Tuesday, May 17, 2011

South Seas

The details:

Base, 1/4 inch Faux Bone™, one and five-eights inch 55º ellipse (approx.) outside. 13/16ths circle inside diameter, bottom of circle slightly scooped out with 1/4 inch, 320 grit mini-sanding drum. 24, 20 and 18 gauge copper wire rivet decoration.  See note below.

Ocean Jasper nugget on 20 gauge, balled end copper wire with small copper bead caps. The bead caps were punched from 24 gauge annealed copper sheet with the micro punch. The ball end of the wire was immediately quenched in ice water, preserving the bright reddish pink color.

Edges were rough filed with the small half-round file you see in the accompanying photo, then gone over with a No. 2 cut half-round needle file. A fine grit mini-sanding drum was used to shape the interior. A No. 4 half-round needle file was also used on the outside perimeter of the ellipse to remove most of the saw marks.

Wet sanded with 320, 400 and 600 grit sand paper.  

Blue tint added using aquamarine Prismacolor pencil and Golden Acrylic Interference Blue (Fine) paint.

Renaissance Wax over the entire piece and buffed.

Note: When using small gauge wire for rivets, you should adjust your thickness gauge accordingly in order to trim off the wire to the proper length.  Otherwise, you can end up with more, or less, wire than needed. It is a good idea to use some of the scrap material to test out the different gauge wires. In this pendant piece, I elected to make the rivets flush with the surface. To do this I used a No. 4 cut flat needle file. Then sanded again.

Tip:  There can be a slight variation in wire gauges.  Use scrap faux bone. Select the proper size drill bit for the gauge, drill the hole. Use a triangular scraper to ream a countersink on both sides of the hole, or use a larger size drill bit. You may find it easier using a pin vise to hold the bit. Cut a small piece of wire, remove any burs on the cut ends with a small file, sanding stick, or cup bur.  Hold the wire near the end with a pair of flat nose pliers and insert into the hole. If it refuses to go in, or slips in easily, then the hole is either too small or too big.  There should be some resistance in getting the wire through the hole, but not so much the wire bends. Go to the next smaller or larger drill bit and try again. Complete the rivet.  If it looks o.k., then test the next larger size.  Mark your cut-off gauges with wire size.

Decide where you want the rivets placed, and drill all the holes.

Begin with the smallest gauge wire and do one rivet at a time. Then go to the next larger gauge, and so on.

Be careful when reaming (countersinking) the hole. Too much and the rivet won't fill in the countersink.

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