Chances are you rarely think about eyeglass repair. If a hinge is loose, you tighten it. If a screw falls out of the frame, you replace it. But did you know that not all DIY eyeglass repairs are safe or even legal?
While some repairs can be done at home, there are certain eyeglass repairs that need to be done professionally. For instance, if you attempt to buff out a scratch on your lens, you are actually creating a new prescription. Unless you are a licensed optometrist, this is unlawful. So, before you attempt to modify or repair your own eyeglasses, here are a few examples of modifications that should only be done by an eye care professional:
Broken or Cracked Metal or Wire Frames: Most broken or cracked eyeglass frames can be fixed by using the method of soldering. While soldering kits are available at most hobby shops and online stores, soldering is a skilled craft and should only be performed by a professional.
Different types of soldering include: electric, torch (commonly used by jewelers), argon welding, and laser welding. Because most soldering kits include flammable instruments, not only could you end up ruining your eyeglasses, you run the risk of injury. Specific metals like titanium frame repairs necessitate laser welding techniques that require certified technicians and very expensive equipment. At fixmyglasses.com, we recommend only eyeglass repair professionals solder broken or cracked frames.
Broken Plastic Frames: Another method of joining together broken or cracked eyeglass frames is with a device called fusing tongs. Producing temperatures high enough to melt most plastics, the fusing tongs are normally used by skilled technicians. The instrument can also replace most hinges from plastic frames, place a metal bridge within a broken nose bridge, and other repairs common with plastic frames.
However, not all plastics can be easily repaired using fusing tongs. For example, nylon and optyl plastics are not always successfully remedied using this method. Keep in mind that when you attempt to use a fusing device on your plastic frame, you may be breaking your manufacturers warranty or other insurance protection purchased at the time you received your eyeglasses.
Broken Hinges: When a hinge breaks or cracks, the only good option is to have a professional replace them. The main reason for this is because of the method and instrumentation used. The staking press (otherwise known as a rivet punch) is a specialized tool for punching and placing rivets into the frame itself.
Riveting hinges into place, not only requires great skill with the staking press, it also calls for experienced and talented craftsmanship. Again, eyeglass modification or tampering could eliminate a manufacturers warranty guarantee, so unless you are a skilled staking press operator, you’re better off letting an eyeglass professional rivet those hinges into place.
Discolored or Warn-Off Coating: Over time, eyeglass frame coating can flake off or fade in color. To help restore eyeglass frame coating, most professionals use a method of electro-plating. This system can touch up the plating in small areas or fully plate the frame.
Before you think about painting your own eyeglass frame, note that, it is necessary to strip down the frames first. This is an extensive process requiring specific solutions based on the type of material the eyeglass frame is made from. And while you may think re-coating or painting your eyeglass frame is a cosmetic fix, remember that the coating is what protects your skin from allergic reaction or other irritants. Leaving this intricate process to a professional will not only save you time, it could save your skin!
If you have any doubts on whether it’s safe or legal to repair your own eyeglasses, call on the experts at fixmyglasses.com.