a place where I share my thoughts, my life, and my pictures

Monday, April 26, 2010

Work in Progress


I thought it would be fun to show the process of a ring being made. Unfortunately I didn't think to do this until AFTER the bezel had been set and soldered on the sheet of silver cut to the size of the cabochon. So you'll have to forgive me on that end.

Firing up the torch, and a view of my workbench. Made by my husband one weekend as a surprise to me while in Richmond with Joanna. Such an incredibly thoughtful gift. (getting off track)

The bezel has been soldered and set on silver for this turquoise stone. It's a hideous mixture of wire and paste solder. But that's what they look like in progress.

Edges and ends cut as close as possible so the drill bit doesn't have to work so hard.

Filing. Drill working hard with a fine sanding file.

Filed as close as possible to the bezel. Still not to perfection though. That's what a sanding buff is for.

Forming the ring around the mandrel. This ring wire is extremely thick. You really have to man handle it to get it to do what you want! Don't be afraid! Get in there and show it who's boss!

After the ring ends have been joined together, it's time to solder them shut. My method is to heat the ring...

...so that the paste solder somewhat melts on the joint.

Fire. You can either move the torch around the ring or set the flame directly on the joint. I do a mixture of both. This is a thick ring so it needs a lot of heat.

It's getting very hot. Cool green flames. Firing is one of best parts of metalworking.

She's done. Still a little red from the torch.

I file the joint to create more "real estate" for the ring to adhere to the back plate. Here I've put more solder on the ring after filing it, so it may join to the back plate and make a clean connection.

Utilizing the "third hand" to perfectly place the ring onto the back plate.


She's red hot! I've RUINED pieces at this point by firing too long and melting through the back plate. It takes practice to know when enough is enough. The solder has melted at this point. And the ring and back plate are joined.

Ta-da! Now throw her in the crock pot filled with pickle to get rid of the black yuckiness of fired silver.

Here she is out of the pickle. Nice and white. Natural state.
After this step I buffed the whole piece with the dremel. I took shots but they came out extremely blurry. Self-shots are hard to take.

Submerged in Patina. Liver of sulfer.

Dark from patina.

Set the stone. Again, took a shot of forming the bezel around the stone but they came out too blurry : /

Finished piece. She'll be listed in the shop tomorrow!


basstardo said...

That's pretty cool Momma. :)

Debbie said...

Mom thinks this is cool also...not to mention... I'm very impressed!

Kelly Reece said...

awww! thanks mom!!! thanks daddy! :)

Michelle said...

That's intense! What a cool post! I had no idea...

As for the workbench..yeah...best gift ever! Good job, Terry!