Welcome to my blog, random stuff about me and where I live, plus some bits about my jewellery.

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Sunday, 24 August 2014

Finally getting round to this one, copper and silver star set.

I have had these 5 brass and copper stars around for quite a while, I fused the silver onto them with the intention of making a necklace and earrings. Several months ago to be honest.

That's a very old laminated table top. had a lot of stuff thrown at it over the years.

As you can see I've finally linked three of them to start the necklace.

The reason for leaving it so long was the fear of drilling holes in those narrow points!
I have done it before, but only one hole, I don't have a drill stand, just a little cheap modelling tool.

Here it is in action.

Without a stand to lower the drill precisely down onto the piece the sliding around is really hard to control, I found that making a small dent in the surface with a tack (I'm sure there are more professional ways to do that)  helped, I developed a technique starting with the drill in the dent and switched off, then turned to it's slowest setting and gradually turning up the speed.
You need three hands really, I taped the pieces to the wood with masking tape and held the wood still with my right hand,  I had to use part of that hand to steady the drill too its a complicated manoeuvre. I actually had the wood on the heating block you can see on the table, (bit of  a staged shot that, drill not switched on and a hole already drilled).
So right wrist braced against the edge of the block, thumb and 3rd and 4th fingers holding the wood, 1st and 2nd fingers against the side of the drill near the chuck, left hand holds and operates the drill at the same time, phew what a way to work. Don't recommend it but worked for me.

Well eventually got all the holes drilled, the wire linking them is copper wire twisted and then fused, again a tricky job as I didn't want to heat the stars or melt the untwisted wire loops through the holes, I use this stuff to try to prevent that:
Its a thick paste which coats where you don't want the heat. Not 100% but pretty good.

Here are the earrings, not an exact match of course, not possible with this technique, you can see the raw copper wire before melting/fusing. On the right you can see how well the paste has preserved the star while I was fusing the wire link. You can also see where the drill has made a total mess of the bottom point of the left hand star, will have to see what I can do with that.

Heating the copper to melt and fuse the twists, you can just make out the grey blob of  Technoflux paste to the left of the flame, unfortunately I foolishly forgot the loop at the other end, it's burnt through so I shall have to redo this bit! My excuse is that I was getting rather tired, it was after 7pm and I'd been at it for a couple of hours or more.
 Well there you go I will have to look into getting a little drill stand sometime, if there's one that will fit my little drill. (It came from Lidl in case anyone wonders, very cheap and very reliable, my more expensive cordless one doesn't have variable speed! Amazing shop, keep an eye out they're bound to have them again sometime)

I'll post again when the set is finished.

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