Sunday, August 22, 2010
Well, here it is, warts and all. I apologize for the poor quality photo, but I think you can get the idea. Place a metal disc, or a metal dome in the center of the template to find the center of the piece and to help layout designs.
The scrap aluminum turned out to be a little too soft, and even with light pressure, the scriber had a tendency to dig it. Also, I did not use a pair of sharp pointed dividers as recommended, using a plastic circle template instead. Why? Well, I've never been very good at using dividers as circle makers. Just plain klutzy. The circle template worked out pretty well, not perfect, but it will do the job.
The little square you see in one of the photos below, was purchased from Micro-Mark. (I have no affiliation with that company other than as a customer. They do have a few tools of interest to a hobby jewelry maker.) The square is very handy and could be worth a look, if you're into metal work.
I'm going to take a break from posting for awhile. I need to get some jewelry put together.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Two photos showing other uses for the beading board. One as a layout/design usage, the other where I am beginning to make a Circle Dividing Template as described in Pauline Warg's book. "Making Metal Beads." My template will not be quite the same as hers because I'm using salvaged aluminum in place of the brass or nickel silver she recommends.I'll show my results later in another post.
Monday, August 16, 2010
It is very pleasing to see new followers for my blog. I hope you will find future postings here interesting and informative as I continue to explore new things related to jewelry work. Please check back every so often. Thank you for your continued interest and support for my humble efforts.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Well, here it is, just as about as complete as possible. It's pretty rough, but that's o.k. All scrap and salvage. I am thinking of an addition of another shallow tray in back to hold cut pieces of wire. Ran out of wood, again. As you can see, the gizmo fits into the bench catch tray. Feet underneath. The whole thing is supposed to be level. Come to find out, the catch tray bottom isn't exactly square with the world! The cups were salvaged from grocery store product demos. Stores sometimes are promoting some kind of snack food, so there's hardly ever any need to clean them. Just knock out the crumbs. Beading pad located in the center of the board. In the back left corner of the tray is a top off of a spray can that holds a piece scrubbie pad to polish up the wire. It stays in place by a small magnet. Also stored in the catch tray, good old empty (well, partially empty), Altoids mint tins, one each for scraps of fine silver, sterling silver, copper, and two kinds of brass.
The plier rack will rest on the bottom bench drawer.
On the front of the bench catch tray, I've marked out some measurements for cutting ye olde wire to length.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
The modification for the next few days will be a removable wirework/beading board to fit into the bench catch tray. It will fit down into the catch tray, clearing the pull-out shelf rail. Two slots on either side of the board will hold sections from and old aluminum muffin tin that I've cut apart. Those will hold the beads for any project I will be working on. In the center, a frame for the bead mat. The whole thing will be a little rough, but it will work.
The new bench pin is great. Now, all that's needed for sawing is some provision for the block of beeswax, and a place for a brush to clear away the accumulating debris from sawing. Got to see the line!
Did some work on a mount for the little one inch jaw vise. I also will need to make a mount for the larger Panavise. Both mounts will need to be compatible with one another to avoid drilling unnecessary holes. Got to get more T-Nuts! Whee, the excitement goes on! Someday, yes, I will try to post some pics.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Here I go again, griping. I had an issue with the bench pin supplied with the bench, so after fighting the thing for months and trying out other substitutes, I finally broke down and bought a GRS mount and bench pin. Rock solid, a joy to work on. But, for the cost of it, you would think the company would at least run a sander along the edges, just to knock off any splinters left from sawing. Nope, I guess they could bear the expense. I barely avoided finger impalement by a rather large splinter. Other than that, a great bench pin. I didn't use the screws which came with the mounting plate. I installed T-Nuts in the bench top and attached it with 1/4" x 20 bolts. That way, if I need to remove the plate, I can do so easily. I never like to make anything too permanent.
In addition, since I created drilling debris which fell into the catch tray, I decided it was time to clean it out. Gee, what a mess that was! In a way, it was like a treasure hunt. "Oh, there's that bead I dropped six months ago! Wondered where that went to. And, here's a pair of tweezers way back here," and so on. Amazing what you can find ater a year's accumlation. I have now resolved to do better, keep things neater, cleaner. Wonder how long that will last? I have three empty Altoids tins, one labled for scrap silver, one for copper, and one for brass. Wire and metal clippings will go in these and not the catch tray. Yessir, the organization never stops!
Monday, August 2, 2010
Posting the plier rack photo on JewelryLessons.com generated more interest than I expected. Now, after giving the project a little more thought, I can see there is possibly room for improvement. For example: Changing just a bit the angle of the notch for the aluminum angle. I am not going to change what I have, but someone else might think it would be better.
In the photo with pliers on the rack, not all of the pliers I use are on there. Because JL is primarily a wire work site, only the pliers which I use most for that were put on the rack. I wasn't sure how others would work out. Now that I tried them, they fit just fine. So, it's goodbye to the old plastic one that never worked right, and there's more room on the bench.
I'm going to play with making a holder on the side of the rack to hold a pair of metal shears. We'll see. I have a little left over aluminum bar stock I think I can bend to make a holder.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
A member of JewelryLessons.com asked for a tutorial on making the plier rack. I don't do tutorials and said I would post details here on the blog. The rack was made specifically to hold the Lindstrom RX pliers, with the springs attached. I need to have the springs in place. It will hold some of the other types of pliers, but some types may not fit as well on the rack.
The one thing to remember is that all the dimensions are flexible, with the possible exception of the aluminum angle. It is 1 inch x 1 inch, and as long as you need. I think the 1 inch size is right for the pliers. I just happened to have a piece that was 11 1/4 inches in length, so that became the length used. Why bother cutting it to 11 inches or any other length?
The plywood used is Baltic Birch. Any other wood could be used. The wood forming the tray is screen molding. The whole thing could have been made prettier, but it doesn't have to be.
The base is 5/8 inch thick, by 13 1/2 inches in length, by 4 3/4 inches wide.
The two uprights are 1/2 inch thick, 6 11/16 inches tall at the front, 3 3/4 inches wide. The odd dimension is because that was the size of the scrap wood.
The notch in the uprights measures 2 3/8 inches down from the top and 2 inches in from the back.
The uprights are set in 3/8 inch front and back and approximately 1 inch in from the side of the base.
Corners on the base and on the top of uprights were rounded off using a disc sander.
The uprights were clamped together, the notch dimensions marked, and cut out using a back saw.
At this point, I drilled four holes in the aluminum angle for small pan head sheet metal screws. No. 5 x 1/2 inch. I use whatever I have available. Then I drilled starter holes in the upright notches and attached the angle.
Next, measured out the position of the uprights on the base, clamped the uprights to the base, drilled and countersunk four screw holes and attached the uprights to the base using No. 6 x 1 1/2 inch wood screws.
Cut two pieces of screen molding and attached them, front and back, with small 1/2 inch brads, to the uprights.
Done. The knobs you see at the ends were added later for ease in moving the rack from storage position to working position. Optional.