I haven't been soldering yet. I've been placing my main efforts
toward getting my shed ready to do soldering rather than fusing in a
comfortable and safe manner.
I devote approximately 9 to 12 hours per week on this.
The rest of the time, I cook, wash, clean, do all the laundry and
fold much of it, and otherwise be a full-time father for my daughter
(9 as of October!) as well as husband.
My wife is very active in her church and she relies a great deal upon
me to pick up the slack. I don't mind it... it gives me a sense of
In the meantime, other people on Ganoksin have been helping me
offline to help me make sure I have my supply lines straight.
If there is a way for me to show pictures viewable anywhere by
Ganoksin members, I'd love to know. Otherwise, I only have Facebook
I haven't been blogging for a while and I'm not planning to anymore.
Tasks already accomplished to prepare for takeoff:
1) Run cable from house to shed and bury it (took all summer and
2) Make more room in shed so I can move around more safely in the
dark while torching!
2a) Make an exterior shelf to store aluminum bar stock (for tools
2b) Move shelves from underneath polishing table to above door.
2c) Hang 5 plastic cabinets, so I can get stuff out of desk drawers
2d) Make an exterior shelf for pickle pot.
2e) Make access door for exterior shelf.
2f) Drill 100 holes in a board and mount it below access door to
store all my files.
2g) Place a Lexan shelf just above the files board.
3) Move porcelain and enameling powders to a secondary workstation
on upper level.
Tasks to be accomplished before preparing for takeoff:
4) Bolt belt sander and air compressor under polishing table in
place of shelves.
5) Install pump to recirculate water drip in wet alcove used for
6) Create new set of sanding sticks and drums from glue, boards,
dowels, and sandpaper.
7) Create Pripp's Flux
8) Anneal solders and roll them through rolling mill.
9) Anneal, roll, and draw 1/2 ounce of assorted diameter sterling
10) Anneal, roll, and draw 1/2 ounce of assorted thickness sterling
11) Anneal, roll, and draw 1 ounce of assorted diameter fine silver
12) Anneal, roll, and draw 1 ounce of assorted thickness fine silver
Soldering braided ring exercise.
Soldering a sterling post onto a fine silver dome for earring.
If you want to see pictures of my current installation, please let me
know where to put them.
Andrew Jonathan FIne
I can tell you are definitely an engineer, I am as far from an
engineer as you can get. You would most likely get so nervous in my
shop you would have to leave. As a follow up on my email from
yesterday, it sounds to me that I could come to your shed and start
making jewelry today. I have been wanting to make a shelf for files
for 30 years, they are still just laying out together on one of my
benches. You don't need to be in the dark when soldering, I turn my
bench light off but that's all. Draw the wire and plate that you
need to do what you are working on. There were times in my many moves
that I used a sponge to wet my lapidary wheels when they were not set
up. Get you a plastic bucket to put over the pickle pot when you are
not using it, you don't need it outside. My pickle pot is 7 feet from
my bench, I work in my shop 8 to 12 hours a day and my tools are not
rusting. My plating machine is 1 inch behind the pickle pot and has
been there for 10 years with no rust. My sanding stick is a piece of
wood with sandpaper wrapped around it stapled on one edge, takes
about 45 seconds to do. I have been making jewelry for 35 years and
most of those years use the solder sheet as it comes to me. I think
you have read to many books about what you need, vs. just playing
with metal and figuring out what you need. I am a sailor and the old
saying "there is nothing more fun than just messing around on boats"
is true. I love messing around on my boat but I still love to go out
sailing. It's the same in my workshop, I love messing around in the
shop but I also love messing around on jewelry. Of course I have to
mess around on jewelry to pay the bills. That's why I don't have a
special shelf to hold my files yet. When you start working you are
going to come up with all kind of things that you never thought of
to do, and you are going to find out all the things you did you might
never use, or your going to move them to work better.
Good luck, go out and start beating some metal.
...messing about in boats...." (a nod to one of my favorite
know, we make jewellery and don't throw pots, but the message is
powerful. Goes like this......
There's a great story in David Bayles and Ted Orland's *Art and
Fear*. Here it is:
"The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing
the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio,
he said, would be graded solely on the *quantity* of the work they
produced, all those on the right solely on its *quality*. His
procedure was simple: On the final day of class he would bring in his
bathroom scales and weigh the work in the "quantity" group: fifty
pounds of pots rated an "A", forty pounds a "B" and so on. Those
being graded on "quality," however, needed to produce only one
pot--albeit a perfect one--to get an "A". Well, came grading time and
a curious fact emerged: the works of the highest quality were all
produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while
the "quantity" group was busy turning out piles of work--and
learning from their mistakes--the "quality" group had sat theorizing
about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their
efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay."
.....for what it's worth. I'd love to see pics of your finished
studio, one day......(and I know, it takes a lot of time to raise a
family and take care of the house....and it's worth it! I was at home
with my two sons.)
It seems that while the "quantity" group was busy turning out piles
of work--and learning from their mistakes--the "quality" group had
sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to
show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead
It is very unfortunate that conclusions drawn from the experience
are not the ones that should had been drawn. Frankly, even to conduct
such a competition was a mistake. It ended the only way it could
To produce work with an eye towards perfection requires experience
which students do not have. So it was foregone conclusion that group
that mindlessly tries and tries would achieve better results at the
beginning. Long term and even middle term, the results would been
strikingly different. Acquiring skills is never a sprint, it is a
marathon. That should have been the message, but it wasn't. My
condolences to the students of the class.
"perfection requires experience"....and experience comes with making
LOTS....and learning along the way ....pretty sure the 'anecdote'
conveyed the 'learning along the way' part.
Okay, I finished nearly all of my remodelling. I sorted outa great
many things and put them all in drawers and on shelves where I can
see them, hopefully use them. You'll be able to see as one of my
photo albums in Facebook. I also recently posted it on my wall in
Facebook as well. Note captions!
Best, Andrew Jonathan Fine
To produce work with an eye towards perfection requires experience
which students do not have. So it was foregone conclusion that
group that mindlessly tries and tries would achieve better results
at the beginning. Long term and even middle term, the results would
been strikingly different. Acquiring skills is never a sprint, it
is a marathon. That should have been the message, but it wasn't. My
condolences to the students of the class.
Look, I'm trying hard to aim for the middle ground. I consider my
actual full-time job to be dealing with my conditions with
sufficient grace to keep my marriage not only intact but loving, and
to give my daughter a far different childhood than I have ever had.
For those reasons and others, I don't exactly have the same luxury
to spend time in my crafting area as much as I want: I can generally
manage 2 to 3 hours per day, 4 days per week, essentially 8 to 12
hours per week. I can't afford to waste a moment, waste a dollar, or
waste even a cubic foot of useful space.
Because I am autistic I have to be a compulsive organizer because I
can only be productive if I can visualize instantly in my mind
everywhere I have put things. It's exactly the same as when I had
been a world-class software designer - I wrote bulletproof software
that needed very little time to repair when a bug was discovered
because I spent double the time that other designers do but I had to
follow a very exacting and very organize coding style AND put into
place thorough runtime instrumentation checking input ranges for
data and checking function results. That way I could completely live
inside the code, and could visualize EXACTLY where the problem had
to be when I got a phone call from a customer. It is as I told one
of my bosses: "Let's be honest here.
There's no such thing, ever, as a production version of code. All
code is debug code. If we take this attitude and invest double the
time you would normally assign to me, we can reduce the time needed
to investigate and fix a customer report by two third." Not everyone
bought this approach. In fact out of the twelve jobs which formed my
career, only half were able to live with this. Even there, I rapidly
gained the enmity of co-workers who couldn't understand why I
insisted on spelling constants in upper case, variables in lower
case, and types/classes in title case, with all syllables separated
as underbars, and with block indentation exactly at two spaces, with
all function parameters indented to the same level. My code was
generally not compatible with any co-workers because they wrote
theirs to far less exacting standards, and my functions would reject
thier data correctly as being out of range or pointers being NULL. I
would be often blamed because my code was "not flexible enough". Why
should it be? Code is supposed to do the job required of it, no
more, no less. I don't even like to talk about the jobs where people
insisted I had to be exactly like one of them. More often, I
wouldn't make it past eighteen months, because there would come a
time when the boss who first hired me would be kicked upstairs, I
would lose his protection, and then the people who never wanted me
near them in the first place would commence houndingme and
gaslighting me out of a job. I generally would find myself having to
leave once my project was finally done, as there would be no-way to
go forward in that organization... I would have to move to a new one
and start over with a more ambitious project so I could learn more.
There was no protection against people with inherently poor social
skills back in the day. The only way I made it through life was to
over compensate in my other skills and hope to be left alone while I
tried to make miracles happen. I don't consider myself to be a
At the same time, I want to aim for the highest quality possible to
my current skills, to stretch them, and incrementally improve. I
want to do things carefully and methodically until my skills
eventually become second nature. The strategy is the Japanese term
KAIZEN, "incremental improvement", something I learned when I was
designing firmware for a circuit board manufacturer: 'Stay
organized. Do your best in your production run. Take good notes.
Inspect for defects. Find strategies to reduce difficulty and
improve ergonomics, as difficulty and discomfort are the primary
sources of defects. Then try another production run.' I have no
trainers, no instructors, within a 300 mile radius, and I cannot
afford to travel to Seattle. I only have Ganoksin and possibly Art
Jewelry Magazine to rely upon for learning. Last year, I did pretty
well at fusing pendants and chains, and some CNC engraving. But I
learned enough of that to realize I had to completely redo my
crafting area if I wanted to go further. I've been studying the
aich-ee-double-hockey-sticks of every book and article I can get my
hands on, asking perhaps too many questions of the people here, all
while I have been finishing my family committments (rabbit hutches,
garden fence, swing gate, etc..) and upgrading my facilities.
I will take off, and soon. I have Christmas presents I want to make.
I think 4 weeks will be just enough time for the people I have in
mind to give gifts too, and I already have several plans in my head
for how best to use what I know and stretch it just a little bit.
Andrew Jonathan Fine
LOL I like apocryphal stories like this they are so much rubbish.
More rubbish from David Bayles and Ted Orland
'Great art does not depend on great talent....
This view is inherently fatalistic and offers no useful
encouragement to those who would make art... it is a species of
fear - the fear that your fate is in your own hands, but that your
hands are weak....
Well I guess the great masters were just wasting their time. They
should have just been egotistical self-promoters. I further suppose
the millions of people who visit art galleries to view the great
masters are misguided philistines.
Is this where "ART" jewellery comes from, low quality work promoted
as the next best thing.
NOTE I DID NOT SAY INTELLIGENT, INTRIGUING, GROUND BREAKING HIGH
So I guess some one should tell Sotheby's, Christie's etc and their
well educated, sophisticated and wealthy customers who buy fine
jewellery and art do not have any idea of what they are doing.
They could instead sell low quality work with poorly set gems or
'art' by self promoters. Forget Lalique, Cartier, and Faberge buy
from "Joe six packs" instead and don't worry when the gems fall out,
it is art after all.
I wonder how many would buy this stuff?
Also hello to Tiffany, Cartier, Hardy Brothers etc you have just got
it all wrong and by the way HRH Elizabeth the Crown Jewels are crap!
Please put this spurious fallacy where it belongs, the nearest
Striving for quality is the impetus that leads to greatness.
Although many may never reach that level (myself included) it is
something to aim for.
No mention tho, of an anvil, however small. a most useful tool. when
you get one dont be afraid to hit it!!
We all await with bated breath when you finally open the throttles,
release the brakes and commit yourself to flight.
If youve never been a pilot of an a/c you wont know the adrenalin
rush when you finally say to yourself" lets go!"
Just as an aside, I was lucky enough to be in to aviation, foot
launched type, and can say from personal experience when your
standing on the hill top, facing the wind, with the hang glider above
you, waiting for a lull in the gusts, then you start your take off
run and hope all your preparation, training, and judgement are with
you, then the lift catches you and you find your climbing up into the
It is magic.
So will be your first completed item.
Keep that vision in your heart and your head. Then it will come out
through your hands into your work.
I think this is a good time to copy onto this forum the monologue I
wrote to accompany a medal I made in 1989 at "Art in Action".
THE SPIRIT OF CREATIVITY
Creativity is a gift available to everyone. It is a force to be drawn
on what ever the field of endeavour. Yet its full development are
seldom seen since this requires a fine balance of conditions within
and without the individual.
There are three interelated elements in the working of this force.
First, is the mind: from its deepest reaches come the visions
relative to the interest of the person. Next, is the emotional force
welling up from heart: this carries the desire to interpret the
vision and provide the perseverence to carry the project to
completion. finally, there is the hand, guided by the eye or some
other sense, ofter extended through a tool or instrument, interpreting
the vision into reality.
On the medal, this is depected by Greek symbolism since no
equivalent exists today. Athene, the goddess of wisdom and patroness
of the arts is shown in profile representing the mind and the eye. The
hand holding a crucible reflecting the shape of a heart is where the
combination of the three elements takes place, from which arises the
spirit of creativity.
This commemorative medal was struck as a record or the presence of
the Spirit of Creativity during Art in Action in 1989.
Altho these are my words, you are welcome to print this out and put
it somewhere where you may enjoy it. Hope this is of some help.
Andrew, your daughter is a very lucky girl to have you as her
father. A cousin of mine is autistic and unfortunately severely so.
We have not heard but one word from him in 43 years. I hope you share
some pictures of your creations with us here on Ganoksin at some
point in the future. I for one am prepared to be astounded.
Barbara on a cold little island where the winds are currently
gusting at 95kmph and the woodstove is blazing!
Severely Autistic, my children as also on the spectrum, so I
understand. As long as you "find" their special interest they are
usually happy, and that's all that really matters.
Hi, I had originally wanted to post an article with alternating
pictures and commentary regarding my remodelling, but instead I'm
going to have to provide the commentary here regarding the various
JPEGS which Hunaman graciouslylinked to for me via a prior post. I
want to express my appreciation toeveryone on Ganoksin who donated
to me their castoff supplies and tools. I have done my level best to
provide nearly all of them with agiven place. The rest, I had done
either through some smart second-handshopping in Craigslist,
scrounging from flea markets for tools, some jury rigging and
improvisation, occasional Christmas andbirthday presence, and some
birthday and Christmas cashsaved up over the past year or two. I
also said farewell to my amateur radio hobby, and wasable to
generate a few hundred dollars more than way forconsumeables. It was
time for it to go, anyway. Come along for the guided tour...
shed side view
This is the side view of my crafting shed. It measures 16 feet long,
10 feetwide, and 14 feet high. I asked the installers to customize
it for me withan upper level reachable by ladder. When my wife and I
first moved to where we live now and bought our house, she made a
bargain with me that I could have an outdoor shed costing up to
$5000 in exchange for one of the bedrooms inside the house being the
I've had some fun in it so far. This year, I've done extensive
remodelling because I ran a dedicated power line from the house so I
could have heat, light, and tools all at the same time. Note cable
conduit on right hand side. Oh, yes, it's all up to codeand
inspected. Rough inspection went well, and I have a few more months
to havea final inspection done, in the meantime the inspector gave
me permission to energizethe circuit. I made an exterior shelf to
hold all my aluminum bar stock, which freed up two shelves, which in
turn I was able to get many things off the floor and onto them, and
so on. Just below the window, on the right, is a door I made to open
from the inside so I can pickle annealed or soldered sterling.
This is the view through the front door. Seems larger on the inside
than the outside, huh?
A small table for my daughter, with a space heater to keep her warm.
The auxilliary crafting area is on the upper level, intended for
shaping clay and porcelain, glazimg them, and torching enamel.
Standard bench pin. White bar across center is a wrist support. The
wooden beams on either side are arm supports. Note that the arms and
wrists support system is moveable and not attached to the desk.
An additional section for shelves and cabinets. Generally holds
miscellaneous hardware needed for creating fixtures, also some
jewlery related materiel not of currently relevant use. Note second
clock, so I can keep track of time while I'm using the milling
Area for Taig tabletop milling machine, along with machining
supplies, torch gases, and other dangerous chemicals.
Closer view of new electrical power-up, which made the entire"ship
refit" possible. A 240 volt, 40 amp line was rununderground from my
house to the subpanel which you see here. Itis divided into a pair of
120 vold, 20 amp lines. I split the current electrical into overhead
(lights) and floor level (kiln), and routed aline to each system
through a GFCI socket. Ground rodis outside.
Bottom view of jeweler's desk. Everything is labeled. Note also
felt-covered board in front of desk to help catch bounces and sweeps.
The center drawer has a jar lid mounted into which sweeps can be
placed into a jar for either recycling or reuse.
Top view of jeweler's desk. Note that bench pin is on right hand side
arm support and a long hardwood block is in place. I've found this
useful for when I have to use the Dremel rather than a jeweler's saw.
Note rolling mill to right hand side, quench bucket to left, and a
set of shelves mounted to the arm and wrist support system.
Close-up view of wall immediately to the left of jeweler's desk. Note
drawer for storing fine silver (top nine drawers), and sterling
(bottom drawer). Solders are kept in thier own drawer in the desk. I
made a door to open to an outside crock-pot filled with Sparex. I
placed a Lexan shelf just in front of the door to serve as a drip
guard to protect the files and other rotary bits underneath. Note a
small glimpse of 18 inch rail anvil to the left of picture.
Same location, just as before, for the drill press to the left hand
side of wet alcove in rear. Note space heater on its own platform.
Drill bits are just below the platform. Hand held power tools such as
electric drill or skil-saw are store in a table underneath.
Close-up view of organizer mounted above bench pin. We can keep a
lot of files and other tools here.
Same location, just as before, for minature Paragon programmable
kiln. It rests on top of a piece of antique radio gear, a spectrum
analyser, which now is used no more than a table. Fluxes and polishes
are store in shelves above it. I also keep respirators here for both
myself and my daughter. Some appliances on polishing table to the
Moving lots of things to cabinets and shelves opened up considerable
room under the polishing table for power tools such as a belt
sander, 9 inch wood bandsaw, air compressor, and Lortone tumbler.
Wet alcove at rear of cracting shed. The entire inside of the box is
waterproofed. Last year, I didn't really have a good forceful source
of recirculating water. This year, when I get around to it, I will,
and I will be able to not have to worry about getting water either
for the Inland lapidary all-in-one tool or the Gryphon diamond
why I have to watch time carefully, I don't have much of it, perhaps
only 9 to 12 hours per week, so I have to make every minute count. To
the left, a big reason why I want to learn to make really good
jewelery... so I can make pretty things for her to wear!
Cheers, Andrew Jonathan Fine
Hi Ted! I actually do have an 18 inch rail anvil. It's to the left
of the pickle door. I got a piece of rail as a gift from a Dine'
familynear Gallup, and once I arrived in Idaho to stay I ground
andpolished it myself.
It may or may not be visible in the pictures. I'll follow up with a
guided tour of the pictures you saw.
We all await with bated breath when you finally open the
throttles, release the brakes and commit yourself to flight.
If youve never been a pilot of an a/c you wont know the adrenalin
rush when you finally say to yourself" lets go!"
Who ever said anything about launching an AIRCRAFT?
(Japanese, dubbed in
English. Part (tab) 3 is what I'm referring to). I'm trying to
rebuild and re-outfit my crafting shed with thesame care as some
people might refit a starship for a newadventure. And then...
Andrew, in the end, the quality of your relationships and the love
you generate is what counts, and by the sounds of it, you are fully
on track. Have fun making jewellery on the way....whenever that might
be! I look forward to it
...and forgive me if 'past advice' was out of line,
~ Audrey Morgan
I finally got a major facility working. Last year I made a wet
alcove for lapidary purposes, where I could not have to make a mess
in the rest of the shed. It had two problems, it leaked and the water
pump was not powerful enough. I solved both problems yesterday. I
added foil and plastic wrap, taped them down then glued over the
tape. I also has bought 1/6 go sump pump, attached a ball valve to
it, then a cut down section of garden hose mated down by tape to some
plastic tubing. I now have a no mess water recirculation system.
Andrew Jonathan Fine
Here is my final major power tool which I just installed today. I
had found a one horsepower motor for $5 at an estate sale two years
ago. I bolted the motor to my polishing table. Since the motor had a
half inch shaft, I obtained an arbor with threaded head.
Some nice person from Ganoksin had sent me white and yellow buffs.
Since the shaft size was wrong for the buffs, I had to drill out a
half inch hole in each with a paddle bit.
The rest was pretty straight forward. Then to keep the mess to a
minimum, I created a dust enclosure with a hole in back for my
ShopVac, which resides on the upper floor but fortunately the hose
extends down far enough to where I need it.
You can see how I've done it in this picture, attached. (Hanuman, can
you please set up the picture and the link to this message for me?)
So now all instruments are ready and in good working order. Next
steps are abrasives, flux, and rolling!
Andrew Jonathan Fine
Go Andrew! You are to be applauded for your determination.
Then to keep the mess to a minimum, I created a dust enclosure
Andrew, the one comment I'd make is that I'm a bit worried about
that enclosure. You've made it so restrictive in size, and access to
the buffs, that I worry it may present safety, or usage restrictions.
If something catches on those largish buffs, and you cannot let go
fast enough, you could find your hand not just yanked, but pulled
directly into the buff, and held there by the confines of the
enclosure enough to cause injury. A larger front opening gives you
better access to all sides of an object you're buffing, and gives you
more freedom to hold the work in the safest and most effective way,
as well as reducing the chances of injury of something gets away from
You don't need high levels of suction to effectively remove the dust
from the air. You could widen that enclosure, and move the front
edges at the sides back enough so you are not needing to reach into
that tunnel to work. A wider enclosure reduces air speed at the front
of the enclosure, but the suction in back at the hole is the same,
and that's where the buffs are throwing off the dust if you've
positioned things right.
Also, figure out a way to fit a removable bit of screening over the
hole in case something gets away from you. You want dust and dirt to
be collected, but not a bit of jewelry that happens to head for the
hole when it gets away from you (and things WILL get away from you
now and then.)
Study the dimensions and shapes of commercially made polishing
hoods. You'll find the best are slightly funnel shaped, to direct air
flow, but are wider and higher at the front, extending at the top
only to just over the front edge of the buff, and at the sides, to
slightly behind the spindle. Since your wheels are not removable, you
don't need to push the sides back that far, perhaps, but the sides
should still be far enough back so you can hold things with your
hand even with the front of the buff, without running into the
You improvisors always awe me!
Esta Jo Schifter
Peter, you are probably right about the buffers but I can't do much
about it except chop off the front to about the axle. I'll try that
and see what happens.
Presently I am creating abrasive sticks and dowels. I tend to go
with grit ordering rather than by abrasive stick number.
But, I'm also cleaning house with my wife since before Thanksgiving,
because the house never got a deep cleaning last year.
So while I am doing more honeydos and making preparations, I've been
thinking about niello.
Could bismuth substitute for the lead called for in the recipe? EPA
says bismuth is generally recognized as safe, and it has lead-like
Has anyone ever made a lead free niello using either bismuth or some
other element in place of the lead?