Wednesday, March 25, 2009
In my last post, I showed you some pieces from my sea glass collection. See the bright blue one in the middle of the photo? That's the one I chose to work with.
Here are the supplies I would use to make a ring. Some 24 gauge silver sheet metal, silver bezel wire, and the piece of sea glass.
First thing I did is cut a piece of bezel wire to match the shape of the stone. Then I would need to solder the two ends together. So I cut a tiny piece of solder wire and, using tweezers, tried to carefully place it at the junction of the two ends.
After not being able to find the piece of solder that had fallen to the ground, I cut another piece. Using the tweezers I aimed for the junction. It was at this time that I realized that I probably shouldn't have had those 3 cups of coffee that morning. However, after many shaky attempts, I finally got the darn piece of solder to stay in place. (I even have a photo to prove it. See that tiny speck in the picture on the right. Yup, that's the recalcitrant solder.)
I hadn't soldered in a couple of months. (The soldering station is in the garage where it's been WAY TOO COLD.) And I think I was out of practice because I couldn't get the solder to melt. But I did get the bezel hot enough to melt it!
Sad. Isn't it.
I had to start again. And wouldn't you know, it happened again!
Yes, I used flux, cleaned the metals, and got everything hot, not just the solder. But it wouldn't melt for me.
I then gave up and used my paste solder, which melts at a low temp. Got it to work that time!
The next steps were to shape the bezel to the shape of the glass, cut some silver sheet slightly larger than the bezel, and solder them together. Here's what I had:
There's still a lot more to do.
The extra sheet needs to be cut and filed smooth. At this point I decided to add some decorative bits: little silver balls that I make from silver scrap. (And with all those ruined bezels, it looks like I'll have a lot of scrap for this purpose!) All this has to be done before attaching it to the ring.
The ring itself is made from heavy wire - cut to make a size 7 ring. (Which, oddly enough, just so happens to fit me!) It needs to be soldered together and made into a perfect circle.
After spending an afternoon doing all this, I was ready to solder everything together. It went without a glitch and I now had everything I needed to set the sea glass into:
Yes, I was dying to finish it, but there were still a few things to do. It had to be tumbled for a couple hours, then I had to make sure everything was filed smooth. AND I still had to make dinner. So I would have to put off finishing the ring till the next day.
Since I had to defer finishing the ring till the next day, I am going to defer showing you the final product till my next post tomorrow.
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW
(Don't you hate seeing those 4 little words?!)
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