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Problems with anticlastic raising


#1

I am trying to make some copper anticlastic bracelets. As some
people don’t like copper against their skin, I have sweat soldered
30 gauge fine silver to the copper. I am working with 22 gauge
copper which has been deeply etched via the PNP ferric Chloride
method. 6inches long, 1-1/4" width.

The actual raising goes well and I have had no problem with the
silver shifting or moving during the raising period and the frequent
annealing. After I get it raised (hand hammered), I form it on my
bracelet mandrel and anneal again so that it is flexible.

Problem is that just putting it on and off requires bending the
material and it soon becomes too work hardened to be able to be put
on one’s wrist comfortably.

What puzzles me is that I have made anticlastic bracelets in
sterling 22 gauge, and thicker (minus the fine silver backing) and
they remainflexible. I am considering forgetting about working with
the copper and going back to the silver. I am getting ready for a
show and wanted to have more variety in my inventory, hence the
interest in adding some items in copper.

Will appreciate any suggestions. Alma


#2

Hi Alma,

Lets start with your para 3.

now as you may have read here in the past, bracelets were my most
popular product over many yrs, having made thousands in every metal
and in just about every style, so where you say your bracelet has to
be bent to put on and off, indicates to me that theres something
wrong with the design.

You see, No bracelet should need to be bent to wear. There are 3
basic designs,

  1. the complete circular,
  2. the hinged,
  3. the cuff type, or flattened “C” shape.

My guess, with out a picture of your product, its no 3.

Theres a special way to put these on without bending, and are
designed to be worn below the wrist joint, just above the hand.

If you have the design right, then there are basically 3 sizes that
fit just about any female’s wrist.

As I make them in metal up to 1in wide (and more), and up to 1/4in
thick!!, theres no way any wearer can change the shape to put on or
off. I do have the tools to change a shape if the customer needs it,
whilst they wait, as there is as you will know quite a variation in
whist shape even in one size. some are much rounder, some are much
flatter the the average shape.

You mention raising as well, without a picture, its virtually
impossible to comment specifically on what changes you will need to
make to get your design to work. I found the most comfortable shape
was when viewed from the outside, a concave form, and a flattened
"C"shape. It doesnt need any more than that.

I wouldnt need to anneal at all after the sweat soldering.

All my bracelets are finished prior to bending as working in the
flat is so much faster. You should be able to form the shape with
just one anneal with the thinness of metal your using…

Anyway too much hammering would, Id have thought, damaged the etched
design.

Await your pictures.

ted


#3

I am trying to make some copper anticlastic bracelets. As some people
don’t like copper against their skin, I have sweatsoldered 30 gauge
fine silver to the copper. I am working with 22 gauge copper which
has been deeply etched via the PNP ferric Chloride method. 6inches
long, 1-1/4" width.

The actual raising goes well and I have had no problem with the
silver shifting or moving during the raising period and the frequent
annealing. After I get it raised (hand hammered), I form it on my
bracelet mandrel and anneal again so that it is flexible.

Problem is that just putting it on and off requires bending the
material and it soon becomes too work hardened to be able to be put
on one’s wrist comfortably.

What puzzles me is that I have made anticlastic bracelets in sterling
22 gauge, and thicker (minus the fine silver backing) and they
remainflexible. I am considering forgetting about working with the
copper and going back to the silver. I am getting ready for a show
and wanted to have more variety in my inventory, hence the interest
in adding some items in copper.


#4

Thank you Ted for all the excellent advice. I am definitely going to
rethink my designs. Fortunately I have been able to keep the etching
even though I am hammering, by doing deep etching and using a nylon
faced hammer.

You have diagnosed the problem correctly, as it is my designs. The
friend looked at the bracelet and said I had made itmuch too
concave, and was overworking the metal, hence the need for frequent
annealing. Also, I was shaping them too round and not in a true "c"
form.

The reason I was not having a problem with the silver ones, was that
I was not making them so extremely concave, just a gentle curve, and
also was forming them in a true “C”.

Thanks again for your advice. I appreciate it. Alma

Thanks again Ted for your help.


#5

Hi Ted

"If you have the design right, then there are basically 3 sizes that
fit just about any female’s wrist. "

I would be really interested in knowing what the 3 sizes are that
you typically use for a cuff bracelet, including, the oval dimensions
of the C shape and the opening distance for the wrist. Would you be
willing to share this info.

I make cuff bracelets, generally out of 18 or 20 Ga sterling sheet,
and usually leave a one inch opening for the wrist.

My cuffs are generally 1 to 1.2 inches wide. My starting length
before shaping into a “C” or oval generally ranges between 5.4" and
6".

Thanks
Milt
Calgary, Canada


#6

A Ted describes in his reply, once a cuff bracelet is bent to shape
for the wrist it is being fitted to, it should never need to be bent
again. If it does need to be bent, it wasn’t fitted right in the
first place and it will eventually work harden and break. This is
contrary to what many department stores will tell a customer in
their zeal to sell a bracelet that doesn’t fit. My family has made
heavy gold, silver, copper, and brass cuff bracelets for over
seventy years. We use a crude sizing system were they are made in
1/4" increments of length prior to finishing and bending. The
bracelet is marked with a size number based on its length.
Theoretically, another bracelet made to this size, with some final
shaping, should fit the same wrist. You do have to accommodate for
thickness as two bracelets the same length but different thicknesses
will not fit the same. You can also measure the inside end to end
circumference of the bracelet. This should remain the same
regardless of thickness and can be used to size bracelets as well as
using length prior to bending. Actually, I think that circumference
is more accurate, but we are splitting hairs. A new cuff bracelet
customer will initially struggle with how to put on a cuff bracelet
and assume that it needs to be bent open to put it on and then be
squeezed shut. Again, as Ted describes, it should be initially put
on where the wrist and hand join below the little bump on the
outside of your wrist (I think it is called the pisiform bone), The
bracelet should then rest against your hand, but not interfere with
the motion of your thumb. It can also be moved up the wrist to allow
another bracelet to be put on. I have customers who wear as many as
10 bracelets on each wrist. Obviously I encourage this practice.
Remember that your arm gets bigger as you move up towards the elbow
and this change in size and shape should be allowed for when fitting
additional bracelets. The cuff bracelet is not pushed on, but rather
rolled on. I have a short clip of this on my website. Ted addresses
other bracelet designs and shapes and I have very little experience
with them. In the end, a design that requires that the metal be
repeatedly bent beyond what normal flex is available will lead to
failure and should be avoided. Rob

Rob Meixner


#7

Alma,

I’ll be eagerly awaiting solutions to your problems, as I plan to
back copper with silver for the same reasons; though more for rings,
I think any solutions raised will help me avert problems of my own.

I’m sorry you’re having such a frustrating time of it, but thank you
for posting about it! I’m excited to see your work, if you’d be so
kind as to show some pics? Thanks!

Cheers,
Becky


#8

Hi Alama, Milt and Bob,

I hope that me answering your posts all in one is acceptable!! So to
start with a bit of anatomy, in the lower arm there are 2 bones with
a long gap in between them right down to within 1in of the wrist
joint.

For you Bob may I comment that it is where the gap is just above the
wrist joint, thats the starting point of putting on a cuff bracelet,
the wrist joint has to be relaxed for this to work, as you know,
then as you described, the bracelet is rolled over this part of the
lower arm to settle where it will slide down to just above the hand.

Now, for you Milt, sizes,
My average ladies is 6in long, with a gap of 1in.

The large diameter is 2,1/2 in and the small is 2in.

In my case, my gap is 1,1/4in overall length 7,1/4in, large dia 3in,
small dia 2,1/2in.

And for you Alma, follow the above dimensions and you will have some
happy customers, tho you will need to teach them how to wear a cuff
bracelet.

Ted.


#9

Back to basics for me. I think that the method I was taught is not
the best for me to use. It may work for others, but not for me. I
was taught to cut the metal to size, draw a line down the exact
center along the length of the bracelet, Then we placed the metal in
an opening in the stake, hit the metal in the center of the piece,
aiming our blows along the line pushing the center down into the
stake. Then we were taught to move the metal to a smaller opening in
the stake, and again hitting the metal dead center, hammer it down
to the bottom of the opening. Also, we were constantly annealing.

However, I understand that the method taught by Michael Good, is to
put the metal in an opening in the stake, and strike it along the
edge, working along one edge of the metal, then reversing, and
working along the other edge. As he is one of the masters, I shall
follow his method.

So, I shall cut some copper and begin practicing striking the metal
along the edge, not down the center.

In the meantime, the poor bracelet I made using the other method was
so mangled by my constantly, opening and closing it, that I finally
annealed it, and hammered it flat. I thought of trying the Michael
Gould method onit, but will give it a rest, and do some serious
practicing first.

My silver bracelets were successful because I was working with
narrower widths, and hammering them very shallow. Lots to learn.
Again, thank you for all your suggestions. Alma


#10

Ted. Thanks for the correction. I have always described this location
relative to the hand, but that is confusing. The bracelet should be
rolled on above the bump on the wrist and then allow it to settle
where it will. My sizes range in length prior to bending from 4.5" to
7.0" with 5.25" to 6.0" being the average range for women and 5.75"
to 6.5" for men. Again, you need to adjust for the width and
thickness of the bracelet. Thanks. Rob

Rob Meixner


#11

Michael Good is correct. To really learn anticlastic raising, I
suggest your read Cynthia Eid’s and Betty Helen Longhi’s book
"Creative Metal Forming". You can buy this outstanding book on
Amazon.com. Also, Bill Fretz’s videos are wonderful.


#12

Thank you Betsy for telling me about the Eid/Longi book on “Creative
Metal Forming.” I shall certainly get it. I know they have developed
some wonderful stakes, and Of course their own work is outstanding.

The book has received excellent reviews, and I wish I had known
about it before… Alma


#13
Michael Good is correct. To really learn anticlastic raising, I
suggest your read Cynthia Eid's and Betty Helen Longhi's book
"Creative Metal Forming". 

Thank you for the recommendation, Betsy! In our book, Betty and I
explain anticlasting the way that Heikki Seppa developed it, and as
Michael Good does it. We are pleased that Michael Good wrote the
forward to our book, contributed to several exercises, and offers
the book for sale to his students when he teaches.

You can purchase a copy that will be personally signed and inscribed
to you by an author, by buying via the website I made for the book,
www. creativemetalforming.com Other sources include: Allcraft, Otto
Frei, Rio Grande, and Amazon.

Cynthia Eid
Cynthiaeid.com


#14

Ted

Thanks for the recommendations on cuff bracelet sizing.

I appreciate you taking the time to provide the advice.

Regards
Milt