NOTE: If you’re here and you haven’t seen my previous post which shows how I make the first part of the bracelet from hell you might want to take a look at that one first.
Otherwise here are the second batch of videos which show how I made the sides of the bracelet.
NOTE: That this is NOT stainless steel. It’s sterling silver.
This obvious lack of brain function marks where the bracelet starts to go off the rails. Had I remembered what material I was using perhaps I would also have remembered how to use the darn saw. If I had taken the silver to my bench pin in the first place things may well have been different.
But I didn’t and it wasn’t.
As for the vise holding thing. I’ve written before about my cack-handed relationship with it. I would like to say that it’s a love hate relationship, but I’d be lying. It’s a hate relationship. I know it can do wonderful things, but I seem to have an aversion to it and so only use it rarely. Consequently, when I do use it, I find I have completely forgotten how I managed to work with it the first time and so it’s a learning curve all over again.
You may find this curve painful. I certainly did when I played the video back.
2 X 2″ lengths of sterling silver 5mm x 2mm rectangular wire – Rio Grande #100552
Miter-Cutting Vise and Jig – Rio Grande #112700
Sticky back measuring tape – HERE
Sorry that you can’t actually see the tape in this video. You might catch it in the others, but I have about a two foot length of it stuck on the edge of my table. I like it because it doesn’t get in the way and I don’t have to keep looking around for a ruler. It does wear out on my working table more than on the other tables I have because I’m scraping silver bits around and over it, etc., but it comes in a large roll and is easy to replace. There’s lots of different makes of this tape and some may be cheaper than the one I’ve linked. I like the one with both inches and centimeters on it.
Making and soldering the bars.
Wolverine ultra flux – If you google it you can find a couple of places that sell it. I haven’t linked to any because it seems too expensive on amazon and I haven’t checked out the other places yet for a good price. I think mine is a 7oz jar.
Finishing the caps on the bars.
1.5″ piece of sterling silver extension chain – Rio Grande #632812B
Infinity Stamps sterling silver tags – HERE – I use H
Infinity Stamp custom stamp with tag mate – HERE
As I mention in the video the tag mate system with a custom stamp is quite expensive and actually the tags are also I think, but if you make a lot of jewelry and you’re interested in buying one with your own makers mark on it you’ll have to draw up your art work first. The way I did it was to draw my initials (which is all I wanted on my stamp) over and over again on a piece of paper until I came up with something I liked. Keep the paper white and the writing sharp. I think I used a thin sharpie.
I then scanned it to my computer and sent it to Infinity Stamps. (It was a lot sharper than the image here on my screen).
They charge you extra if you want them to do the art work, and they tried to charge me for alterations on another stamp I’d designed when I felt they hadn’t actually changed anything on it. This was probably an oversight on their part, but you have to be careful as it can add up. If you get the artwork right the first time and feel it’s nice and sharp etc. you should be o.k. Infinity stamps will reduce the image to fit the tag.
Taking one of the end caps off.
Not the most flattering working position, but I think I work it well…
Apologies as I tend to wear my old, worn out clothes in the studio. I’m not that good at keeping myself clean while I’m working. Perhaps black isn’t the best colour for buffing dust and cat cuddles 🙂
Selection of Mandrel pliers – HERE
This is the video where I go on, again, about the solder going up and over. I tell you every time that happens to me I kick myself. I think I’m more reminding myself here than anyone else. I also didn’t realize how many times a person could say, there you go, in one sitting.
NOTE: In this next video when I say the ‘thin’ one, I mean the smaller torch head. I typically use a #0 torch head. The ‘thin’ one is a #00 and I sometimes use it for delicate chains. I mean really delicate, like under 20 gauge wire or if the chain has like micro links that you don’t stand a chance soldering anyway. Always up for a challenge. The larger torch head I use is a #1. I like the #1 because you can feather the flame around the piece and it heats everything up evenly all at once. This is good for a final once over if you want to make absolutely sure that all the pieces are solidly soldered or if you’re soldering pieces over a larger surface area. You have to be more careful with the #1 if you’ve got more delicate pieces that you want to attach as it can be a little fierce. However, you can adjust it to get a softer flame which is nice.
I use a #2 torch head to heat down my scrap pieces into maybe 1″ ish blobs which I can then take to my rolling mill to make small sheets. More silver than that is too much of a work out for me. I bought a #4 head to begin with thinking that it was a good one for the job, but it scared the bejesus out of me as it lit with a small explosion like sound and was like the flame thrower Signorey Weaver torches the eggs with on Aliens. That one’s on the top shelf now, out of harms way. For heating the balls at the end of the day, I turn off the tank and use my #0 torch head to use up the acetylene left in the hose. When the flame turns white I turn it off at the torch handle and then I turn down the pressure on the regulator.
I use an Smith acetylene/air torch, so I can’t recommend which tips you use with the other systems. I only used gas and oxygen once when I took some lessons at the community college. It always freaked me out as I could never remember which valve I had to open first. Just knew I was going to blow the school up. Too much anxiety right there.
AND finally, they are cross locking tweezers! Man! Almost drove me nuts trying to figure out what they were called.
This video stops abruptly because I’m recording it on my phone and the phone’s alarm went off. You’ll probably need a break anyway 😉
Joining the bracelet ends to the setting.
There are lots of ways you can hold two pieces together for soldering. I have a lot of success this way, but sometimes you just have to move it around to see which way is going to be best. My third hand tweezers need to have their ends snipped and leveled which would have probably helped make this set up easier this time.
This is also the video with the shaky hand. I think the inside of my arm was leaning against the side of the table in a funny way and it was resting on a nerve. This may have been because I was holding my arms awkwardly as I tried to solder in view of the camera. Either that or I’m going to have to stop the afternoon drinking…
The alarm went off again in this video because I had it on snooze. Sorry.
Cleaning it up.
Black Max – Rio Grande #331053
This is the bench lathe that I use – Rio Grande # 334016
And these are the buffing wheels that I use to get the result I’m looking for – Rio Grande #330541
I also use these – Rio Grande #332581 – to get into tight places before I give it a final buff with the wheel above.
Setting the stone.
I think I called the gravers engravers. They’re not engravers. They’re gravers. I would be the engraver, if I were engraving, which I wasn’t, not really, and the graver is the tool, not the person. Just to clear that up. And yes, those things that you can buy at the supermarket that help you see better. Those are glasses.
This is the bit that I like to use (this one or one like it) to clean out the insides of my pieces – Rio Grande #343124
This is the nail bezel pusher – HERE
Foredom H-15 Hammer Hand piece – HERE
Foredom Hammer accessories – HERE
Foredom H.20 Quick release hand piece – HERE
Foredom H.18 Quick release hand piece – HERE
Optivisor – Rio Grande #113201 but you can pick whichever strength you prefer in the drop down box.
Burnishers – HERE
Gravers – HERE
And if you made it through all of that you’re a real soldier 🙂
So there it is.
The bracelet from hell is finished.
No laughing allowed as it was my first ever talking picture show.
If you have any questions just ask and if I can answer I will, and if I can’t I’ll make it up 😉
I’d love to see a photo if you make one.