Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Design Challenge-- Using Metal

Be sure to check out THIS post to start this project.

I am going to do the first sketch using a copper circle (or any metal you choose).  You can find them HERE.

Refer to your original copied sketches...

...and draw the design on the metal with a Sharpie.  Don't worry all the Sharpie will disappear when you file and polish the piece.

You will need some basic jeweler's supplies.  Most definitely a jeweler's saw and several saw blades.  You can find this stuff  HERE or HERE.  I had to buy all this stuff in college.  So, if you have an arts college, check their bookstore.

Here is a demonstration on how to cut metal...it's not difficult at all.  It seems like it would go very slow, but I cut out all the pieces in under an hour.


When all the pieces are cut out, file all the edges so they are rounded and smooth.
Then, it's time to solder.  I know I have a tormented relationship with soldering, but it's not bad once you practice a bit.  I got all of mine on the first try this time!

This is the second set of soldering for this piece. I already put the top parts together.
Make sure to sand the parts that you intend to solder together so they are nice and clean.

Set up your piece on a fire proof soldering station and brush the metal with flux...it usually comes with the solder...you can find it at most hardware stores.


Cut tiny pieces of solder and use tweezers to set them on the joints to be attached together.
I circled where the pieces are in this picture.


Use a torch (I just use a little propane torch from the hardware store) and heat the metal. Start heating way above the metal and work the torch down until you are circling the solder pieces.  The secret is that the solder flows to the heat.  The surfaces the solder flows to need to be evenly heated otherwise it will only flow to one side. 



I have some solder puddles to clean up, but they flowed nicely inbetween the metal pieces.
PICK UP THE PIECE WITH TONGS OR PLIERS and DIP IN WATER!

Now the work really begins...
but it's fun...especially while watching TV.

File, file, file!
File away those solder puddles and all of the residue from the flux and flame.

Then, sand, sand, sand!
Start with a really rough sand paper and work your way finer and finer until you have a nice shiney piece!
If you have access to a buffer/polisher, that is the final step.  I didn't do that.  Also, if you want to drill a hole and add a jump ring, you can do that too.  I am just going to use the space I have.

ooooo...










1 comment:

CraftCrave said...

Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [28 May 02:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria