January 1st, 2008

anvil, ring

Happy New Year!

I had a nice day in the studio today, mostly soldering. I even did more hot work on the piece that exploded! and have no additional explosions to report, thank goodness.

And I have (mostly) been very good indeed about wearing goggles for soldering. I have even been wearing my dark goggles, which protect they eyes from IR rays. Yay for virtue. I am still not a fan of wearing goggles, but I am more aware of their importance after the BAM!

So, today was a Soldering Day. I made progress on getting the setting properly soldered onto the spiculum, though it needs another pass. Sigh. (And then the mending and the findings...)

I got several tiny double spirals fused onto my Viking bead bits. I also braved (expensive) disaster and opened my vial of purchased argentium granules, and decanted some into a smaller tin for use on the other Viking bead. Out of interest, I weighed them, and the tin's got about $9 worth in it; I'm hoping that'll about do it for that bead, but could be wildly wrong. (FYI, I love the small "watchmaker's" tins from Lee Valley for granule-storage; the lids fit tightly enough that the granules don't get stuck between lid and vessel, and the clear tops mean I can label them easily. Plus you can get 10 small tins that fit neatly into a larger tin, which is fabulous for storing a range of sizes.)

And I worked on my first Russian filigree piece! I'm making my own version of the first project on the video, and now have the basic structural filigree pieces in. Since I don't yet have any of the special solder, I'm using tiny chips of medium, and that's working OK. (I tried hard for the first one, and a delicate tendril melted despite my care. Phooey.) I'm also designing somewhat (ahem) more ambitious projects, but I'll wait until I've finished this one to start any of them. Yes. Probably. I suppose. :)

And, in the non-soldering area, I've got the January thimble polished now, and ready for the garnet to be set. I may even have it done while it's still January! (Actually- yes I will. It's a priority at the moment.)

Plus I set another 2mm sapphire in my current "eternity-style" ring. It's going OK.
anvil, ring

Russian filigree solder

It seems that there is an outfit that makes the solder formulation recommended in Lansford's video for Russian filigree. I don't know that this is a Deep Dark Secret- but I don't know that it's not, either. So if you have the video and are intrigued, you can find the info on the Forum on her site- or email me, and I'll send it to you.

This is in ingot, not powder, form, sadly, but that's still a great improvement over the formula itself. I was not planning on doing anything that involved melting zinc until it was comfy to do it outside. Zinc fumes are NOT something one should breathe! It'll be a nuisance to file the ingot into powder, but not toxic like melting zinc.
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