seagull tiebar – fresh from the bench

Today I made a seagull tie bar out of sterling silver and added some stones to it . I used 18 gauge sterling silver, 2 x 3mm serrated bezel cups and 2 x 3mm black Onyx cabochons.

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what else you need

jewelry saw and 1/0 saw blades

chasing tools or screw drivers, a hammer , a nylon hammer or rawhide hammer

steel wool or sandpaper if you do not have a flex shaft or dremel for polishing

a torch , flux, solder , pickle solution

patina ( liver of sulfur or black max )

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draw your bird on the sheet – you can use a template or freehand designs , add a bar to make the overall length 4 inches ( this tie bar is going to be for a normal sized tie ) scale down if you want to make one for a skinny tie. Start sawing your tie bar out , when you are done sawing add some texture with the chasing tools

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file all edges nice and round

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Now you can start shaping your tiebar and create the “spring ” to hold it in place. Take a pen or a steel rod and bend the bird part over the bar part – the bird part being slightly longer than the backside. Turn over and bend the bar upwards with your fingers . Take the nylon hammer and hammer directly on the bend thus closing the tie bar – this way you work harden the spring and make it tight so that it will not slide of the tie.

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If you want to you can now stop and finish your tie bar with the patina and polish or you can add your stones

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Flux the back of your bezel cups and add a small amount of wire solder ( or sheet solder or paste solder )

Heat carefully with the torch until the solder flows . Quench in water. Flux the whole of your tie bar to avoid too much oxidation and fire scale ( I use paste solder ) put the bezel cups on the wing and start heating again very carefully by drawing circles around the wing – never stay to long in one place with the torch – the piece is small and delicate and you might end up melting either the wing or the bezel cups . Heat until the solder flows again then quench in water and throw in the Pickle solution ( never quench in the Pickle solution itself – its dangerous and stupid)

wile you wait for the pickle to do its work – eat

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yummy 😉

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Take your piece out of the Pickle bath using copper tongues . Polish either with your flexshaft , dremel or sandpaper. Add Patina and polish again . The very last step is always to set the stones . Do some slight polishing with a soft cloth to get rid of any finger prints and enjoy your piece . Hope you liked it .

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