guitar bypass ring

made this today – gold bypass ring in shape of a guitar

made this today - gold bypass ring in shape of a guitar

I started with a mock up in bronze ( much cheaper )

I started with a mock up in bronze ( much cheaper )
20 gauge ( 0.8mm thick ) is what I use i bronze or gold as I have a hard time bending things by hand with those 2 metals 18 gauge ( 1mm thick ) I use for copper and sterling silver as both metals are softer and not as springy

I drew the shape out on a piece of label paper

I drew the shape out on a piece of label paper
make it 3 inches long as you have to “bypass ” the ends and anything shorter will look odd label paper is sticky on one side so its perfect to transfer shapes to metal for the cut outs

my trusted jewelers saw

my trusted jewelers saw
I like to use a 6 inch saw frame ( distance from blade to the back of the frame) and 1/0 saw blades – they are very fine and will move well around the corners

cut out shape

cut out shape
I have several hole punch pliers with different punch out sizes – this one is a 3mm – you need a bit of strength to punch so I tend to sit on the end to make it punch though

added some texture

added some texture
hardened steel punches and chasing tools will last you forever

number 2 file

number 2 file
I filed all edges to make the ring nice and smooth for comfort

foming the ring

foming the ring
I start out with bending the ring around the mandrel with my fingers and then pound it in shape with a non-marring nylon hammer , the head of the hammer has sand in it which gives you a bit more umpf you will work harden the metal when you hammer so it will hold its shape nicely

formed ring

formed ring

cleaning up the inside with a flex shaft

cleaning up the inside with a flex shaft
its basically a dremel with a flexible hose the outside I polished with sandpaper first , starting with a 400 grit and then going finer and finer all the way to a 2000 grit and then ultrafine

finished

finished

rocking 🙂

rocking :)

Silver cross and blue Topaz necklace

Just playing around with metal

Just playing around with metal

I started out with some sketches

I started out with some sketches

I always use scratch paper for the initial sketches and when i like the design I will trace the design onto a piece of label paper . label paper has already ” glue ” added to one side soI do not need to glue my design to sheet metal ( rubber cement works the best if you do not have label paper ) I always end up with a sticky mess if I use the glue

I cut out my design and stick it to the sheet metal

I cut out my design and stick it to the sheet metal

in this case the base cross ( or bottom cross ) which is larger was stuck to 18 gauge sterling silver sheet metal ( 1mm hick ) and the smaller ( top cross ) was transfered to a 20 gauge sterling silver sheet ( 0.8mm) Rember in terms of metal the higher the number of the gauge the thinner he metal is

I cut out the crosses wih my hand saw

I cut out the crosses wih my hand saw

Its a jewelers saw with very very thin blades , the blades I use are he 1/0 When you saw out a piece you need to remember to never ” push ” the saw into he metal . let the saw do the work….Luke….be the saw….. Lock your wrist and move your saw up and down from the elbow ,never from he wrist and keep your saw in place – move the metal you are sawing instead ( maybe I should do an instrucional video on that one )

After sawing out my crosses I put them together to see if I like it

After sawing out my crosses I put them together to see if I like it

I did like it soI went to solder

This is after soldering everything together

This is after soldering everything together

If you want insrucions on how to solder you can take a look a my blog www.themetalchallenge365.wordpress.com . I have many tutorials on easy to make things and on more complicated stuff . All tutorials of course are free

After soldering you need to clean your metal in a Pickle solution

After soldering you need to clean your metal in a Pickle solution

When you solder you have oxidation , turning your pieces black . In order to ge rid of that you can either polish for hours or clean it in a Pickle solution ( you can get he salt/grain to make the solution at any jewelers supply store ) please NEVER take your pieces out with the naked hand ( its an acid and will burn your skin ,its also toxic ) and NEVER take them out wih any other metal then copper tongues

This is after he Pickle bath

This is after he Pickle bath

Add some texture if you like

Add some texture if you like

A normal screw driver will do if you don’t have anything else handy ( I have chasing tools but I also use nails , screw drivers and other things i find )

clean and polish your cross

clean and polish your cross

I have a larger polishing machine where I have the same buffing wheel as on my small flex shaft ( the machine in the picture ) but If you have a setting for he stone its better to use the smaller wheel A Flex shaft is esentially a dremel with a long flexible tube ( yes I am aware hat he name is funny )

After you have done your first polishing add patina

After you have done your first polishing add patina

I used a liquid that I can brush on .usually I use Liver of sulfur but I am still nauseated due to the car accident we had on Saturday and Liver of sulfur makes me gag at the moment ( stinks like rotten eggs – and no mom i am not pregnant !! )

polish again

polish again

add your stone

add your stone

the little cup were the stone sits in is called a bezel cup , you can either make your own or buy them , I will make my own if I have irregular shaped stones or If I feel like making one . Most of the time i am lazy though and just use the bought ones next to he cross you see my stone setting tool , the cup has little teeth that get pushed CAREFULLY over the stone to hold he cabochon in place , start a 12 o’clock and push once , go to 6 o’clock and push some teeth over the stone at that position , then goto 3 o’clock then to 9 o’clock , the reason for doing that is so that tthe stone ges set even in right smack in the middle of the cup , take your finger and try to move the stone when you have pushed all the teeth over it . If i does not move you are done

close up of he little teeth of the bezel cup

close up of he little teeth of the bezel cup

Now you can hand polish with a cloth to ge rid of your finger prints , add a jump ring and a chain and ….tata…….. done 🙂 hope as always you enjoyed it nici

short and sweets today – bear pendant with peridot – fresh from the bench

fresh from the bench

fresh from the bench

spirit bear and garnet

I made my own die for pressing out the bears

I made my own die for pressing out the bears

soldered on a bezel cup and added some stars

soldered on a bezel cup and added some stars

also punched a hole

patina to darken the stars

patina to darken the stars

polished the bear

polished the bear

added jump ring and chain

added jump ring and chain

fresh from the bench – small cross with peridot

dainty cross charm with Peridot

I love peridots , they are with sapphires and garnets one of my favorite stones . The vibrant green always reminds me of spring and nature and fresh mowed grass .

dainty cross charm with peridot

drew on some 18 gauge sterling sheet

I used a template made from plastic as I am not so good in drawing straight lines especially if it is so tiny . There are tons of templates out there , sometimes I make my own template out of 20 gauge brass . there is another small pendant i will make later on .

drew on some 18 gauge sterling sheet

cut out with jewelers saw and 1/0 saw blades

I also added a little circle for the hole for the jump ring as I am terrible in soldering on rings for the bails ( I always melt the metal)

cut out with jewelrs saw

soldered a bezel cup onto the cross

soldered a bezel cup onto the cross

threw it in a cleaning solution

the cleaning solution is called Pickle and will get rid of all the black oxidation

threw it in a cleaning solution

added some tiny flowers

added some tiny flowers

set the stone and polished 🙂

set the stone and polished :)

infinity wedding bands

wedding bands i made

 

www.nicilaskin.etsy.com

wedding bands i made

I cut 2 different width flat wire stock to length

I cut 2 different width flat wire stock to length

5mm and 4 mm width

stamped the infinity symbol

stamped the infinity symbol

filed the ends flat and formed them so the ends meet flush

filed the ends flat and formed them so the ends  meet flush

add flux and solder

add flux and solder

start heating with a torch

start heating with a torch

quench in water and then clean in pickle solution

quench in water and then clean in pickle solution

the black is oxidation that happens during torching

after the pickle bath

after the pickle bath

now start forming

now start forming

use a ring mandrel and a nylon hammer first

use a ring mandrel and a nylon hammer first

after forming the ring you can use a ball peen hammer to make the dimpled texture , polish the inside I polish my rings by hand using different grit sand paper and polishing clohs

done 🙂

done :)

cuff links

skull cuff links – a small how to 🙂

www.nicilaskin.etsy.com

skull cuff links - a small how to :)

Cut out 2 discs

Cut out 2 discs
you want to make them at least 1 inch or the cuff links will be to small . I use a disc cutter but you can also cut them by hand with a jewelers saw

draw your skulls on a piece of paper and stick to your metal sheet

draw your skulls on a piece of paper and stick to your metal sheet
I used 20 gauge sterling silver for both the discs and the skulls ,I want to dome the cuff links later and when you go thicker they will dome funny

cut out your skulls and punch holes through eyes and nose for the saw blade

cut out your skulls and punch holes through eyes and nose for the saw blade
then feed your saw blade through the holes and saw out your eyes

make sure the skull fits well into the circle

make sure the skull fits well into the circle
I am lucky that I can eyeball very well ,I almost never measure ,but please do that before you end up with a too big of a skull for your circle

solder your skulls to the discs

solder your skulls to the discs
I use hard solder

now is the time to dome your discs

now is the time to dome your discs
The way to do is ,is to use a dabbing block ,its a steel block with half domed indentations and corresponding ball on sticks …

choose an indentation and put your disc in skull face down

choose an indentation and put your disc in skull face down

the ball hammer goes on top and the you hammer the end of it with a nylon hammer

the ball hammer goes on top and the you hammer the end of it with a nylon hammer
don’t use steel on steel as you will damage either your hammer or the ball on the stick 🙂 a raw hide hammer or nylon hammer is the best to use

domed skull circles

domed skull circles

now take your links and solder them to the back of your discs

now take your links and solder them to the back of your discs
I am lazy ,I buy the links ,its soooo much faster and they can make them better then I can

after soldering clean in your pickle solution until the metal turns white

after soldering clean in your pickle solution until the metal turns white

start polishing

start polishing
left is the polished one on the right is your non polished one

add patina ( liver of sulfur)

add patina ( liver of sulfur)
www.nic
now if you want to you can stop before adding patina and leave your cuff links like that ,nice and clean and in a ” raw” state ,or you can add patina and leave them all black or……….

…polish and leave the black in the nose and the eyes and a bit around the skulls

...polish and leave the black in the nose and the eyes and a bit around the skulls
that will give you a nice contrast

Today I made a pair of sterling silver skull cuff links…………

Today I made a pair of sterling silver skull cuff links............
hope you liked it

my project for the day

project for the day

project for the day
flower ring with ruby – time to completion 1 hour 30 minutes made entirely by hand 🙂

drew some flowers

drew some flowers

cut out with saw

cut out with saw

formed the flowers

formed the flowers

cut out a piece from flat wire and bend it to make the ring shank

cut out a piece from flat wire and bend it to make the ring shank

joining the ends together

joining the ends together

adding solder to the flowers so they can be joined

adding solder to the flowers so they can be joined

this is after soldering and welding everything together

this is after soldering and welding everything together

cleaned it up and added a bit of patina

cleaned it up and added a bit of patina

added the stone

added the stone

I love metal 🙂

I love metal :)

follow your dreams

sterling silver guitar ring

sterling silver guitar ring
following my dreams was scary and still is . 4 years ago I had to quit my job as a well paid nurse ( injured my back on the job – did not get workers comb ) The only thing I had was my hobby – metal smithing. 4 years later I am my own boss now and make what I love , even though the ups and down of selling your own creations or following your dream is scary as shit and sometimes you don’t know how to pay rent its still somehow worth it 🙂

enough with the story – here is what I do

enough with the story - here is what I do
starting out with a sheet of metal – 18 gauge sterling ( 1mm thick)

i usually draw directly on the metal

i usually draw directly on the metal

my trusted jewelry saw

my trusted jewelry saw
I have a 6 inch saw and a inch saw but mostly use the 6 inch ( distance between sawblade and frame ) the saw blade itself is about 0.5mm thick

cut out guitar

cut out guitar

number 2 halfround file

number 2 halfround file
I filed all the edges smooth

punching a hole

punching a hole
I use hole punch pliers for most of the holes I need but I also have a really small drill press for when the punch needs to be bigger

added some texture with some older steel punches

added some texture with some older steel punches

I try to never forget to “mark” the stuff I make

I try to never forget to "mark" the stuff I make
maybe one day in 500 years someone will find one of mine and I will be in some antique jewelry book . lol

bending the ring until the ends meet

bending the ring until the ends meet

now comes the fun part

now comes the fun part
fluxing the joint and adding some wire solder

heating the ring with my hydroflux welder

heating the ring with my hydroflux welder
My husband got me a really really nice toy for my birthday/christmas and any other holiday , its portable and pretty safe to use unlike the torches with oxygen and acetylene

after soldering the ends together

after soldering the ends together
oxidation happens during heating , you an clean it up with putting the metal in a so called “Pickle solution”

after the “pickle bath”

after the "pickle bath"

ring mandrel and ring

ring mandrel and ring
I used a nylon hammer to hammer out the shape to make it nice and round and to work harden the ring

formed ring

formed ring

cleaning it with my flex shaft

cleaning it with my flex shaft
a flexshaft is basically a dremel with a flexible hose

added patina

added patina
liver of sulfur was used – stinks like rotten eggs ( or bad doggie farts ) but leaves a nice dark/grey patina

took some steel wool and polished the surface a bit

took some steel wool and polished the surface a bit

done 🙂

done :)

here is another angle

here is another angle
hope you guys liked it and if you want you can have a look at my shop

heart bracelet

anticlastic bronze cuff with copper hearts

anticlastic bronze cuff with copper hearts

cut a 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 inch wide strip from 20 gauge bronze

cut a 1 1/4 or 1 1/2 inch wide strip from 20 gauge bronze

cut lots and lots of hearts from copper

cut lots and lots of hearts from copper
I have a heart cutter from swanstrom ,

flux the back of your hearts and add solder

flux the back of your hearts and add solder
I use hard wire solder for that

heat the hearts until the solder melts

heat the hearts until the solder melts
and then flux the bronze strip and solder the hearts to it

quench in water

quench in water

form your bracelet

form your bracelet
Now I realize that not everybody has a metal press with the anticlastic / synclastic former ,so you can make the bracelet normal on a wooden bracelet mandrel and a raw hide or nylon hammer. I happen to have a full metal shop and have 2 hand cranked metal presses ( the hydraulic ones scare me and I do it rather by hand soI have more control )

thats my metal press

thats my metal press
yay for awesome tools !!

you feed the bracelet through the former 1/4 inch by 1/4 inch untilyou have the bracelet form

you feed the bracelet through the former 1/4  inch by 1/4 inch untilyou have the bracelet form

you can see how the bracelet forms

you can see how the bracelet forms
hand cranking is a lot of work

almost finished forming

almost finished forming

I put the bracelet into the pickle solution after I formed it

I put the bracelet into the pickle solution after I formed it
Pickle solution will clean your oxidation from metal

hearts , hearts , hearts and more hearts

hearts , hearts , hearts and more hearts

what do you think ?

silver tie bar with brass arrow

Metalwork
draw your arrow on the metal sheet
draw your arrow on the metal sheet
or draw it on a piece of paper and stick the paper to the metal sheet . I just like to draw the easy shapes on to my metal directly
cut out with your jewelry saw and 1/0 saw blades
cut out with your jewelry saw and 1/0 saw blades
clean the arrow with steel wool for easier soldering
cut a 4 inch long piece from sterling silver
cut a 4 inch long piece from sterling silver
I used 18 gauge ( thicker then that and it gets hard to bend into shape )
flux your arrow and add your solder
flux your arrow and add your solder
I use extra easy wire solder ( silver )
fire up your torch
fire up your torch
Did I mention I love fire 🙂
heat until your solder “flows” ( melts)
heat until your solder "flows" ( melts)
flux your sterling silver strip and put the arrow onto it solder site down
flux your sterling silver strip and put the arrow onto it solder site down
heat again until solder flows ( I took a pic of the red hot metal -its so hot that it is red in color ,much more heating and it would start melting )
clean your strip and start texturing
clean your strip and start texturing
use a dremel with a buffing wheel ,or a polisher or a flex shaft for cleaning , add texture with a screw driver
flip the strip over and start bending
flip the strip over  and start bending
use a pen or something similar to bend the tie bar around it
bend so that the arrow is a bit longer then the lower part
bend so that the arrow is a bit longer then the lower part
flip down and put your pen on the edge and press with your finger at the middle
flip down and put your pen on the edge and press with your finger at the middle
you can bend it a bit more with your fingers
you can bend it a bit more with your fingers
pound with a raw hide or nylon hammer on the right hand ( the bend end )
enjoy your tie bar
enjoy your tie bar