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.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Further Dragonfly Fighter.



I re worked the fittings where the legs are attached and then I made some boots for them with six arms.


I bent the boots into a sort of jelly fish form, simply because I like the shape.



I also re worked the eyes.

I was going to use a 5 mm gemstone as the iris, but I decided I didn't like it.

So I got my lamp working glass rods out and melted two glass cabochon shapes.

The glass rods come in many colours, and after making cabochons of six or so different colours, I decided that burnt orange was the 'meanest' colour of them all.


Then I re did the titanium background and made two cups that hold the glass eye and screw into the head.

That holds the silver surround and titanium background all together.


And speaking of the head, I started to get to the final assembly of the grub interface antennae.

So first I polish everything and then once it it bright and clean, I stabilize the metal with a sealer.

Then everything is reassembled.


Like this.

Check out the teeth I added.

This is because the Dragonfly Fighter falls into the Odonata order, which is an order of carnivorous insects, encompassing the dragonflies (Anisoptera), and they have teeth on their mandibles.


The Dragonfly Fighter carries with it a set of expendable reconnaissance/attack grubs.

Basically, these are grubs that are attached to the body segments, and when the fighter flies over a war zone, or lands into a hot zone, they can be released to supply intel to the fighter pilot.

As soon a one is released, another starts forming on the tail segment.


The two grubs of the first tail section ready to be installed.


The components of the grubs.

Parts are the eyes, the antennae/fighting spike and the stabilizer screws.


The rough installation of the grubs in the first tail segment.

The first set of grubs can also be used for attack and defense purposes.

The smaller four grubs are used only to gather intel for the pilot.


All three tail segment fitted with recon grubs.



This is the basic tail with the stabilizers not yet finished off.

Now I am going to start on the wings.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

More Dragonfly Fighter.



I get emails from time to time, saying that they don't like me putting guns on my sculptures.


I made two five barreled Gatling guns.

Then I cut out two mounting brackets out of titanium with my piercing saw.



The basic shape.

The bottom part will be filed round and tapped  with a 3 mm tap.


The rough titanium with filed bevels.

I discarded the brass round part.





Then I made the power feed at the back. That is stainless steel wire made into a coil and then copper wire is inserted inside to give it strength.


All I got to do now is polish everything and then heat blue the titanium.


As the picture says.



The finished guns.


Now I wanted to finish the pilot and the cock pit.

So I started on the as yet unfinished pilots chair.

The actual stand , seat base and back are soldered as one piece.

Then all the other components are riveted together after it they are polished.


Finished and riveted.



Then I stared to work seriously on the pilot and cock pit.

I added some extra ribs , made him some upper arm bangles and finger rings and made him much more spiky.


Check out his rings.



Rings on the other hand/claw.


A bangle and upper arm lock pin.


Machine gun firing lever.


Yaw and weave control lever.

The bottom is a free swinging vertical pendulum.


Power and flight control levers.

The engraved symbols are in alien language.



The joy stick close up.



His unfinished head.


The finished head.


Some blued titanium pads for his shoulders.

Still have to seat the collar.


Pilot and cockpit interior finished.

Now for the actual cockpit housing.


All the housing is already made, so that meant I had to take it all apart and polish everything.

It is very delicate when it is apart so the potential for something to go wrong was big.

I made a lot of spiky screwy things.


My workbench as I am assembling everything.


After everything has been polished.

All in all about a hundred components.



The cockpit with the pilot inside.


So now I just have to blue all the spikes and then put it all together.

Next I am starting on the body.