Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More fun with the Bench Grinder

Did I tell you I love my new bench grinder?  I'm having the best time and experimenting with anything and everything metal!  Starting with a piece of copper pipe (actually a connector), using my pipe cutter I cut it into three pieces.

One of the pieces I smoothed and then using my dapping block, I domed it very carefully. (remember, this started it's life as a piece of copper tubing)

I have some wonderful brass thingies - not really sure what they are actually used for but I love the shape and the heft of them so I bought a few.  I took one of the pieces of the copper, domed it a little bit and fit it around the brass piece.  The copper ring moves and rolls around the brass and is held in place by the flare of the ends on the brass.

Another penny - this time domed and drilled to make a bead cap. Now I just have to get some beads that will fit it! (off to go shopping at magpie gemstones!)

One down, eight hundred to go!..........

Ok, maybe not eight hundred, but from everything I've crafted with the help of my new bench grinder, quite a few projects to be done!  I created a bracelet with some of the pennies and flattened wire pieces and am looking forward to doing many more.
I used 16 gauge brass wire for the links along with some wonderful little copper washers I got from magpie gemstones to create the base of the bracelet.........

wired in some aventurine beads on the domed pennies (beads from magpie gemstones)

added a few wheat pennies that I drilled

and finished it off with a handcrafted copper clasp.  I'm thinking of adding a patina to this bracelet - what do you think?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Tools are beautiful, too!

I have been so busy with my new Christmas gift that I haven't had time to update my blog. But, here it is - an update as well as a picture of the aforementioned gift. A fabulous bench grinder.

Who would have thought I would be such a tool junkie - certainly not me! But, the more time I spend making jewelry, the more I realize I LOVE the tools that come with it. And this bench grinder is my new favorite. It has two wheels, one a grinding stone and the other a fiber wheel, as well as a flexshaft that comes in handy for all those curves and tight spots. I am still learning how to use it, but that hasn't stopped me from trying all sorts of things.

Using some pre-1982 pennies (they are 95% copper), I flattened some pennies (to see how I do this, check out this post ) and drilled holes in it.
I also flattened some 16 gauge copper wire, smoothed the edges and added some holes to make some copper connectors.
My next entry will be what I make with all these newly created copper components.