Brass keyring

May 22, 2008

MATERIALS: brass sheet, brass wire, split ring

TECHNIQUES: piercing, sawing, filing, sanding, soldering (making a chain!)

TOOLS: letter template, double-sided tape, saw and blades (size 2), counterpunch, drill, flat file, needle files, wet and dry paper, rod for forming chain links, soldering tools, barrel polisher

PROCESS:

  1. Use double sided tape to stick the letter template onto the brass.
  2. Counterpunch and then use a drill to pierce any compartments where you will need to gain access with the saw.
  3. Thread the saw through a pierced hole and saw along the edge of the template. Repeat with all of the other compartments and then saw around the outside of the template.
  4. File and sand the edges of the design.
  5. Form numerous jump rings by winding brass wire around a rod (the result is a ‘spring’) and then cut through the spring with a saw.
  6. Align the ends of a jump ring (use pliers to create tension) and Solder using a small piece of silver hard solder. Do the same with another jump ring. Link the soldered rings to a third jump ring and solder this shut using silver medium solder.
  7. Bend a short and thick piece of brass wire (to make a loop at the top of the keyring). File so that the wire ends fit snugly against the edge of the keyring. Solder on using fairly large pieces of silver hard solder. Connect the chain to the loop using a final jump ring, soldered using silver easy solder.
  8. If pickling gives the keyring a copper plating this can be removed using a soft brush, detergent and pumice and/or steel wool.
  9. Barrel polish and attach a split ring to the free end of the chain.

LESSONS LEARNED:

  • It will take a lot of practice to get sawing technique correct.
  • Make sure you have plenty of saw blades handy as they break often, especially when inexperienced.
  • Size 2 is a good blade size for many sawing jobs.

IF I HAD MORE TIME: I would have taken more care when sawing and spent more time filing and sanding away teeth marks around the edges.

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