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

Rock and Roll fo your arm

 

Sterling silver ” Rock and Roll ” cuff bracelet

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I used a 20 gauge 6 inch by 1 1/4 inch strip of sterling silver for the base and 18 gauge sterling silver for the guitars and the star. The shapes were cut out with a 6 inch jewelry saw and 1/0 saw blades. Personally I prefer the german saws and saw blades as I found the quality to be outstanding , but I might be biased because I am german.

I used a template to draw the guitars right on the metal and then sawed them out .

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After sawing out the shapes they were soldered via sweat soldering onto the base strip then quenched in water and after that put in the Pickle pot to clean the metal from the black oxidation.

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I used an abrasive wheel to quickly file and round the edges – Cratex Medium wheels work very well for that . I like to use my polisher with the wheels because its fast and if you run a business you need to be fast but also have a high quality . I cut down my filing time from about 20 minutes to about 30 seconds .

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When you are finished with filing you edges you can add texture . I have several chasing tools made from hardened steel but I also use screw drivers and other things.

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Now comes the bending part . I am not very strong with my hands and that is the reason why I am using 20 gauge for my base plate, if I use anything thicker than that I would not be able to bend it anymore and would have to use the metal press.

For shaping my bracelets I prefer to use a wooden mandrel and a nylon hammer they are soft and will not leave any marks in your metal

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as you can see after pounding and bending you get a nice oval shape . There are also round mandrels if you prefer a round look . I run the bracelet through my polisher one time to clean the metal and prepare for the liver of sulfur patina . The cleaner the metal the nicer and more consistent your patina gets.

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Liver of sulfur gives you a nice dark gray patina. A word of caution , liver of sulfur stinks like rotten eggs so try to do it in a well ventilated area or your hair and clothing will smell too. Even though my husband always knows when I play around with it 😉

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After the patina I polished the bracelet again an only left the darkness in the pattern and texture

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If you liked the post , maybe leave a comment and let me know 😉

Featured in Imgu.com for the whole month :)

Stuff Made by Imgurians

Every day on Imgur we’re inspired by Imgurians who are doing and making awesome things. In an effort to further show off the cool, real life stuff you guys are creating, we’re teaming up with a new Imgurian every month for Stuff Made by Imgurians in the Imgur store (http://store.imgur.com/products/stuff-made-by-imgurians). This month’s creation comes from metalsmith and registered nurse nicilaskin (http://imgur.com/user/nicilaskin) who originally hails from Leipzig, East Germany (yes, before the Berlin wall came down!). Now, she’s a self-proclaimed nomad who travels between Phoenix in the winter, Sedona, Colorado, with summers in New Jersey–moving the whole of her metal shop and the 3,000lbs of equipment it contains with her every time.

Start with an 18 gauge sterling silver sheet.

Cut the corners.

Each letter is stamped by hand one character at a time.

The tiny giraffe is stamped by hand, too!

Hammer in the details.

Tada! A lovely, sterling silver necklace.

Banana for scale.

You can order your very own sterling silver Imgur necklace made by nicilaskin all month long on the Imgur Store (http://store.imgur.com/products/stuff-made-by-imgurians). Be sure to check back to the store every month for a new product from a new Imgurian.

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 :)

fresh from the bench – started a new collection in my shop

fresh from the bench – made a butterfly today

fresh from the bench - made a butterfly today

I added a green Peridot

drawing the butterfly on sterling silver

drawing the butterfly on sterling silver

I cut it out with a small jewelry saw

I cut it out with a small jewelry saw

soldered a bezel cup onto the wing

soldered a bezel cup onto the wing

cleaned it up a bit

cleaned it up a bit

added some doodles/texture

added some doodles/texture

cleaned it up a bit again

cleaned it up a bit again

added patina to make the texture pop

added patina to make the texture pop

cleaned it up again and added a jumpring and a chain

turtle doves

turtle dove ring set

ring set I made

I made this ring set out of sterling silver , my hubby is not sure if guys would like a ring in the shape of a bird , but I like them maybe you guys like them too the stone I used is a swiss blue topaz

out of this 🙂

out of this :)

I used 18 gauge sterling silver

drew the birds directly on the sheet

drew the birds directly on the sheet

cut them out with a jewelry saw

cut them out with a jewelry saw

the saw I use is a 6 inch saw ( distance between blade and the back part ) and 1/0 saw blades – my eyes are getting a bit weak so I have to feel now with my thumb to make sure the teeth are in the right direction

sawed out birds with extra length so that you can make a ring shank

sawed out birds with extra length so that you can make a ring shank

added texture

added texture

formed the rings so that the ends meet

formed the rings so that the ends meet

the fun part is soldering

the fun part is soldering

I love fire and my small welder ( its a hydroflux welder I got 2 years ago for my birthday – safer than a torch ) normally the flame is green but my flux solution is in need of replacing

soldered rings

soldered rings

the blackness comes from oxidation

after bathing the rings in a cleaning solution

after bathing the rings in a cleaning solution

the solution is called Pickle and will get rid of the blackness turning the metal white

now the rings are getting formed

now the rings are getting formed

ring mandrel and a nylon hammer will make sure you get a perfect round shape

I wanted to add a stone to the smaller ring

I wanted to add a stone to the smaller ring

I am lazy so I used a bought bezel cup to hold the stone and soldered that to the ring

almost finished they just need to be polished

almost finished they just need to be polished

I use a so called flex shaft ( dremel with a hose ) which is basically the same thing your dentist has for the drills

cleaned rings

cleaned rings

added some black max ( patina )

added some black max ( patina )

polished again

polished again

added the stone

added the stone

i saw that the ring with the stone did not have the patina for the eye so I had to do that

ring for her

ring for her

ring for him

ring for him

hope you liked it 🙂

hope you liked it :)

nici laskin

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