Flawless chains

is there any way to improvise a flow throug h system? what exactly does it
do for you- remove the impurities that are floating in the solution?

Dave Stephens wrote:

I have a problem with being too symetrical. Sometimes to “play” I think it
would be good to make a piece without drawing anything and just start doing
textural things to metal and let go and build on the fly.

Hi Dave (and all)-

It sounds like we struggle with alot of the same problems in our work. I
used to spend alot of time drawing in my sketchbook until I accumulated a
bookshelf full and realized if I’d taken all that time spent drawing and
just worked in the studio, I’d have made alot more progress. The thing I
figured about drawing out my designs was that I then tended to stick to the
drawing and therefore prevented suprises or happy accidents. I believe that
each piece has a life of it’s own and that working from a drawing can get
in the way of its’ natural evolution. These days I only sketch when I am
physically away from the studio or when I am actually working in the studio
in “play mode” and something pops into my head that I can’t use on the
spot, I will make a brief note of what the idea was. I have found that if
the idea really is a good one, I will remember it later (or at least the
essence of it) even if I don’t write it down.

I only get the chance to work in play mode when I am designing new work for
my production line, which isn’t that often. My best
ideas/solutions/designs have come to me when I make a conscious effort to
stop trying to make everything perfect. I’ve noticed that once a piece
becomes part of my production line the more times I make it the more
“perfect” it gets. Every so often I get one of the first pieces back for
repair and find that I actually like these pieces better because they are
“looser”.

You also said:

sometimes I design things with spots that are near impossible to get into
and >polish.

And in a previous post you said:

One thing I’ve had to live with since I do silverwork and have to solder
maybe >20 times on a single work is firescale. You do that many solderings
there’s >just no way around it. What that means is I have to polish it off
where I can >and this rounds alot of some details.

Have you ever tried a brass brush? I also work in silver and do alot of
soldering. I used to polish everything and the firescale was always a real
headache. Then someone showed me how to use a brass brush. Basically you
end up burnishing the fine silver surface that’s on top of the firescale.
This has saved me an incredible amount of time.

Kim

If the wire is wrapped around a wood dowel and sawn with a fine blade, a
ring of wire can than be opened side ways. Any marks are then on the
outside of the ring where they can be more easily removed. There are
various plies for sale that come with heavy duty plastic on the jaws. I’m
sure that this would be more durable than a thin coating of plastic dip. Of
course you could get creative with the dip and make patterns etc.

Marilyn Smith

Yes, a brash brush is excellent. However, you should buy a jeweler’s brash
brush, (softer than the other types) and I put a little dish soap on the
piece and brush it under running water.

Granulators, this is a good way to get a nice sheen and to test the tenacity
of your granules!

Elizabeth

And in a previous post you said:

One thing I’ve had to live with since I do silverwork and have to solder
maybe >20 times on a single work is firescale. You do that many solderings
there’s >just no way around it. What that means is I have to polish it off
where I can >and this rounds alot of some details.

Have you ever tried a brass brush? I also work in silver and do alot of
soldering. I used to polish everything and the firescale was always a real
headache. Then someone showed me how to use a brass brush. Basically you
end up burnishing the fine silver surface that’s on top of the firescale.
This has saved me an incredible amount of time.

Kim

Kim: yes, I learned about the brass brushing (with soapand water) in Tim
McReights Complete Metalsmith video which I rented from Ray Gabriel’s firm
(he has alot of videos for rent by mail). It works for somethings and for
some not. I’ve made pieces with a nice textured brush finish which I get by
using a sanding drum (very coarse) and sanding a coarse brushed texture
into silver. I don’t use Pripps on this as repetative pickling leaves fine
silver on the surface and then a brass brush makes it shine beautifully.
Unfortunately there are many areas I want a high polish in and I like to
contrast polished with brushed or satin finishes. One thing I do that helps
with my drawings is that I hate to do detailed drawings so my sketches are
very rough and the interpretation often changes in construction due to
mechanical considerations. Sometimes the piece looks just like the drawing
and sometimes it looks WAY better than the thumbnail sketches. The Peacock
piece in the Orchid gallery and my page just came out incredibly beautiful
to me and the sketch barely hints at what the final piece became. One
question I have of working professionals in the group is that I see alot of
jewlery, gold and silver both, that have a very even satin finish. Isee
alot of this in stores (mostly in earrings) but don’t know how to get that
kind of finish myself. I am suspiscious that its a bead blaster finish but
would like to know if there’s another technique to achieve same? Dave

Art Jewelry for Conscious People
http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html

Dave,
You may want to check out the florentine bits for your
handpiece…Different sizes and shapes to give good results on gold and
silver matt finishes…Gavin

Dave-

To get a wonderful satin finish - I use a wheel that I got from Fisher in
Germany- It is white plastic center and has wire threads twisted onto the
center plastic form. It slaps the surface of the metal with twisted, free
spinning, wire ( unlike the US brushes that the wires are fixed to the
center) and gives a bead blasted finish. Charles Lewton Brain gave me this
trick. Great little wheel, but you must wear eye protection as the wires do
work hardden- crack and fly off the buffer. Use it all the time.

Joan

1 Like

Hi Dave,

McReights Complete Metalsmith video which I rented from Ray Gabriel’s firm
(he has alot of videos for rent by mail).

Could you give more about how to rent these videos? Thanks.

Unfortunately there are many areas I want a high polish in and I like to
contrast polished with brushed or satin finishes.

Just curious about this - do you mean that the brass brush you use leaves a
satin finish? The type I use is very soft and really does not leave any
finish to speak of. In other words, if I wanted to make an earring that
was a 1" disc with 1/2 a high-polish mirror finish and 1/2 a textured
finish, I would pre-polish the whole disc, texture 1/2, solder a post,
probably heat and quench one more time ensure that the fine silver finish
was “up” on the front, and then brass brush (by hand, soft brush, with soap
and water). The mirror finish side might lose a tiny bit of sparkle, but
by no means do you end up with a satin finish. The brass brush only affects
the high polish as much as a little handling would. Working like this on
more complicated pieces requires some planning in that you pre-polish parts
before soldering them together. I apologize if it seems that I keep going
over this, you may already know this. It has saved me so much time in that
I never deal with firescale and I just want to make sure that we are
talking about the same thing.

question I have of working professionals in the group is that I see alot of
jewlery, gold and silver both, that have a very even satin finish. I see
alot of this in stores (mostly in earrings) but don’t know how to get that
kind of finish myself. I am suspiscious that its a bead blaster finish but
would like to know if there’s another technique to achieve same? Dave

Could be a bead blaster. Could also be that the sheet metal was rolled
through the rolling mill with paper - I use this in my work, as do many
others.

Kim

Hi Dave,

McReights Complete Metalsmith video which I rented from Ray Gabriel’s firm
(he has alot of videos for rent by mail).

Could you give more about how to rent these videos? Thanks.

Kim: I don’t have his web address in front of me but go to my page below
and go to my cool links section and look for Ray Gabriel’s gallery link.
Email him and ask for his catalog. He rents a large selection of pretty
good jewelry making videos for very reasonable and his main business is
selling inexpensive calibrated cabs for students and jewelry makers. If you
can’t find the page let me know…Dave

Art Jewelry for Conscious People
http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html

Dave-

To get a wonderful satin finish - I use a wheel that I got from Fisher in
Germany- It is white plastic center and has wire threads twisted onto the
center plastic form. It slaps the surface of the metal with twisted, free
spinning, wire ( unlike the US brushes that the wires are fixed to the
center) and gives a bead blasted finish. Charles Lewton Brain gave me this
trick. Great little wheel, but you must wear eye protection as the wires do
work hardden- crack and fly off the buffer. Use it all the time.

Joan

Joan: that sounds great! So where do I order one? Not familiar with Fisher,
need info…Dave

Art Jewelry for Conscious People
http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html

AStick7910@aol.com wrote:

is there any way to improvise a flow throug h system? what exactly does
it
do for you- remove the impurities that are floating in the solution?

Most bowls have a drain in the bottom. I drilled a hole in the top of my
bowl and plumbed in a small submersible pump. I set the pump into a 5
gallon pail of tumbling solution. I plumbed the drain of the bowl to the 5
gallon bucket also. You have to tune the system by controlling the amount
of liquid being pumped into the bowl.

Flow thru accomplishes a couple of things. First of all it keeps the media
flushed clean so that it can do its work and cut down metal. Second, it
provides a cushion for the jewelry and dampens some of the violent action
of the media.

I tumbled jewelry for ten years without using a flow thru system. Once I
set up a flow thru system the results of tumbling our jewelry improved
dramatically.

Kenneth Gastineau
@Kenneth_Gastineau1

Hi:

I’m kinda butting in here, but wanted to thank Kim, Susan, Elizabeth,
Marilyn,Sean, Kenneth for the tech talk on plastic coatings, chains
and tumblers. Later on I’m off to the local hardware to root some
plastic out, no doubt to the consternation of the staff - I’m always
wandering around looking for shapes to use as mandrels - buying one
size of each bolt without any nuts or washers, and assorted small
round shapes is earning me a reputation, I think. :slight_smile:

Found the comments on perfection/flawless really interesting -
will reply under “Work with character” thread.

By the way, Elizabeth, I do use a very fine saw blade for my cutting,
and medium solder. I found your comment that perhaps the wire was
annealed too much interesting. I’ll cut back and see what happens.
I’ve been wearing one of the chain bracelets, and I swear that it is
"stretching", i.e., can now roll it down over my hand without undoing
the clasp. I had assumed that three hours in the tumbler would have
work hardened it. Has this happened to anybody else?

Thanks again

Cathryn

Hi:

I’m kinda butting in here, but wanted to thank Kim, Susan, Elizabeth,
Marilyn,Sean, Kenneth for the tech talk on plastic coatings, chains
and tumblers. Later on I’m off to the local hardware to root some
plastic out, no doubt to the consternation of the staff - I’m always
wandering around looking for shapes to use as mandrels - buying one
size of each bolt without any nuts or washers, and assorted small
round shapes is earning me a reputation, I think. :slight_smile:

Found the comments on perfection/flawless really interesting -
will reply under “Work with character” thread.

By the way, Elizabeth, I do use a very fine saw blade for my cutting,
and medium solder. I found your comment that perhaps the wire was
annealed too much interesting. I’ll cut back and see what happens.
I’ve been wearing one of the chain bracelets, and I swear that it is
"stretching", i.e., can now roll it down over my hand without undoing
the clasp. I had assumed that three hours in the tumbler would have
work hardened it. Has this happened to anybody else?

Thanks again

Cathryn