Thursday, February 17, 2011

Copper and Faux Bone Pendant

Here, at last, is my "so - so" effort at producing something with faux bone.  Below I take you through the steps and tools which I used to make the pendant,

The materials used are: Faux Bone (available from Crackerdog Designs). one eight inch thick, and Copper Wire, 12 and 20 gauge.  The 12 gauge was annealed prior to use in this design.

As I take you through the steps which I took to make this pendant, I will also discuss the tools used.

I began by drawing out a design shape on the faux bone with the Sharpie, then drew a rectangle around the shape.

Using a Jeweler's Saw Frame, adjustable, 5 1/2 inch throat, equipped with Robert Dancik's special faux bone fine tooth saw blade. along with a Bench pin with a "V" slot, I cut out the rectangle with the saw.  Then I cut out the design shape. It's easier to manipulate the saw around a design on a smaller piece. 

After cleaning away the crumbs left by sawing, I used a Half-round, Coarse Cut Files (bastard cut),  8 inch cut length,  to refine the shape and bevel the edges all around the piece. Then switched to a smaller 4 inch finer cut Half-round Mill File.  Actually, the file selection depends somewhat on the size and shape of the pieces your working on.  Filing will create a lot of crumbs. You may want to wear an apron and have a wastebasket handy.

As I filed away, I used an old Toothbrush to clean the crumbs from the file.

After getting the shape refined, I did use a Triangular scraper, very lightly to clean up some spots.

The next step was sanding.  Sanding produces a kind of softness to the surface.  Using pieces of Wet and Dry Sandpaper, 240, 320 400, & 600 grits, soaked in  container of water, progressively sanded the piece.  After sanding with the 600 grit, following Mr. Dancik'ss instructions, turned the 600 grit paper over and used the back side to further polish the surface, then vigorously rubbed the piece on my pants leg.

The next step was to decide how I would add various decorative elements and texturing treatments to the piece.  Believe me, it wasn't easy with so many different kinds available.  I confess I dithered for quite some time trying to decide what to do.

Finally, I decided to add rivets and wire spirals, then decide where to place them.  The rivets would be made from both 24 gauge and 12 gauge wire. The 20 gauge would also be used to make the spirals.  The spirals would have two legs which will be used to affix them to the pendant.  Or are these tails?  Using a pair of Flush Cutters I cut off a twelve inch length of wire.  Using a pair of Round Nose Pliers, made the beginning of the spiral about 1/2 inch from one end of the wire. This 1/2 inch will be bent down to form a leg which will be inserted into a hole in the faux bone. Then finished the spiral using a pair of Flat Nose Pliers, stopping every now and then to check the size of the spiral.  When reaching the desired diameter, I cut off the wire leaving enough extra to for the second leg.  The second spiral was done the same way except one leg was purposely left long.  This long end would be used to make a bail.  All the legs were bent down and set aside for later application.

Using a small 6 inch Scale, I measured the distance between the legs of the two  spirals and marked them on the pendant piece.  After determining the remaining drill points, I used  the point of the triangular scraper, to make little divots as starting points for the drills. 

Using a Flex-shaft, fitted with a No. 60 Twist Drill Bit, and a small piece of Scrap Wood. drilled the holes for the 20 gauge wire, and did the same for the 12 gauge wire, using a No. 48 Twist Drill Bit.  I also drilled a hole near the top of the piece where With the point of the triangular scraper, I then slightly beveled the tops and bottoms of all the holes.

Now for Mr. Dancik's special trick for riveting.  Take two Playing Cards and tape them together on one side.  Then cut or punch a hole through both cards.  This will become a gauge to determine the height of the rivet above the surface of the faux bone pendant.  A simple, yet elegant tool.

I cut off a short piece of the 24 gauge wire with the flush cutters and filed the end of the wire with a No. 2 cut Barrette Needle File, to remove the little ridge left by the cutters, and to slightly round over the end of the wire to make it easier to push through the hole.  Using the flat nose pliers to grip the wire, I pushed the wire through the hole until it was 2 cards thickness above the surface. Turning the piece over, threaded the wire through the hole in the cards.  Laying the cards flat against the piece, and laying the flush side of the flush cutters against the cards, cut the wire off and flied the end flat.

Putting the cards back on the piece, with the wire stub inside the hole in the cards, laid this flat on a Steel Bench Block, and with a small Riveting Hammer, formed a rivet head.  Removed the cards, turned the piece over,  and formed the rivet head on the reverse side.  Doing one rivet at a time, proceeded to form all the rivets.

Next, I attached the spirals, pushing the legs through the holes, and using the same methods as above riveted the legs of the center spiral and one leg of the top spiral.

With the riveting hammer's cross peen, I added some texture to the spirals.  Then with some Liver of Sulphur  added some patina to the spirals, then scrubbed the spirals with a 3M green scrub pad to remove some of the patina.

Using an X-acto Knife, I scratched some random lines into the faux bone, and made some random dots with the point of the triangular scraper.

For the final surface treatment, I smeared the surface with Golden Acrylic paint, Sepia color, working it into the scratches and dots.

The bail wire was work hardened with a Nylon Mallet, the using round nose pliers coiled the bail, snugging it up against the top of the pendant, 

Thanks for your interest in my blog.  John