Hey Everyone! Okay so here is my very very first metalsmith project. I have never used a torch or soldered until today...finally. And, this is what I made! I started off using 16 guage pure copper wire and some copper solder wire to make these rings come together.
So.. this is what I did: I cut lengths of wire for 6 rings using 16g copper wire for size 7. I sanded down the ends. I then hammered them into a circle shape using my mandrel and hammer. I brought the two ends together using some pliers. At this point I may have filed the ends a little more to make sure they were flush and completely touching. I then actually dipped the ring in the flux..(no pre heating for me). Using the micro torch, I heated the circles and the two joints and used the copper wire solder for the very first time. When the flux started to turn white with some bubbling action I applied the wire solder to the joint and WOW..that was easy! The solder just balled up and melted in the joints. You can see this event happening..so neat! I tried one ring using a cut piece of solder, but I find it harder that way trying to keep it where it needed to stay. I dig wire solder..so much easier for me. I then put the rings in the pickle and almost instantly they became the red copper tone.
Now, the tricky part was filing sanding and polishing. I have a flex shaft tool and I used a grind stones for metal deburring first to remove extra solder in the seams. Then, I used another polishing wheel medium, and then used sand paper 600 grit. I had nothing higher then that. I have the buffing compounds and the buffing wheels but I did not have time to go that far. I then proceeded to put the rings in a tumbler with steel shots for about an hour. I had a bit of trouble holding the rings during the polishing process. I am not sure what people do in this part of the process. I think I am going to buy a flex shaft holder from Rio now..that I tried this.
Any advice? Any comments? Any tips? Learning to be a metalsmith is so fun, but I know there are alot of tips and great techniques out there. These are all greatly appreciated..thank you! Have a great day everyone!
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