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Old 08-29-2008, 06:42 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 1,656
Default Re: Multi-Dimensional Sterling Bracelet

Alright I'm back!! Thanks to those for their concern and prayers ... Dad's doin' great after bypass surgery and we can eat all that beloved fried grease together again!! Praise the Lord!!

It's been difficult to get back the momentum and I had to clear a path to my desk and get a bunch of stuff finished. There will be a lot of info thrown at you in a short time so first I am going to get into the Western bright cut portion of this project ... in particular ... the tools and tool preparation.

Two sources of self study have been crucial in teaching myself this style: 1 Cowboy Engraving video by Jeremiah Watts and FEGA Newsletter issue # 76 with a great article by Diane Scalese.

I always stressed the importance of joining FEGA because of the Biblical amount of info in that newsletter. Back issues are available but I think individual articles should also be available if the back issue is forever sold out. Pester them!! The J. Watt engraving video is available from GRS. As a side note/disclaimer ... I will buy my study materials from whomever simply because I want to get the job done and I want to learn as quickly as possible. As you know, I'm using a GRS Gravermax. It has served me pretty well but I believe Steve has the best handpiece going and that's why I'm here in this contest. I may make reference to study resources and tools from competitive operations but it doesn't mean I'm shilling for one corporate interest or the other. Seriously ... who cares ... let's just git-r-dun. As for the J. Watt video ... get the DVD if it is available. I bought the VHS cause that all there was. I digitized it to the computer and took out all the commercials and B.S. There's only 13 minutes of actual cutting in the video but along with the sharpening it illustrates, it has paid me back 100 fold.

For this project I will use the most common tools ...



1. A #38 flat for wriggle cutting backbone. This is sharpened with a 40 degree face and a long (1/32") 15 degree heel. Both faces are polished on a porcelain wheel with diamond spray.

2. A #45 flat for the bright cutting. This has a 37.5 degree face and a long (1/16") heel. Both faces are polished on the porcelain wheel with diamond spray then the heel and face are polished again with Norton 4/0 paper to remove any grooves (scratches or facets) that run the length of the tip from grinding. Believe it or not ... the porcelain wheel ain't fine enough to get these out. I bought several sheets from Contenti a couple years ago and it has lasted quite awhile.



The graver is lightly moved from side to side across the paper (the more worn the better) until all sharpening "lines" polished out. This will produce the smoothest and brightest cut in the silver. This is a very important step and one you do not want to leave out. The quality of your work is reflected in the quality of your cut .. (nopunintended).



Finally ... the liners that I will be using ....

3. A 14-6 for small scroll

4. A 18-10 for larger scroll

These can be purchased curved or you can heat them and bend them in a jig. This helps you move around the silver without damaging other areas of the work.

For sharpening these....



Give these a 40 or 45 degree face then round them by "rolling" the face over a fine stone or wheel. Then polish them on the 4/0 paper. Upside down, the tip of the liner should be rounded. This lets you "roll" the liner when cutting to taper the shading lines. Be careful not to dull the sharp points of the lines of the liner .... when done ... pull the liner over a piece of leather to remove any burr from the cutting tip.

I've also taken the time to polish the silver blanks. I'll work out any scratches up to 2000 grit. I think the least amount of time against the buffing machine is always a good thing. I'll get a mirror shine without any small pulls (or holes).

I'll work on a simple design for our Argentium (bottom) piece. Something that will emit the most amount of reflection through the top cutout scroll without being too complex/confusing to cut.

We will wriggle cut the backbone, cut the belly and cap of each leaf cut, then shade with the liners and trim our leaves with the end cuts. Tons o' fun!!

I should be able to cut this tomorrow as all is prepared ... tools sharpened etc.

Catch ya later,

Chris