Sunday, November 28, 2010

Make Tricolored Riveted Earrings

Yesterday, we played with our disc cutter when making the Recycled Glass & Sterling Silver Earrings. For that project, we used the disk we made as an accent to enhance the earrings that were made primarily of reclaimed and repurposed glass.

Today, we used the disc cutter again to make riveted earrings from scrap sheet metal. 

Step 1
Select the metal. We went through our scrap pile and pulled out small pieces of sheet metal  left over from other projects. We found copper, brass and sterling silver sheet metal to use for this project.

Step 2
Cut the metal. We used a disc cutter to cut three sets of disks from the scrap metals. We cut two 1-inch disks from copper, two 7/8-inch from brass and two 3/4-inch from sterling silver.

If you do not know how to cut circles in metal, see our tutorials How to Use a Disc Cutter or our slide show Make Your Own Discs with a Disc Cutter.  If you do not have a dis cutter, you can use a jewelry saw and blade to cut the disks. See our tutorial How to Use a Jewelry Saw for instructions.

Step 3
Drill holes in the center of the disks. We used our our flex shaft and a size 60 (.040) drill bit to drill holes in the center of all the disks. We selected as size 60 drill bit since a size 60 drill bit is almost exactly the same size as 20-gauge round wire. 

If you are not sure what size drill bit you need for riveting or you are not sure what size is any one of your drill bits, you can use a Drill Gauge for #1 to #60 drill sizes to measure. See our tutorials How to Drill and How to Use a Drill Press for Jewelry Making, if you need help perfecting how to pierce metal when fabricating jewelry.

Step 4
File and sand the edges of the disks until all fabrication marks are gone and thee disks are smooth enough to be worn as jewelry. For instructions on how to file and sand when making jewelry, see our tutorials How to Use a File for Jewelry Making and How to Use Sand Paper.

Step 5
Form the disks. We used a dapping set to dome the disks. See our tutorial How to Dome Metal for instructions.

Step 6
Cut seven inches of copper wire. Burn the end of the 20-gauge copper wire to create a head pin. See our tutorial How to Make a Ball Head Pin for further explanation. Place the formed copper head pin in a warm acid pickle bath (we used SPAREX) to remove oxidation caused by making the head pin. See our tutorial How to Make Pickle for further explanation.

Step 7
Rivet the pieces and form the ear wire. Feed the three copper disks onto the 20-gauge copper wire. We used the large copper disk as the back piece, a brass disk as the middle piece and the sterling silver disk as the front piece. This design gave a three color look but maximized the sterling silver.

Bend the 20-gauge copper wire up against the back of the copper disk. When the wire reaches the top of the disk, bend the wire around a mandrel to create a round ear wire. We used our favorite block as a mandrel, but we have also used a ring mandrel  and you can use a kitchen broom, a round chain leg or any other round item that is about the size you need for an earring as a mandrel. Continue to bend the wire around the mandrel and then down parallel to the disks until the wire is just below the disks. The length of the wire will help balance the earrings when worn so they set nicely.

Step 8
File the ends of the ear wires using a wire wire rounder  or your flex shaft with a cup burr. See our tutorial  How to Smooth Sharp Edges on Copper, Brass and Sterling Wire. 

Step 9
Harden the ear wire. Placed the completed ear wire onto a steel bench block  and hit the wire with a rawhide mallet  to harden the ear wire so it will stay as we shaped it when used and worn. If you do not have a steel bench block, you can use a steel anvil or your work table or bench. You can substitute almost any plastic mallet or hammer for a raw hide hammer, but a steel hammer may mark the wire when you harden the wire.

Step 10
Repeat to create the matching earring.

Blazer GB2001 Self-Igniting Butane Micro-Torch
Pickle Pot
Steel Ring Mandrel
Aluminum Ring Mandrel
Wire Rounder 
 Cup Burs 
Foredom AS012 6 Pack Professional Jewelers Bur Finishing Cup with 3/32" Shank and 1.20mm Outside Diameter 
Foredom AS014 6 Pack Professional Jewelers Bur Finishing Cup with 3/32" Shank and 1.40mm Outside Diameter 
Foredom AS016 6 Pack Professional Jewelers Bur Finishing Cup with 3/32" Shank and 1.60mm Outside Diameter
Wire Rounder Set With Pin Vise and 2 Cup Burs 

Day 8. Week 2. Jewelry from Found Objects.  $ spent: 0
New Jewelry a Day. Join the adventure.

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