Just playing around with metal
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
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
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
I did like it soI went to solder
This is after soldering everything together
If you want insrucions on how to solder you can take a look a my blog http://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
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
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
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
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 !! )
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
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
Sterling silver ” Rock and Roll ” cuff bracelet
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 .
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.
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 .
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.
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
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.
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 😉
After the patina I polished the bracelet again an only left the darkness in the pattern and texture
If you liked the post , maybe leave a comment and let me know 😉
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.
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 .
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 .
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)
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
added some tiny flowers
set the stone and polished 🙂
fresh from the bench – made a butterfly today
I added a green Peridot
drawing the butterfly on sterling silver
I cut it out with a small jewelry saw
soldered a bezel cup onto the wing
cleaned it up a bit
added some doodles/texture
cleaned it up a bit again
added patina to make the texture pop
cleaned it up again and added a jumpring and a chain
turtle dove ring set
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 🙂
I used 18 gauge sterling silver
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
formed the rings so that the ends meet
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
the blackness comes from oxidation
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
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 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
I use a so called flex shaft ( dremel with a hose ) which is basically the same thing your dentist has for the drills
added some black max ( patina )
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 him
hope you liked it 🙂
wedding bands i made
stamped the infinity symbol
filed the ends flat and formed them so the ends meet flush
start heating with a torch
quench in water and then clean in pickle solution
the black is oxidation that happens during torching
after the pickle bath
now start forming
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