Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Class countdown!

The Tafe year is nearly over for my course. I have mixed feelings - I'm looking forward to spending the time at home creating instead but really will miss the classes. And then there's the motivation issue when I'm at home - there's so many distractions: housework, shopping, washing, ironing and cooking.
I'm not saying I do them but the need to do them definately distracts me from the task of creating ;) Not to mention the biggest distraction of all - The Internet!!!
Anyway, we had a great day in class yesterday. A classmate is working on a new range and the teacher gave us all a lesson/demo in how to make a rubber mould. Jane was then able to use the mould and use the wax injector to reproduce her design in wax.

I took about 20 grams of scrap sterling in to class and melted it into an ingot then spent far too long (but I love doing it) rolling it down on the mill and then drawing it down into .8mm wire which I'll being using for earring hooks.

Another classmate Carolyn generously bought in some copper pipe for me to use for future trinket boxes. The teacher took us down to the metal workshop and we had it sliced on the cold metal bandsaw (at least I think that's what it was).
It took the metal workshop teacher a few minutes to do and will definately save me an hour, probably more of sawing. I'm always pleasantly amazed at the resources available at Tafe.

I also rolled down my ingot from last term a little more. I've decided I'll leave it now at about 1.5mm thick until I have a definate project in mind for the silver.

We also got the course info for next year. There's a possibility that we may be able to enrol in the Advanced Diploma as part time students and just do a few of the units. There's about 5 of us from this course interested in doing more.  Love to be able to do that if it fits in with all the other commitments I have, like family and the day job!

Now that the formal class projects are out of the way I have to plan what I want to do in class next to make the most of my last 3 classes............. 

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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Brass Box Pictorial

Here are the pictures I took as I was making my little round Brass Box.
This isn't a tutorial (I wouldn't presume to try and tell anyone how to do this - I barely managed it myself !) It's more of a pictorial to show you my process - It was my first attempt to make a box and I'd be more than happy to hear suggestions if you know of a better or easier way to make these :)

I started with 1mm sheet brass which I formed and soldered into a 3cm diameter tube about 2 cm high....then:

I carefully sawed around the mark I had made with the calipers.
Yay! Two pieces - a lid and a base

Sand on flat surface in figure 8 action. I do this as required.
I used  a cardboard template and made an extended lining to fit lid .
Lining Soldered in - now checking for fit to the base.
Working on the Base now - Bottom soldered on.
Sawing off the excess
Shoddy Sawing! Lucky I enjoy filing :) Tweak the lid to fit!

That looks better - after filing & some sanding.
Aaargh! Never noticed that before - back to re solder that bit!
Working on the lid now- soldering the top on.
After sawing. You knew I'd textured the lid in the rolling mill, right?
Ready for more and more filing fun....and some sanding.
More clean up ...then.......All done - Here 'Tis
The Lid comes off...but it fits back on....phew - wipes brow! :)
Yep - I even cleaned up the inside.
This is just a brief summary but if you have a any questions just leave a comment and I'll be happy to give more details if I can. Pin It

Works in progess.

On a week's break from class so here's a snippet of some other projects I'm working on.

I pulled apart our broken toaster to salvedge the Stainless Steel outer casing. Hope to saw & pierce out some simple shapes in the not too distant future from the sheet. It's 0.5mm.

I'm also working on making a little round pill box/trinket box. The sort with a friction fit lid. Had no idea how but just jumped in anyway.

That's the lid on the left - I sweat soldered the outer piece to the inner piece when they were just flat strips. Bit like a stepped bezel really, but inside out ;) On the right is the base piece which when soldered will fit over the inner part perfectly....well in a perfect world! In reality it didn't. I thought I'd measured and cut correctly but darn - obviously I didn't!

Earlier in class the lecturer saw the lid and suggested an easier method to get a matching top & base: Start with one piece of tube and saw it to make two parts exactly the same diameter. So I put the lid to one side and reused the base piece to try it out. Funnily enough I'd thought of this earlier and abandoned the idea as too difficult, which was why I did it the other way. Well I got that arse about eh! LOL

I scribed a mark around the tube with my calipers and clamped the tube in the vice, just sawing a little at a time along the line on the top of the tube then repositioning the tube to continue sawing the next bit of the line. This went suprisingly smoothly and Voila! in no time: 2 pieces!

 Next step is to fit in the inner lip in the lid (or the base - don't think it matters which one?) Then solder on a top and bottom plate.

I'll let you know how i get on ;) ......................

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Saturday, October 01, 2011

Tafe -Weeks 29 & 30.

Last two weeks of term and we had a chance to use tools again that weren't pencils or related to wax! Oh how I've missed you torch, saw and files!
Our final assessable project for the completion of our certificate was to make a ring from scratch. This was the project:
  1. Calculate and weigh out how much copper to add to 10 grams of fine silver casting grain.
  2. Melt the grains and pour an ingot. 
  3. Roll the (round) ingot into a square bar of 4x4mm. 
  4. Roll the square bar into flat stock, measure up bearing in mind that the finished ring must be exactly 4.1mm wide and 1.7mm thick
  5. Form into a ring band and solder. 
  6. Then it's to be finished to a 600 grit finish ready for marking. When it's finished our solder seam must not be visable, have no pits etc and the ring must be a perfect size L.
Work in progress with the left over strip in the background. Still some cleaning up to do.

Yay! Right width! You'll have to take my word on it that the other measurements were right too!
 The vernier calipers have been in demand these past two weeks, that's for sure! We did make a ring earlier in the year but we made it to fit ourselves and were assessed on the finish rather than measurements, so this was more of a challenge, especially when we were told that if it didn't meet the requirements we'd be melting it down and starting again! The idea behind this project is that for students seeking industry jobs, they can be sent off to their new apprenticeships and have the skills to make a wedding band to the exact standards and size as required by a client/boss. Apparently making ring bands is the most common practise in the industry! I'd never really given it much thought, but it figures!

Anyway - all done - no remelt required! :) And a bonus - the Size L fits me............. Pin It

Why it pays to save your Silver scraps!

Last TAFE lesson I melted down some of my sterling silver scraps. The years of collecting excess headpin and wire offcuts and other silver scraps has paid off. I ended up with a rather hefty ingot of sterling weighing 102 grams (just over 3.2 troy oz). I've more scraps to take in next term too. Here's a pic taken after a few turns through the rolling machine.

It's got a way to go yet before I can use it - lots of annealing and rolling to do!

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