MD20 Hydrogen Peroxide & Vinegar

Today was a long, busy day. But I remembered that a mixture of hydrogen peroxide & vinegar will remove the copper from soldered brass.

So I mixed some of that up & put yesterday’s piece in to soak – it only took a few minutes & now it looks fine.

More tomorrow.

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MD19 Sweat Soldering

Today I proceeded with the parts I was playing with yesterday. Still not entirely sure how it will end up, but I started by sweat soldering the circle of etched brass to the the circle of silver.

This is done by melting tiny pieces of solder into little puddles on the bottom piece (in this case, the silver), then laying the top piece where you want it and heating it again, mostly from underneath. The solder re-melts and hopefully sticks the two pieces together. It’s important to make sure the top piece is really flat on the bottom, so I had to sand the back of the brass to get it flat enough.

Soldering brass has an interesting side effect, because it has copper in it. The heat brings copper to the surface of the metal. There’s a way to get rid of that, but I will have to go back through my old notes because I don’t remember how to do it.

Sweat-soldered disks on a copper background

Sweat-soldered disks on a copper background

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MD18 Designing…

Today I spent time playing with individual parts and thinking about how to put them together.

I like the way these look, I think I can make a fun pendant. Etched brass, silver, and copper that’s been through a tube ringer & and then torched.

More tomorrow.

Metal components

Metal components

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MD17 “New” Silver is so Pretty

I love the way newly cleaned & polished silver looks, especially in chains.

This is the Byzantine bracelet, I finished it today.

Sterling silver Byzantine chain bracelet

Sterling silver Byzantine chain bracelet

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MD16 More on the Byzantine

I meant to spend more time on jewelry today, but I just didn’t get the time in that I wanted.

What I did get done was complete the chain part of the Byzantine bracelet. Tomorrow I’ll do the clasp and finish the rest.

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MD15 A Byzantine Bracelet

If you’ve been following along with this series of posts, you’ll remember that I made some 4mm links last week that I haven’t used yet. They were the wrong size for the Foxtail chain, but they are the right size for a Byzantine chain.

So that’s what I’m making now. This is a lovely chain that makes beautiful jewelry.

Byzantine Chain in Progress

Byzantine Chain in Progress

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MD14 Foxtail Bracelet is Done

Today I finished the Foxtail chain bracelet. Did the last part of the chain, soldered on the clasp, soaked it in hot vinegar to remove all the black from the annealing, & put it in the tumbler for a couple of hours to make it all shiny.

Beautiful!

Sterling Silver Foxtail Chain Bracelet

Sterling Silver Foxtail Chain Bracelet

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MD13 My New Toy

Today most of my “metal” time today was spent on my new toy, a rolling mill. This model is made by Celtic Dreams, and is affordable for someone like me.

It arrived covered in protective grease, which needed to be removed. About an hour with a can of mineral spirits and a bunch of paper towels got that done.

Now I just have to bolt it to my workbench, and it will be ready to use. What’s it for? It can be used to roll out sheet metal & wire to a finer gauge, but my favorite use is to add texture & patterns to metal. For example, rolling etched brass with silver to transfer the pattern. Then that can be used to make other things like these earrings.

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MD12 The Foxtail Continues

Now that I know 4.5mm is the perfect size for my chain, I made several more feet of wire into links today.

I was also able to spend some time weaving more of the chain itself. This one goes pretty quickly. I’ve decided it will be a bracelet – I might even get it done tomorrow.

Foxtail bracelet in progress

Foxtail bracelet in progress

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MD11 The .5 Millimeter Difference

As I continued with the Foxtail chain I’ve been working on, I wasn’t very happy with it. The links were just tight enough in the pattern that there was very little flexibility in the resulting chain.

So today I took more 18 gauge sterling wire and made one coil of links that were half a millimeter larger just to see the difference. It’s perfect. I really like the way this is coming out, so I’ll make more tomorrow.

Foxtail chain in progress

Foxtail chain in progress

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