Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I cut out the shape of my vase on the band saw. It's pretty rough, so I still have to do a lot of filing, and trim some parts with a jewelers saw.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

done drilling

I finished drilling my holes tonight. There are 975 holes total. 976 if you include the one I drilled in the wrong spot. It didn't really take that long, and I only broke 4 drill bits.

These holes mark the beginning and end of the lines I will pierce in the piece. The holes going across the middle of each section are where I will be making the folds. The holes look bigger in the picture because of the light shining through them, but they are all 0.7mm.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

drilling holes

I worked on my copper vase tonight. It was the first time I have worked on it since my last post. I started drilling holes for the piercing. I got off to a real bad start, within the first 10 holes I had drilled one in the wrong spot and broken 2 drill bits, and I have to drill over 800 holes. I will fix the hole I put in the wrong spot by putting a flush copper rivet in it. As for the broken drill bits I thought about using a larger size, like #60 or #68, but I only have a couple of them. I had planned on using #70, and had bought about a dozen bits at the same time I got the deeper saw frame. I hadn't been lubricating the drill bit before every hole, so I tried it lubricating the bit before every hole and that made all the difference, I drilled over 300 holes with the same drill bit and then stopped for the night.

I was working at my 2nd bench because it is mostly empty and better suited for working on such a large piece of metal. It is next to my soldering area, and I noticed I had left my pickle pot plugged in. I don't do a lot of soldering, I think the last time I soldered was when I sized a ring about 2 weeks ago. So I guess my pickle pot had been plugged in and left unattended for about 2 weeks.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Layout is finished

The layout is finished on my copper thing. Now, after I cut out the shape, I have to pierce about 400 lines. That's a little bit more work that I had planned when I was designing the piece, and I am wishing I hadn't added up the actual amount of work I will need to do. It's easier to just know I have to do "a lot" of piercing, and add it all up once its finished. I also don't have that much confidence in the design that I wanted to do that much work. But its too late now.

Monday, April 14, 2008

new saw frame

Friday I got a new saw frame for the copper vase I am making. This saw frame is 11" deep. It's the deepest saw frame I could find. I have always wanted one of these.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


This is the 24" x 24" sheet of 18 ga. copper I will use. I love big sheets of metal like this. Too bad its not silver.

This is after most of the layout had been done except for the piercing I will do on the sides of the piece. The black lines are just to make it easier for me to see the shape while I finish the layout. When I start cutting I will follow lines scribed in the metal.

In this photo I am laying out the lines I will cut in the sides of the piece. They are all parallel to each other. I have super glued the 12" ruler to the metal so I can put the square against it and scribe the lines more easily.

A close up showing the lines I was scribing in the previous photo.

All this layout has taken 2 days so far, not full days, but long enough each day that I had to stop working on it cause I was getting tired of doing it. I have to finish scribing all those parallel lines on the other 4 sections. 72 lines on each. I am looking forward to finishing this layout and getting started cutting.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

new piece

I wanted to do some kind of piercing on the piece, it's boring if its just plain. I decided to cut it like the first one of these folded boxes I did in 2005. I make all the cuts then push some out and push others in.

This is the general idea:

It is going to take a long time to do so much cutting, but I think it will be cool. I also need to order a big saw frame.

starting another piece

I started another new piece today. I am not sure how many I have going right now. I try to excuse these work habits by saying that I may not be finishing anything now, but later on I will finish several pieces all around the same time. Sometimes it works like that, sometimes it doesn't.

I am starting this new piece because lately I am sick of the work I have been doing. I just need a break from the aluminum. I need to do something totally different.

What I am making is another folded vessel form. I have made some of these before, here is an example, this one is in the 500 Metal Vessels book:

These are cut out of a single sheet of metal and folded. The ones I made before were smaller. The one pictured above was cut from a 12" x 12" piece of metal. The one I am working on now will be cut from a 24" x 24" piece of copper.

I think I have finalized the design tonight. Tomorrow before I start laying out the design on metal I will look it over once more and make sure I am satisfied with it. I went with the design on the left.

This is the shape of each piece.

This is pretty much what I will be cutting out of the metal. This is not the design I am making, but it is very close to the one I will make. The only difference is the location of 2 folds, and this model is slightly wider in one dimension.

Friday, April 4, 2008

planishing stake

My friend Colin Mc Donald gave me two railroad spikes to make into spoon stakes some time last summer cause I needed one for a spoon I am making. Tonight I finally got around to making one. It didn't take long at all. Maybe 30-40 minutes. I ground the rough form on a bench grinder, then sanded it on a belt sander with 50 grit, 240 grit, 600 grit, then a cork belt with green rouge, and finished with a buffing wheel with green rouge. It turned out better than I expected.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

My bench

I took this photo of my bench yesterday, and uploaded it to Flickr, it seems people think the mess on my bench is pretty bad.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I haven't worked much on the new brooch since my last post about it. I need to design and carve the back of it, anodize it, and make the pinback. I am kind of stuck with the design for the back. I want to do something different from the front, but not totally different, and not something that is going to take longer to carve than the front.

I will be in a show at Taboo Studio in San Diego in August. I have started working on a couple pieces for that already. I do not want to wait till the last minute like I usually do with these things.