Repair
Drawing upon my experience in carpentry and electrical wiring, I reasoned a mechanical repair was needed with some type of reinforcement to fix the broken nose wire. A small butt connector used for splicing electrical wires should work and the repair only cost me $2.19!
I bought a bag of crimp-on butt connectors at Radio Shack for $2.19 that were just about the right size to fit the nose wire on my broken frames.
The 16 to 14 gauge butt connector fit just about perfectly over the broken nose wire of my Flexon titanium alloy frames. However it needed to be shortened and bent to fit the curve of the nose wire:
I shortened the butt connector by cutting the ends off with a Dremel tool and metal cutoff wheel. The Dremel tool was necessary because wire snips would pinch the butt connector closed.
The butt connector is held with Vice Grips. I inserted a short length 14 gauge copper electrical wire in the end of the butt connector to keep from crushing it and gently clamped it in the Vice Grips locking pliers.
Here’s the first cut to shorten the crimp-on butt connector:
The nose wire had broken slightly off center, so the butt connector ends were cut to different lengths to match and deburred with a file.
The shortened butt connector is test fitted to the broken frames. Not bad, but it needs some bending in a V shape to fit the curve of the nose wire. Notice the indentation of the butt connector is facing to the rear almost out of view – the V bend will break inward here.
The butt connector is bent with two needle nose pliers to form a slight V to fit the curve of the nose wire. Short pieces of 14 gauge copper wire are used to keep from crushing the butt connector. This takes a bit of trial and error to get the curve just right, best to bend a little, check the fit and bend a little more.
This is the butt connector after bending to fit the broken nose wire before crimping it permanently in place. The frames must lay true and straight when you slide the ends of the nose wire into the butt connector.
Have a helper hold the frames so they don’t move and crimp the butt connector in place with pliers. I’ve separated the frames for clarity after crimping the right side. It doesn’t take a lot of force to crimp the soft and malleable butt connector.
Flexon titanium eyeglass frames after fixing the broken nose wire with a crimp-on butt splice connector.
I painted the butt splice black to blend it in with the frames. Instead of paint, I had something better sitting on my workbench – liquid electrical tape which is thick, gooey and dries quickly as a tough flexible coating. The brush inside the can was too large for fine work so I used a pipe cleaner to dab a bit on.
The crimp-on butt connector worked great! You can do just about anything with creativity and power tools!
Not exactly pretty, but as Uncle Red (the greatest handyman of all) says “If the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.”
No one seemed to notice the butt connector repair. I pointed it out to a co-worker who remarked “I thought that’s was how it was made.”
The nice things about the butt splice nose wire repair are:
- It’s rigid so the glasses don’t sag over my nose.
- The frames are held in perfect alignment.
- It’s quick and easy.
- Works with any metal alloy wire frames.
- Cost me just $2.19.
It’ll keep this set of frames for dirty jobs like painting and yard work that might mess up or scratch my lenses.
Hope this helps,
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