Monday, September 17, 2012

Playing with Power Tools

By way of review, here is a picture of the big roundy links necklace (in the background) that I posted last week.  I did decide to make the necklace again using a heavier gauge wire, and that is one of the links in the foreground.  I had enough of the heavier wire to make a necklace, which is now for sale in the store I work at - yippee!
But, I did not have enough wire to make a matching bracelet, which is what I was attempting Sunday.
So there I sat, looking at my dwindling supplies, when I finally got up enough gumption to attempt to fool with power tools.

My husband has this rotary tool, a Craftsman, and I knew it had the ability to be used for polishing.  But changing out the bits seemed daunting.  He always did it for me if I wanted to try to use it, and I knew I had to learn to do it myself.
It wasn't that hard.  And it came with two wheels for polishing, a coarse and a fine, which is what I need to put a mirror finish on my silver pieces.

Seeing as I was just dinking around, I decided to tackle this piece which has been sitting on my workbench for weeks.  I gave it a real good polish, and then decided I needed to drill holes in it to attach wires or chain to it.  Doh!

So off came the polishing wheel, and then I had to do a presto chango to get the drill bit attached.  
For those not in the know, polishing or drilling on a piece of silver creates friction, which creates heat, which is ouchy on my little fingers.
Of course, after drilling the piece, I had metal burrs that had to be filed off, which meant the piece had to be sanded afterwards and then polished again.

In the midst of all this, I decided to use up the last bit of my heavy gauge wire to make something.  It wound up being an apple.  I know this is a bit unfocused -  I wanted to show you the mirror finish I was able to put on a hammered wire piece.  It is so shiny!

And to be honest, that shiny finish on silver is the whole draw for me.  Up till now I had to take things in to my work, where there is a polishing machine, but some of the pieces I've made have been too delicate to be able to be polished that way.  

So here are the two pieces. I don't think I'll keep that red chalcedony attached that way to the apple piece.  We'll see.  And I am lacking wire  that will allow me to hang the blue chalcedony below the cloud piece.  I need to sell some jewelry, people!

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