Sunday, December 4, 2016

How to drill straight accurate hole in metal.


This jewelry tutorial video shows a trick of how to drill an accurate straight hole in metal. The more accurate your drilling the more neat the eventual gemstone setting will be.

With this drilling method it is important to drill short burst using your rotary hand piece and then rotating your ring clamp or the metal by a quarter ( 90 degrees). You continue short drills, turn the metal and drill again. This will correct any tendency of a drill wondering to the one side resulting in a skew hole.

This prong setting tutorials is a good example where accurately drilled holes are essential.

And this halo ring making tutorial is all about accurate drilling.


Click on the picture.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Further work on the Tricertops War Machine. Eyes and Head


I needed a kind of cats eye or maybe a reptile eye, so I take some borosilicate glass rod and melt the ends into a bulb of about 10 mm.

Like this


I cut the dome off with a diamond saw

Then I flatten the bottom on a diamond lap and polish it.
Polishing it is easy because all that has to be done is to use a buff stick with 280 grit, then 1200 grit and then polishing paper and it's done.

Then I cut a marquise shape using the edge of a setting burr.
Then the marquise shape is filled with black enamel .
I have also used a permanent marker and that also works fine.

Then I drag a 180 grit buff stick at 90 ° to the cat pupil.
This gives a cats eye effect when the glass is glued on.

In this case I soldered a 3 mm thread onto the back first.

Then I glued the tops on, effectively making a doublet cabochon.

Done, ready for the next step.


Then I made the eye background and the front canines.

I made then out of stainless steel and I am going to set them in the silver tubes.


I didn't like the jaw line so I cut it off and re made the bottom part.

I also made some silver test teeth and I also don't really like them.

Fussy aren't I?


Working out where the jaw actuators are going to go.



Actually, the top of the actuators are the part where the reins of the Alien Rider are going to attach--still some serious work before that, though.


Some front nose work and new teeth.

I like the 'ragged tooth shark' look the teeth gives it.

I will probably add some more teeth in.


Now comes the copper cladding, and armor.

When this machine is ridden out to fight against the insects, this armor will be crucial against insect stings and the like.


Here we are now--about 80% finished.

Now to start the body and legs.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Laminating an Aquamarine and Amethyst



The finished product.


gemstone-lamination-aquamarine-amethyst -rough

First I select the material.

A piece of Brazilian amethyst and a piece of Zimbabwean aquamarine.


Then I carve them into two shapes that are mirror images.

I only concentrate on the inner curves at first.


Normally if I have to set an expensive emerald or some other delicate stone I use a spray powder called seat check.

You fit the stone and the muti shows where the stone is still touching.

It also works well for gem carving.

As can be seen on the left side piece, the powder discolours where it touches, so that where you grind material off.


High tech clamp.

I use HXTAL resin to laminate the two sides together.

I takes five days to harden.

I put masking tape on the clamp because if the resin comes into direct contact with the stone, it breaks the stone before it releases.


I also weaken the clamp by annealing the back part so that it holds the two pieces more gently.



Once the resin is hard the stone is ready for pre forming.



The resin ground off.

Now I dop the stone and cut it on my Imahashi gem cutting machine.
I was going to cut this stone into an oval, because an oval reflects light in a bow tie shape along a center spine.

I thought that the 'bow tie' would change colour as it ran down the center.
But the amethyst developed a surface crack, so I had to make it's shape round.

With round, there comes a more even reflection of light which is not really what I wanted.

No matter, you go with the flow.


This picture was taken under an incandescent light.

I was cutting on copper with 7000 grit.

I clearly shows the different cutting surfaces between quartz and beryl.

The polishing rate is nearly the same, with the quartz lagging a bit behind.

I use a Batt lap with 50,000 diamond grit for polishing.



View from the back of the gemstone.


The stone came out at 10 mm in diameter and 3.6 carats in weight.

On my tutorial website I have a downloadable PDF here.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Triceratops Project



I stared a new project tentatively called the Triceratops machine

I base the idea on the original model made some 68 million year ago.

Hans Meevis source model

This is a skeleton in the Los Angeles Natural History Museum.

ceratops -sculpture-20160818-hans-meevis-

Normally, when I make a sculpture, I kind of build everything all equal.

In otherwords I build all components all together until they are all completed at the same time.

This time I am going to change my approach and build the head first, up to about 90% and then start of the body and then the legs.

I drew out a design and cut it out of 1 mm plate.

ceratops -sculpture-20160818-head

Then I soldered the various components plates together


ceratops -sculpture-20160818-head-1


Then I changed my mind and I cut the spike off and put a 3 mm plate on top


ceratops -sculpture-20160818-head-2

Then I made a stainless steel central spike and some horn/spikes on top of the head.

I drew the eye out.

In any sculpture I have ever made, the eye is always the most difficult.

It can seriously fuck a piece up if it is wrong.

Next is making the eye

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Dragonfly Fighter is finished.



I decided to fire colour my wings.

So I make a fire and then heat the wing red hot and quench them into a bucket of cold water.

It takes many attempts until nice pattern is achieved.



Once the wings have a cool pattern on,they have to be carefully flattened so as not to damage the surface.


Fitting them to the thorax, which is next in line for finishing.


Here is one of the finished wings with the power and stabilizer rods attached.


Another view of the wing.


Pretty much everything finished except the cabin.


The front chest guard is fitted and now the cockpit has to be taken apart and finished.


There were quite a lot of spikes and screws that I turned out on my lathe.


My bench as I re assemble the cabin.

Not shown is the liter bottle of liquid patience that is needed.



This was by far the most difficult component of the Dragonfly fighter that I made.

Over 95 hours of time spent on it.


The view of the alien pilot when he looks upwards.


The tail is completely finished.


Completely finished.


I assembled my photo tent in the workshop for the photography .




The Video.