Monday, December 6, 2010

Make a Neck-Ring from Copper Pipe

Before: Copper Pipe
Earlier we made a bangle bracelet from a copper pipe and we added a blue patina to made the bracelet colorful. For this project, we used copper pipe to make a striking, but
After: Copper Neck Ring by GeltDesig
simple neck-ring that looks great with a turtleneck and an open collar neckline.

Jewelers saw and saw blades
Bench pin and anvil 
Half-round file
220-grit wet/dry sandpaper 
400-grit, 600-grit, 800-grit, 1000-grit, 1500-grit
Necklace mandrel
Forming hammer, rawhide or plastic mallet
Renaissance Wax

Step 1
Determine the amount of material you need. Must neck-rings measure are about 16-inches long, but you may need a neck-ring that is larger of smaller depending on who will wear the jewelry.

Step 2
Cut the pipe. Coat the saw blade with beeswax to prevent the saw blade from slipping as you saw.  Use your jewelers saw and saw blades to cut the pipe. We used a size 2 jeweler's saw blade, but you may need to evaluate the pipe you use to determine the size blade you need. Steady the pipe on a bench pin and anvil as you cut. Some folks use a tube cutting jig to hold the pipe steady while you saw, but we did not use a jig since we found it more cumbersome when cutting from a long length of copper pipe.

Step 3
File the ends of the cut pipe with a half-round file to remove tool marks from sawing the pipe.

Step 4
Sand the ends of the pipe using 220-grit wet/dry sandpaper to remove tool marks caused when filing the pipe ends. Switch to 400-grit, 600-grit, 800-grit, 1000-grit and then 1500-grit, if needed, until the ends are very, very smooth. Remember: sharp ends are not comfortable to wear as jewelry-- especially around the neck.

Step 5
Bend the copper tubing around a necklace forming mandrel. Use a forming hammer, rawhide or plastic mallet to move the metal into shape, if needed.

Note: If you are having trouble bending the copper tube, then the copper pipe may be work hardened from cutting, filing and sawing. If the copper pipe is difficult to bend, anneal the pipe with your torch to soften the metal and make it easier to form. Pickle the copper pipe with Sparex another pickling compound in a crock-pot or pickle pot  to remove oxidation formed when annealing the copper pipe.

Step 6
Finish the necklace. Polish the neck-ring. Texture the neck-ring or patina the neck-ring to add color. Treat the neck-ring with Renaissance Wax to protect your finish and prevent tarnish.

Related Tutorials
Make a Bangle Bracelet from a Copper Pipe
How to Make a Copper Bead
How to Make a Copper Necklace
How to Use a Jewelry Saw
How to Use a File for Jewelry Making
How to Use Sand Paper
How to Anneal Metal for Jewelry Making
How to Make an Acid Pickle Bath

How to Use Alum as a Pickling Solution
How to Create a Scratch Finish in Your Art Jewelry
How to Buff and Polish Jewelry
How to Oxidize Silver Jewelry with Eggs
How to Use a Dremel to Make Jewelry
How to Create a Blue Patina on Copper 
All about Patina
How Use Renaissance Wax
GeltDesigns Tutorials by Topics  

Further Reading
Contemporary Copper Jewelry: Step-by-Step Techniques and Projects
Mixed Metals: Creating Contemporary Jewelry with Silver, Gold, Copper, Brass, and More
Copper Art Jewelry: A Different Luster
Complete Metalsmith: Professional Edition

Day 16. Week 3. Jewelry from Found Objects.  $ spent: 0
Found materials: copper pipe (for ice maker and refrigerator)
New Jewelry a Day.

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