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Lopsided jewelry


#1

Greetings all,

I finally got my jewelers bench built! Finally something dedicated
to jewelry work and not a jumble inside a larger, dirtier, dustier,
colder, general purpose shop for all types of labor. My sons have
moved out and I now have half a bedroom to get crazy in. So I built
the cheaper version of Tim McCreight’s “Complete Metalsmith” bench,
plus and minus a few goodies. I’m so happy I could just spit, but
not in public.

To my question:

I have been building some sterling silver bracelets for Christmas
gifts and I keep running into the same problem. When trying for the
finished shaping of them, I’m having a devil of a time getting them
semetrical and where, when laid on a table, they will lay flat
neatly. I’ve been building these out of low-dome strap (#2), 1/4"
half round, and 4 ga. round, as well as twisted-wire (12 ga.)
flattened by forging. They are about as simple as can be, no
articulations or soldering required. I just can’t seem to get them
as flat and symetrical as I’d like.When I lay them out they wobble
because of the imperfections. A friend told me that I should chalk
it up to “style” but in all truth it seems to me that these
irregularities come across as amateurish and low quality. Any
suggestions or clues on how to get things more regular and less
bent-by-a-chimp looking would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks folks.
Mike


#2

try a larger hole in the linkjoin…will give space for movement
Ringman


#3

Do you have a bracelet mandrel of some sort? If not, you could use
something like a baseball bat or large wooden dowel. Always start
bending from the ends. The middle is the last to be bent. Use a large
leather mallet and strike down over air if holding the metal against
the mandrel. Anneal as needed. If when the curves are right but one
side is out of contact with the table when the bracelet is laid down,
anneal and strike it while it is on a hard flat surface.

marilyn smith


#4

What I use as a handy and cheap bracelet mandrel is to be found in
most local and national hardware, farm & building supplies. The
replacement handles for what in the USA is called a “Railroad Pick”,
I only use the [cheaper] all wood type, it would seem that the
plastic/nylon ‘protector’ would be a nuisance. The handle being duel
tapered provides a range of arcs of varying radiuses. Also, being
duel tapered, I have considered cutting the handle in half for
weight and awkwardness of the 36"+ length.

Ed


#5
as simple as can be, no articulations or soldering required. I just
can't seem to get them as flat and symetrical as I'd like.When I
lay them out they wobble because of the imperfections. A friend
told me that I should chalk it up to "style" but in all truth it
seems to me that these irregularities come across as amateurish and
low quality.  Any suggestions or clues on how to get things more
regular and less bent-by-a-chimp looking would be greatly
appreciated. 

Practice, my friend.

My first job out of college was for a hellishly picky goldsmith who
made a production line of high-end forged gold earrings and
bracelets. I worked for 3 months before touching gold. Classes,
books, and videos only go so far before practice takes you where you
want to go.

Taking notes on wire gauge, length, material used, etc. plus a small
collection of your pieces in their major stages might help you
achieve more consistency.

Tiny forming inconsistencies like holding pliers or hammers at a
slightly different angle can account for most weird results. Bent or
dented tools can make things out of whack, too. I figure I am making a
pretty well matched batch of things when very specific muscles hurt.
:>)

The more you sell, the more you make. The more you make, the better
they look, the more you will sell, then all of a sudden you’ll be an
international celebrity and it’s all because of my great advice. Ha.

Ok very tired bench jeweler
Julia Newton

PS Abovementioned picky goldsmith, don’t take that the wrong way.
Best education I ever got.


#6

Continue from:
https://orchid.ganoksin.com/t/lopsided-jewelry

Hi Mike,

I take it your making these bracelets out of flat stock that is semi
finished into half round in the cross section. The best way to form
this stuff without getting to expensive is;

No.1 Get a stepped bracelet mandrel and put in a vice. Oval or round
mandrel that comes to nearest to the final shape.

No.2 Mark the centre point of the bracelet and bend from the centre
to the ends. ( Do not use hammers or pliers. They leave tool marks.)
Hand bend if you can.

If you must use tools, make them from wood. Wood is soft and will
not mark the surface. A piece of hard wood 6 x 3 x 1 inches with a
couple of 1 inch dowels almost side by side drilled and inserted
into the hard wood, works well. This is wood hand jig.

If your still having problems with symmetry, mark the centre and
mark the bracelet about every half inch and label the marks
5,4,3,2,1,C,1,2,3,4,5.

This will give you something to compare, so the sides are even. If
you have a drawing program on the computer, make a pattern. Hope
this helps.

Jim Zimmerman
@Jim_Zimmerman2
http://www.handengravingcanada.com