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1  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Coins into earrings... on: October 10, 2007 10:04:40 AM
That punch won't work at all for coins or metal of any significant thickness.
Use a drill instead to make the hole.

2  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: wire Question on: August 21, 2007 09:38:04 AM
You need a micrometer or dial/electronic/vernier caliper. Measure the diameter of the wire and then compare it to the chart here:

You can get a cheap dial caliper at Harbor Freight for around $10.00

3  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Aluminum cuff on: July 16, 2007 09:39:20 AM
I'm not sure about strength, but be sure not to work it with any files or other tools you care about. It can do unpleaseant things.

That's entirely untrue. I constantly use files and other tools on aluminum.
With files the aluminum can collect in the teeth, just as other metals can, but perhaps more agressively. You always need, when using a file, to periodically clean the teeth with a file card and pick. If you can, pick up a used copy of the old Nicholson file manual "fileosophy"

With tools used under power, such as burrs and drills, it is a good idea to use oil as a lubricant. This prevents the aluminum from welding to the cutting edges. You can use a file card on your burrs to unclog them.

Grinding is somewhat different, as the aluminum can clog the grain of the wheel, and when it heats, it expands and can crack the grindstone. Again, you want to use a water based or oil based lube in copious quantities and dress the wheel often.

If the aluminum is anodized, this can cause wear on steel tools, due to the fact that it is very hard. Scraping away the anodized layer before putting the tool to the work helps. Also using carbide tools will avoid any problems.

Our entire modern world is built upon objects machined out of aluminum.

4  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: trouble personalizing dog tags on: July 11, 2007 02:39:35 PM
I'm guessing that they are intended for the metal sheets (no word on what metal) that making memories sells. Probably some super soft alloy. The stamps don't look particularly sharp or well made.

You might try getting a "real" set of letter stamps, even if you just buy a cheap set at Harbor Freight. They will, when used with a BFH (big *** hammer) stamp even steel well.

Are you hammering on a hard metal surface, like an anvil/bench block? That should help - those really won't work at all if the surface you are hammering into absorbs all the force of the blow.

So i picked up a metal letter die set i found at joanns by making memories for real cheap.  It was advertised as imprinting letters into metal.  I figured i could find something to do with it for the price.  Well, i had the brilliant idea of personalizing dog tags for loved ones, so i ordered 40 blank tags.  the problem, the staps only seem to dent the metal, looking nothing like a letter.  maybe a different surface would help.

Any suggestions? I don't want this project to go to waste.  Anyone have any experience in stamping into/onto metal?
5  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: beer caps on: June 21, 2007 06:25:34 PM
Easiest method, with the least amount of tools?
Take a nail and hammer it through the bottle cap into a piece of wood. Don't hammer too far so it's easy to take the nail out.

If you have a drill, then drill the hole.

Does anyone know how to make a hole in a metal bottle cap??? If ya do, pretty pretty please tell!!!  Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
Thank yous!

6  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: The Illusionist on: June 15, 2007 10:33:33 AM
Thinking about problems like that helps me get to sleep at night, sort of like counting very complex sheep...plus it was good practice with Rhino 3D modelling.
7  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: The Illusionist on: June 15, 2007 09:11:46 AM
I drew up a really complex solution to making it, with no intention of actually making it. Someone else was able to make one with stuff off the shelf of the craft store:

The good solution:

My impractical one:

8  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Gorgeous Paua Shell - what to do with it ??? on: June 05, 2007 09:39:45 AM
We use shell like that for barettes, earrings and buttons.
For the barrettes we just glue it on, pleasingly. For earrings and buttons we keep the shape but drill holes.

To drill holes we use a drill press that has a baking pan on the table with a rubber pad (think mousepad) on it. A small water pump (like for a fountain) runs water over the shell as we drill it (make sure you have a GFI on the drill press outlet!). You can use any drill bit, but a "pearl drill" or "spade drill" works better as standard drill bits tend to screw themselves into the shell, cracking it more often than a pearl drill does. Rio Grande has pearl drills, we just make our own from carbide circuit board drill/rasps on our lapidary diamond wheel, but that's neither here nor there.

The dust is toxic to breathe as it is caustic - so that's why you need to do it under water.
Go slowly, let the drill do the work, too much down pressure will crack the shell.
9  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Safety Question -- Silicon Circuit Board on: May 28, 2007 09:04:19 AM
Well, to be fair, a lot of jewelry techniques can be hazardous if you don't take precautions. Inhaling shell dust is very bad for instance...
Basically anything that makes dust and fumes requires informing yourself of the risks and developing work habits that keep you safe.
10  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Re: Safety Question -- Silicon Circuit Board on: May 26, 2007 12:27:58 PM
The circuit board is usually glass filled phenolic. The glass fibres hurt your lungs and if the phenolic gets warm it offgasses formaldehyde (also bad...but mostly a problem if you use a dremel, etc). There is also lead, cadmium, other metals that if breathed as dust will shorten your lifespan. So yes, dust mask, and always wash your hands, change your clothes, shower, etc. You don't want to breathe or accidentally ingest (like snacking on chips, drinking coffee, while doing this) any of the dust. There's probably other harmful things I'm not even thinking of...

So be careful and use a good mask.
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