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Basic Jewellery Making Techniques

 


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Drilling/Piercing

Place your metal on a steel block or anvil. Tap a centre punch with a mallet to create a small dimple in the section of metal that you want to remove. Place the metal on a piece of wood and drill a hole using the dimple as a guide.

Remove one end of the saw blade form the frame and slide it through the hole in the metal, then reinsert the blade into the frame and tighten. Saw out the inside section of the metal. Release one end of the blade from the frame so that you can remove the saw from the metal.

Patinating with Liver of Sulphur

Polish your piece before patinating (if you tumble-polish your piece after patinating, reserve the used shot for future patinated pieces as the liver of sulphur residue will contaminate the shot. ) Oil and dirt on the piece can affect the patina so make sure you clean the metal with degreasing soap before you patinate.

Prepare the liver of sulphur solution according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Dip the metal in the solution for a few seconds, then rinse the metal in cool water to stop the chemical reaction. For a darker patina continue to dip and rinse the metal. Use a brass brush with soapy water to remove or modify the patina. By varying the temperature and amount of water you use to make the solution you can achieve different colours of patina; experiment to find the result that you prefer.

Sawing

Select a saw blade that is the correct size for the thickness of metal that you are going to cut. To thread a saw blade insert the blade facing down and away from the handle into the top wing nut of the saw frame, then tighten the wing nut. Brace the handle in the hollow of your shoulder and apply pressure to the saw frame against the bench pin. Maintaining pressure insert the bottom of the blade into the wing nut closest to the handle and tighten the wing nut.

The blade should be taught and you should hear a high pitched ping when you pluck it with your thumbnail. If you get a dull sound reinstall the blade while putting pressure on the saw frame. Then lubricate the blade with beeswax.

When sawing, sit in an erect posture with the top of your workbench at upper chest level. Slouching or having your work too low causes back and wrist strain and leads to broken blades.

To saw, grip the saw frame loosely in your hand. Use long smooth motions, using as much of the blade as possible.

The blade will work best when it is perpendicular to the metal. Putting excessive pressure on the saw frame will make you work harder. Turn corners by sawing in place and turning the metal; trying to turn the saw will break the blade.

Michael Dennison is the Director of Jewellery Design for Hanfords of London. Since joining the company in early 2010 Michael has worked tirelessly in updating the Handmade Jewellery collection, whilst bringing new ideas and techniques to the manufacturing process. He is currently devoting a lot of time to the Company’s range of Handmade Necklaces which is constantly growing and improving. Hanfords of London as a company that also specialises in Chain Maille Jewellery , Handmade Rings, Handmade Pendants, Handmade Earrings, Handmade Bangles and Handmade Bracelets.

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