Thursday, September 29, 2011

Update, again

Ah, me.  Nothing to show.  Been trying to get something put together but success is elusive.  I have so many unfinished pieces lying around patiently waiting for me to get moving.  Gah! It's pitiful!

A terrific jewelry artist, Ann Cahoon writes in Ganoskin about sawing myths, and it's worth a read.  One myth she didn't write about is whether you should or should not relieve the tension on the saw blade when you have finished sawing for the day.  Some say yes, others no. So who is right?  Some say you should always fit the size of the blade to the thickness of the metal, other's disagree, saying using a finer blade will mean less filing afterwards.

Another thing.  There's a myth about sawing thin metal.  She doesn't touch on this, but there is a way to saw out intricate designs in thin gauge metal.  I have not tried this, and it isn't original with me.  It involves making a sandwich.

You need two pieces of thin wood, like doll furniture wood, your thin metal, 28, 30 gauge, wax paper, and a printed design.  It goes like this, bottom wood, then wax paper. then metal, then wood, with your design glued on top of the top piece of wood.  Tape the sandwich together so it won't move, drill access holes for the saw blade.  Saw out all the interior spaces, then the outside.  I repeat for emphasis:  I have not tried this method!

Also, Charles Lewton-Brain discusses the use of "duct tape" at the bench.  Confess, never thought of that as I thought it might leave residue behind.  Tested using it to hold a pice of metal on bench block.  Hah! No residue! And, it holds better than the ubiquitous painter's tape.  One possible drawback, not every brand may be equal.  Another, rolls are usually huge when new and take up space, something virtually non-existent in my cubby hole.  Since it does work, I will find space somewhere.

DynastyLab continues with his torch series.  Mentions a torch currently unavailable in the U.S.  A "Bullfinch" brand.  If you are interested, Google "bullfinch torch" and find it's available in Great Britain.  I would bet you can find a company that would be glad to sell you one.  Me, not interested.  I am interested in the blowpipe torch sold by Fischer.  I might be opening a can of worms for myself!

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Nothing to show for this week, but I have been busy using what time available to get some things done.

Spent the hard earned money on supplies, more copper sheet, 24 gauge.  Amazing how fast you can go through a 12 x 12 inch sheet!  Used up a entire sheet pounding out various sized discs and some misshapen washers.  I may have devise something to get the hole centered in the punch as I don't seem to be a very good judge to get it right.   Four washers out of eight, ah well, fifty percent, anyway.  Ran some of the metal through the rolling mill for textures.  Some of the discs will end up a bead caps.  Others, don't know, yet.  Got out the circle dividing template, marked centers, punched holes.

Did no further work on the anvil.

Paid a visit to Harbor Freight and bought some compartmented storage boxes.  Little more pricey than the hobby shop, but better quality. You can never have too much storage!  Ha!, you might know, no space left for the boxes.

Then, ordered several tins of Gilder's Paste.  I really like this stuff!  Lima Beads,  has a good selection and best price. Plus, if you are an established customer, you might get 10% off your order, and if you're not in a big hurry, there's free shipping!  There's some "how to use" instructions on the site.  Check it out.  Another way to add color to your metal, (copper and brass), polymer clay, and Faux Bone™.

Decided to buy a new book just out at the bookstore.  "Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry", by Barbara Lewis.
Lewis has developed a technique using an ordinary Mapp gas or Propane fueled torch to fire enamel. No kiln needed.  Great!  Last thing I want is a kiln.  Too rich for my blood, plus no place left to put one! Now that I've bought the book, guess I'll have to get some enamel and try the technique out and see what develops.  Be awhile before I do that, spent all my pennies on the above stuff.

And, speaking of torches,  checkout DynastyLab's blog,  and take a look at his "torch series".  He has published two articles so far, more to come.

Finally, something I've been meaning to do for some time now, is mention another blog, "Jan and Shane Rogers Blog for Mixed Media Art and Jewelry."  They've got more items on their blog than you can shake a stick at!  Sorry to be so long in giving your well deserved recognition!

Next post, a week from now.  Maybe I will have something to show, then.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Anvil, in progress

After grinding, filing and some sanding, as you can see, some progress has been made.  Been a lot of work to get it where it's at now.  The one really deep ding on the bottom is just going to have to stay.  Still a long way to go to get it finished.  I'm going to set it aside for awhile and try to work on some jewelry.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Metal Stamp Holder --another scrap wood project

Two scrap wood blocks, glued, and bored with brad  point wood drill bits, then glued onto a beveled wood block to tilt it forward.  There are some open spots for additional stamps should they be obtained sometime in the future.  I made it small because it is easier to handle that way.

Did more work on the anvil.  It's coming along slowly.  I might get it finished this weekend.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Here is an anvil I picked up on Ebay made from an old railroad iron.  The top is 2 1/4 inches wide by 12 3/4 inches long, and is about 4 inches in height.  I haven't looked up info on railroad irons, but this seems like it was originally narrow gauge rather than standard.

Today was relatively nice, so I went to work on the anvil.  Whoever had it before me worked it over pretty good and as you can see it has a lot of dings.  Some pretty deep.  The top looked exactly like rusty bottom so there was quite of bit of work just to get the rust off.  There's still a long way to go and some of the dings are just going to have to stay, being so deep.  But, I think I can work around them.

I think the shape is pretty neat, and that's the main reason I bought it.

In between grinding away on the anvil, I decided to make a holder for some decorative metal stamps.  But, I didn't have time to finish the project.  I'll post a pic of that, ah well, sometime!

An oversight:  I should pay more attention.  I see there are new followers of the blog, so a belated welcome to you, and thanks.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Company gone back home. Glad to see them come, glad to see them leave.  Maybe that's a poor attitude to have, but grandchildren of 2 going on 3 and 3 going on 4, can wear you out in hurry!  Boundless energy!

Now, September is here and maybe, just maybe we can enjoy some cooler weather.  Summer has been a scorcher.

And, maybe I can get back to working again on some jewelry pieces.  I'm going to switch gears a little and try to do more metal, and metal and faux bone together.

Here's a little tip beginning wire workers might like, and anyone else using wire wraps and jump rings.   Sometimes, no matter how careful you may be, a little snag may show up.  Take a piece of cotton, or cotton ball, and lightly swipe it over your jump rings and wraps.  You'll soon know if something needs to be rectified, as the cotton will snag on it.

Probably Monday next, I'll have something worth showing.