from Tammy Powley
Welcome to your first lesson on metal fabrication. Since this e-course
is designed with the beginner jewelry maker in mind, we are going to
start with some very, very basic information.
Scroll down to learn what metal fabrication is, the tools you'll need
to get started, and jewelry equipment suppliers who sell what you'll
need. What is Metal Fabrication? Find out what fabrication is and how you can use fabrication techniques to make jewelry from metal plate and wire.
From about.com Gold----------Folklore and Facts Gold is believed to have the
powers of healing, protection, wisdom, money, and success. When worn,
it elevates your personal power. In ancient Mexico, it was linked to
the powers of the Sun. In the middle ages, gold tools were used while
collecting herbs to make their powers stronger. Pure gold is too soft to use for most items, especially jewelry which
receives a lot of wear and tear. So, it is often combined with other
metals, such as copper, to give it added strength. Pure gold is called
24kt, while most gold jewelry is in either 18kt, 14kt, or 10kt gold. If
you have a gold chain that is considered 18kt gold, then this means the
gold is 18 parts gold and six part of another metal. The melting point
of gold ranges from 1380 degrees F to 2732 degrees F. Jewelers like working with gold because, though it is a heavy metal, it is easy to form. There also isn’t much to polishing this metal because it does not
oxidize. Usually a quick rub with a polishing cloth is all that is
necessary. Often jewelry is also gold-filled or gold-plated. Gold-filled is a gold
plating that is either soldered, brazed, or welded onto another metal.
To be considered gold-filled, a plating must constitute at least 1/20th
of the metal in the article. Gold-plated or overlay, also called
vermeil, is most often 10kt or 14kt gold bonded onto either sterling
silver or a base metal. This overlay only needs to be about 120 micro
inches of gold over the metal.
Silver-------some silver tidbits Silver was once thought more precious than gold. It is referred to as the metal of the moon and some believe it has power over emotions, the psychic mind, love, and healing. This is a very soft metal, so it is often mixed with an alloy like
copper. Sterling silver originally was created in an area in Germany
called Easterling. So that’s where the word sterling came from. To be
sterling sliver, the metal is made up of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5
percent copper. Pure silver, aka Fine Silver (.999), will melt at 1761 degrees F (961
degrees C), while sterling melts at 1434 degrees F (779 degreees C) and
the flow point is 1655 degrees F (902 degrees C). Coin silver melts at a slightly lower temperature than sterling because
it has more copper alloy in it; usually any where for 10 to 20 percent
of it is an alloy.
Platinum Symbol: Pt Melting Point: 1774 degrees C & 3225 degrees F Specific Gravity: 21.4 Hardness: 4-4.5 Originally, platinum was discovered by the Spanish explorers in
Columbia, South America in 1538. They called it platina because it
looked similar to silver (called Plata). Believe it or not, at one
time, people didn’t know what to do with platinum. They used it for
pots and pans. It didn’t become a popular jewelry metal until the early
1900s. Then during World War II, the U.S. government banned the use of
platinum in jewelry making, and white gold was used instead. However,
it has become popular again for a number of reasons. First, it is a
very dense white metal that resists tarnishing. Platinum jewelry has
little alloy in it, usually only 10%, so it is considered
hypoallergenic. There are six metals which belong to the platinum family: platinum palladium rhodium ruthenium iridium osmium All these metals require oxygen to be mixed with the fuel when melting
since they have such a high melting point. They resist tarnishing and
do not require flux when soldering. Metals in this group can also be
cast, but because of their high melting point, a special investment
must be used. Today, most platinum used in jewelry in mined in Russia which controls
the amount minded (much like the diamond industry). A large percentage
of platinum is used in jewelry making. However, it is also used in
other industries such as the medical industry and the automotive
Using a Jewelry Saw Many jewelry fabrication projects reqire that you saw on metal. Therefore, a jewelry saw can be an important tool. However, using the correct size blade for your jewelry saw is critical.
Fabricated Toe Ring
Make a toe ring using metal plate and hand tools. This technique can also be used to make a cuff bracelet. Easy Cuff Bracelet
You'll be amazed at how easy this cuff bracelet will be to make. Some metal sheet and a few hand tools are all you need.
[ send green star]
From about.com By Tammy Powley Two-Hole Metal Punch
How many times have you found yourself in a situation while making jewelry where you need to punch a hole or maybe a few holes in some metal? Even if you don't normally work with metal, this can happen now and then when you are working with pre-fabricated jewelry components.
There are a number of ways to make a hole in apiece of metal. You can use a drill, such as a hand-held drill or drill press. In fact, I'm a big fan of drill presses.
However, sometimes you just need one little hole and it's not that convenient to drag out a lot of equipment, so that's when a little tool like this Two-Hole Metal Punch can really come in handy.
From about.com Have you been thinking of picking up the torch and adding soldering to
your list of jewelry skills? Here are some resources to help you get
Silver Wire Fusing This is a new book review of a technique that I've heard about before but honestly, until now, have read very little about. I think it has some major potential for metal clay folks as well as wire workers. Fusing is a technique which involves heating the metal to the point of almost melting, so that the metal sort of melts together. In this article, it talks only about fusing fine silver, but I've used fusing for copper and for sterling silver as well.
Learn to Solder Follow these step by step procedures to teach yourself how to solder metal jewelry.
What Type of Soldering Torch? In this article, I discuss the use of the proper type of torch for soldering jewelry, explaining metal temperatures and fuel requirements. I also offer lots of excellent resources to help beginners learn to solder. The melting temperature of solder is lower than the melting temperature of metal, which this article doesn't really talk about. It also doesn't talk about all the different fuels available. For example, at my school, we all have a torch at our bench, and it is fueled by natural gas and oxygen (which I prefer). At school, we also use acetelene, but this should be avoided if possible, as it is a very dirty gas. However, it is good for casting, because it gets alot hotter than our bench torches, so we can melt metal at a much faster rate.
[ send green star]