Christine Cox

Archive for the ‘Metalsmithing’ Category

Metalsmith: Twist to De-Bur

Metalsmith: Twist to De-Bur
(another installment in a typically occasional series by Christine Cox)removebur-done

After drilling in metal there is often a large bur around the hole. It’s unsightly, dangerous and can throw off how your piece goes together. Eliminate it easily by using a drill bit that’s larger (by far) than the hole you’ve drilled. Chuck the large bit up into a pin vise. Place the metal, bur side up, onto a surface that allows the tip of the drill bit to drop down through the hole. I usually just place the hole over the V in my bench pin, or slide it off the edge of the bench, whichever is easiest. Press down firmly and twist to remove the bur. Caution, don’t go all the way through or you’ll be left with a hole much larger than you intended. Lightly twist back and forth a couple of additional times to clear the swarf and you’re done.

This is also a quick and dirty way to create a countersunk hole. Just push down a little harder as you twist to get the characteristic flared out edge around the hole.

removebur  removebur-dtl

Available from Volcano Arts:


Metal stock


Small pin vise

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Metalsmith: Filing in Tight Places

barrettefilebarrette

Metalsmith
(A typically occasional series by Christine Cox)

For filing in tight places where adjoining areas could be damaged, use a barrette file. Only one side has teeth and the other edges slope away from them. They come in several sizes and every coarseness you could need. They are even included in most needle file and mini-needle file sets.

Needle and mini-needle file sets are available from Volcano Arts
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Metalsmith: Sweating Solder onto Findings

Metalsmith
(A typically occasional series by Christine Cox)

Sweating solder onto findings: Dig little holes into your charcoal block and then bury tiny findings (butt-side up) into the holes. This protects the little dears while melting the solder.pinbackscharcoalblock

Metalsmith: Graphite for Alignment

graphitesoldering

Metalsmith
(A typically occasional series by Christine Cox)

When soldering a pin back onto a brooch, use a piece of graphite (you know, for mechanical pencils) to ensure that catch and joint are lined up. The graphite will take the heat of your torch while your pin back stays straight.

Bird brooch available in my Etsy store

Metalsmith: Sternum Pain Deliverance

leatheronapron

Metalsmith
(A typically occasional series by Christine Cox)

While stringing a saw frame most people use their sternum to compress the frame while tightening. This can be dangerous and painful if you have bird bones like mine. Staple a piece of leather to your shop apron and you’ll have some protection.

 

Metalsmith: Binding Odd Shapes

boundbird

Metalsmith
(A typically occasional metalsmithing series by Christine Cox)

If your shape doesn’t lend itself to being wired for soldering, like this bird brooch, cut notches in the base-plate. They will be sawed off later with the rest of the excess metal. There are 4 teeny tiny notches around the profile of the bird in this picture.

Bird brooch for available in my Etsy store

Metalsmith: Silver Tracker App

With the wild range in prices for silver it’s wonderful to have a new app for the iPhone / iPad called Silver Tracker. It has useful historical charts and currency conversions, but the best feature is the price monitor. In an icon badge it shows the current price of silver (you don’t have to open the app to see the current price), but you can also set it to notify you if the price dips below a price you set. I chose $18 (I’m an optimist) so that if it ever gets below that I can shoot a stock-up order to my vendor.

It only requires iOS3 so it works with older phones and it’s only $1.99. They also have the same type of app for gold.

Get it in the App Store.

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