Fusing Fun: Make this Circle Pendant With Your Micro Torch

28 Jan 2013

 

Hammering and fusing metal, colorful enamel, dapping and doming . . . many of my favorite jewelry-making techniques and supplies have all come together in this cool project from our friends at Fusion Beads! For those of you looking for a project you can do with your micro torch, here you go!

Note that because of the size and thickness of the wire you're fusing in this project, the designer recommends using two micro torches simultaneously in order to get the wire to fuse. Keep them moving evenly (you can pat your head and rub your tummy, right?) in order to keep the heat evenly distributed and to heat it up enough to fuse. (Of course, one larger torch will work too.)

Color Cove Necklace
Designed by Cody Westfall, courtesy of Fusion Beads *

Materials:

13mm olive enameled disc by C-Koop (HM4959)
13mm enameled gray disc by C-Koop Beads (HM2178)
19mm enameled delft turquoise disc by C-Koop Beads (HM2296)
4mm sterling silver rolo chain (CN0231)
13.5x6.5mm sterling silver balloon lobster-claw clasp (SS4109)
4mm sterling silver open jump ring (SS3916)
two 6mm sterling silver open jump rings (SS3924)
5" of 10-gauge fine silver wire (FW0108)
2" of 14-gauge fine silver wire (FW0106)
riveting hammer
chasing hammer
bench block helper w/steel and nylon blocks (TL1902)
Tronex ergonomic long-handle razor flush cutter (TL1643)
1.25mm metal hole punch pliers (TL2242)
1.8mm metal hold punch pliers (TL1932)
butane micro torch (TL0643)
Cool Cup soldering cup w/tweezers (TL2291)
fire brick
dap & die set
vise
Pro Polish pads
Sharpie marker

* Numbers shown in parentheses with materials above are product numbers for FusionBeads.com.

Steps:

 

1. Cut 5" of 10-gauge fine silver wire. Using a dapping punch from the set as a mandrel (or anything that is about 1" in diameter), wrap the wire around the mandrel to form a ring.

2. Using flush cutters, make a flush cut on both sides of the ring. Use pliers to close the ring so that both flush cuts are firmly together.

3. Using two torches as mentioned above, fuse the ring closed.

4. You now have a perfectly fused ring.

5. Using the flat, broad side of your chasing hammer, hammer the ring flat.

6. Using the ball side of the chasing hammer, hit the flattened ring to add some texture.

7. With a Sharpie and using one of the enameled discs as a template, mark a hole where you want to place the disc on the hammered ring for the rivet.

8. Using a 1.8mm metal hole punch, punch the hole you marked in Step 7. Repeat for the other two discs. Then, using a 1.25mm metal hole punch, punch a hole at the top of the flattened ring so that you can attach the ring to your chain later.

9. Put 2" of 14-gauge fine silver into a vise with about 1/4" or so sticking up. Using the chisel-shaped end of your riveting hammer, lightly tap across the top of the wire. You will need to turn your wire several times so that you make a uniformly shaped mushroom head that will not fall through the hole in the enameled discs.

10. Thread the wire with the mushroom head through one of the enameled discs and the hole in the ring. Leaving about 1/8" to 1/16" of the wire on the back side, make a flush cut.

11. Place a dapping punch that fits inside of the enameled disk into the vise, and then turn your jewelry piece upside down so the disc rests on the dapping punch with the rivet. (You're using the punch like a rounded mandrel or anvil in this case.) Then, using the chisel-shaped end of your riveting hammer, lightly tap across the top of the wire, turning your piece several times so that you make a uniformly shaped mushroom head rivet.

12. Once your rivet has mushroomed out nicely, use the flat side of the riveting hammer to make a few final strikes to the rivet. This will flatten out the rivet head and give it a nice smooth surface.

13. Repeat Steps 9 through 12 for the other two enameled discs.

14. Using the 6mm jump ring, attach the pendant to the middle of the rolo chain. Attach the lobster clasp to one end of the chain with the 4mm jump ring, and attach the other 6mm jump ring to the other end.

 
Modifications

Instead of a circle, make a square or triangle. You can use any color (or number of) enameled discs you want for this project--and if you're crazy about enameling like I am, you can even enamel your own. Just remember to punch or drill a hole in each disc and dome the disc(s) before enameling, and be sure to keep the hole open during enameling so you can rivet through it later. If you work your rivets just right, use spacers or washers between the rivet and the metal, or skip the rivets and use brads, you can make the enameled discs spin like pinwheels. Fun!

 


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