020 Podcast Cleaning your Files, Pin Vises, Jewelers For Children

JewelryMonk Podcast Episode 21

In this Episode I talk about Educating, Equipping, and Encouraging, The 3 E’s that keep me going

Our Featured Artist of the Week is Jewelers For Children. Here is a quick video highlighting some of their work. You can also check them out at www.jewelersforchildren.org

The Jewelry Tip of the Week is all about Cleaning Files. I described 2 ways I do this, and I made a quick video how I clean my needle files with a Crimped Wire Steel Cup Brush. Here is a link to the brushes, and a short video:

ALSO a FREE Downloadable CAD Volume to Metal Conversion Worksheet!

CLICK HERE

I also talked about my Cool Tool Pick of the Week, Pin Vises. Here are a couple of the ones I use, as well as a link to the same ones I use. They are pretty inexpensive, and well worth the price.

Single Ended Pin Vise

Double Ended Pin Vise

ALSO, I Talked About the A to Z Design to Finished Jewelry Video Course 

http://jewelrymonk-llc.thinkific.com/courses/AtoZ

The A to Z Design to Finished Jewelry Course is a 10 lesson, 22 video series that takes you through creation a piece of jewelry, from concept and drawing, all the way to the completed piece of reproducible jewelry. The videos cover, in real time, all the processes from transferring your design onto a wax blank, preparing and carving the wax. Casting that wax into silver, and cleaning up the silver into a model that will be molded. Injecting wax into the mold and casting those waxes into silver. Preparing those castings with tumbling media and polishing the castings. Finally, the piece will be set with a pear shaped stone in a prong/bezel setting, and the piece of jewelry will be final polished and cleaned, ready to ship. Link on the right side of this page, or above.

Plus lots more in the podcast……

Now, Let’s Make something Shiny, Together.

Doug

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FREE 3D Volume to Metal Conversion Worksheet

Little different content today, but I created this FREE WORKSHEET and wanted to share.

Have you ever created a 3D CAD file and wondered how much it would weigh in different metals?

For those of you who create or dabble in the digital world, I created a worksheet that converts 3D models (volume) into weights of different types of metal based on the metals specific gravity. Just enter the volume number from your 3D Program into the space associated with the metal you want, and it will magically give you your metal weight……. ok, more math than magic, but it is quick and easy.

CLICK HERE

For those of you who don’t know, I also have a website www.DougNapier.com, which is an extension of JewelryMonk.com that focuses on Providing CAD, Model Making, and Product Development to the Jewelry Manufacturing Community, as well as Consulting and Training Jewelers in a Manufacturing setting.

Between traveling a bit and focusing on building this site, that is where I have been for the past couple of months. I am not going anywhere, and will be back to creating more free content very soon…… oh, and will get back to more podcasts as well.

Thanks for stopping by, now go make something…….digital?

Doug

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Ring Sizing Tutorial with Free Quick Guide

“Excuse me, could you take a look at my infected toe… or my enlarged goiter.” These are the types of questions I assume I would get if I told someone I was a doctor. (I am not by the way)

Well, over time as a jeweler, you are going to be faced with the task of sizing a ring, either as a customer repair, or when your friends and family find out that you work with jewelry, and they will have certain projects you can’t say “No” to.

Sizing a ring down is intimidating enough as a beginning jeweler, but once you do it a few times, you realize it isn’t as hard as you once thought. Making a ring larger in size is a bit more scary, because you are actually adding a piece of shank, rather that cutting a piece out and soldering it back together.

Today I am going to try to alleviate your fears and walk you through the process of sizing a ring up by adding material to a ring. Hopefully, if you have never tried this, and turned projects away, this project will give you a bit of encouragement and courage to tackle this task…… and there is a FREE Downloadable Quick Guide at the end.


Ring Sizing Tutorial with Free Downloadable Quick Guide

The first thing I do before soldering on any jewelry is give it a good cleaning, either with an Ultrasonic Cleaner, or with an old tooth brush and hot soapy water. Most jewelry gathers all kinds of “gunk” in the underside, from lotions and perfumes, to food and dead skin. Yuck, I know, but this makes for some uncomfortable smells when heated.

In this example. I have chosen a gold ring with diamonds to demonstrate the task. This ring needs to be increased by 2 sizes. If you are unaware of the history of the ring, I would suggest checking to see if there are already solder joints in the shank. I do this by slowly heating the shank and looking for any discoloring lines in the shank. If you see this, it is a good sign that it has been sized before. This line is a good place to cut the ring. If there are no preexisting solder lines, then I would measure the thickness of the shank, and cut the ring at the thickest part of the shank. Another thing to check is to make sure you are not cutting across any trademark or karat stamps, These are important for the integrity of the ring.

I usually like to cut in the center of the bottom of the shank if possible, but again, every ring is different, so you will have to do some investigating to see where the best place to cut. In this example, I have chosen the center. I am using a saw blade size that is 3/0 Sawblades. This is my “utility blade” and the size saw blade I use for most jobs. After I cut the ring, I place it on the mandrel and pull it up to the size I need. I size it so that the leading edge of the ring just touches the size I am wanting. Some people debate where to size the ring on the Ring Mandrel, so the ring just touches the size? So that the center of the ring is on the line? I am of the opinion that if it just touches the line on the mandrel, that should be the size you are wanting, and if it is a little small, it can always be increased a little with a flat Chasing Hammer. It is always easier to increase a little than decrease a little, which requires cutting and soldering again.

After the ring is cut, I use an Equaling File, a file that has teeth on both sides parallel to one another, to make sure the inside of the cut is smooth and evenly parallel. This is important for a clean union, and will reduce soldering pits. I find a piece of shanking material, about the same width and thickness as the ring shank I am soldering to. Since I am increasing the size of this ring by 2 sizes, I will cut a piece of material 5mm long, which is 2.5mm per size increase. I make sure the ends of the piece of shank I am using are filed straight and flat. I insert the piece of shank into the ring. I use the tension from the ring to hold it in place. I am careful to line up the INSIDE of the piece to the ring on one side. I will solder this side first. I dip and swirl my ring in a mixture of Denatured Alcohol and Boric Acid Powder. I have this premixed at my bench in a small baby food jar. I use about 1.5 oz. (jar about ¾ full) to 1 tablespoon of Powdered Boric Acid. I mix this good before I dip my piece into it. Make sure the lid is on tight when done, or it will evaporate quickly. After I dip the piece, I let it air dry. This ensures there is a good coating or barrier of the boric acid on the piece during soldering. This is used to help prevent fire-scale on the piece while soldering.

While soldering, I use adjustable tweezers on a base called a Third Hand system. This elevates the piece and allows me to position the ring so I can solder it. I apply flux Handy Flux to the solder joint, both the top and bottom. I use a piece of solder, in this case, about 1mm wide and the length of the shank width. I heat the ring up until the flux bubbles, and once it quits bubbling, I add the solder to the top of the joint, The flux will hold it in place. I heat the ring from the inside of the shank, and “draw” the solder through the joint, to ensure the solder has completely filled the union of the two pieces. This is what is referred to as “Sweat Soldering”. Solder follows heat, so it will be drawn through the solder joint towards the flame.

Once I have this side soldered, I let it cool, use my Equaling File to ensure the next solder joint is flush and clean. I carefully line up the inside of the next solder joint, and repeat the process. I like to take extra care to line up the inside of the shanks, because it takes more time to file the inside of a shank to make it flush, than the outside. I use a Half-Round Ring File to remove any excess solder from the inside and smooth the solder joint. Then I use a sandpaper sanding drum to remove any scratches. I start with 400 grit, then 600 grit, and finish with 800 grit drums to give me a very smooth area. Once the piece is in shape, I place it on my mandrel to make sure it is nice and round, and it is the proper size.

I use a #4 Hand File on the outside of the shank to remove any excess metal and to blend the shank and the soldered in piece. I finish the outside of the surface with a file to blend the shanks together, and finish with sandpaper as well as the inside, and finish the job with a good polishing job. The smoother and less scratches there are on the surface before polishing, the easier and better the polishing will be and look great.


As Promised, I have created a FREE Downloadable Quick Guide for you to help remember the steps I used in this Tutorial:

I hope this helps you to have the courage to attempt the next sizing job you are a little afraid of attempting. As far as your friends infected toe or enlarged goiter……. Refer them to an expert.

Good Luck

Now Go Make Something Larger!

Doug

“Time Sensitive” Design Contest Details

JewelryMonk Design Contest


Have you ever had a jewelry design in your head, that you thought would be so cool, but were unsure how to get it from your head to a finished piece of jewelry? Well YOU ARE IN LUCK! …….really…….

Hey Everyone, Doug here.  I am so excited to start the 2nd JewelryMonk Design Contest! I had so much fun with the first one a few months back, that I am going to keep this going.

The first contest was all about wax carving, BUT THIS ONE IS ALL ABOUT SOLDERING AND METAL FABRICATION!  So here is what’s up with this Design Contest:

  • You design a silver piece of jewelry from the stones I suggest in the FREE Downloadable PDF
  • Keep in mind this is all about Metal Fabrication and Soldering
  • You have until March 31st, 2017, at Midnight to submit your design to Doug@JewelryMonk.com.
  • If You Win, You Get Design Created as a Finished Piece of Jewelry! FREE
  • If You Win, You ALSO Get a Model and a Mold so you can reproduce your design if you want. FREE
  • If You Win, You ALSO Get and a Video Series that shows you STEP-BY-STEP how the piece was created. FREE
    • Video Series will cover: Design – The Layout – Metal Fabrication and Cleanup – Rubber Mold Making – Wax Sizing – Casting the Production Piece – Grinding – Tumbling – Pre-Polishing – Stone Setting – and Final Polishing. The Theme of this video series will be Metal Fabrication and Soldering, using the winning design as an example.
  • Make sure to Subscribe, so you can follow along the process. I will be releasing videos and tips along the way!
  • Share with your friends…….

So here is what you do.

Click the Download button below and get the Design Rules, Stones, and all the Details.  After that, come up with a design and send it to me at Doug@JewelryMonk.com.

That Simple. My team and I will select 1 winner and announce it soon after the deadline of March 31st.

Now, don’t feel like you are not “Qualified” to submit a design. You do not have to be a jewelry designer to enter. If you can do a CAD drawing, a pencil sketch, or just a crayon sketch, that is all I need.  My career has been creating jewelry from designs, everything from complex computer designs, to “scratch paper and napkin designs”. I have an eye for this. We will not make our decision on the design sketch quality, but criteria set up by our team for this project. So this contest is for EVERYONE!

You have a little time, but not much!

Are you READY?  Together We Can Make the BEST Jewelry of Your LIFE!

See you in the Contest!

Doug

020 Podcast – JewelryMonk Design Contest Kickoff

JewelryMonk Podcast Episode 20

JewelryMonk Design Contest Kickoff

In this episode The Kickoff for the JewelryMonk’s 2nd Design Contest!

Your Mission…… If you choose to accept it:  

Download the PDF with Rules and Stone choices

click here —->>>  RULES AND INFORMATION <—- click here

  • Design a SILVER design around one of these stone.
  • You have until March 31st, 2017, at Midnight to submit your design to Doug@JewelryMonk.com.
  • My team and I will select 1 winner and announce it soon thereafter.  The winner will get their design created by myself.  During this process, I will create a video series of the whole process from:  Design – The Layout – Metal Fabrication and Cleanup – Rubber Mold Making – Wax Sizing – Casting the Production Piece – Grinding – Tumbling – Pre-Polishing – Stone Setting – and Final Polishing. The Theme of this video series will be Metal Fabrication and Soldering, using the winning design as an example.
  • I will make this video series, Focused on METAL FABRICATION AND SOLDERING available for purchase when it is finished, BUT the winner will receive the series for free.

BUT WAIT!!!! There’s More! (I have always wanted to say that….. sorry)

The winner will also receive the finished model, the mold, and the finished piece to own. This design and finished piece is theirs to do with whatever they want, it will be ready to go into production if they so desire.


ALSO, I introduced the A to Z Design to Finished Jewelry Video Course 

http://jewelrymonk-llc.thinkific.com/courses/AtoZ

  • The A to Z Design to Finished Jewelry Course is a 10 lesson, 22 video series that takes you through creation a piece of jewelry, from concept and drawing, all the way to the completed piece of reproducible jewelry. The videos cover, in real time, all the processes from transferring your design onto a wax blank, preparing and carving the wax. Casting that wax into silver, and cleaning up the silver into a model that will be molded. Injecting wax into the mold and casting those waxes into silver. Preparing those castings with tumbling media and polishing the castings. Finally, the piece will be set with a pear shaped stone in a prong/bezel setting, and the piece of jewelry will be final polished and cleaned, ready to ship.  (link below)

Featured Artist of this episode is www.BethBobbittDesigns.com

  • Hand Crafted Jewelry, Handcrafted for Unique Individuals

Jewelry Tip: has to do with Mineral Oil used with Polishing Compound


Cool Tool of the Week is a Degree Gauge:

Plus lots more in the podcast……

Now, Let’s Make something Shiny, Together.

Doug