Archive | Metal Working

More Texturing Talk, How to Texture with a Flat Graver

Yesterday I showed a texturing process with a small 0.5mm Ball Bur and it got me excited about texturing and contrasting looks in silver, so I will show another texturing procedure today that you might just fall in love with, I know it is one of my favorite ways to add texture to a piece, and in the right instance, it looks amazing. I call it “Walking a Flat Graver”.

Texturing2 Header

I have a Silver Hoop Earring that is smooth, with a separating line on each side, which makes a great border for segmenting the piece. Let’s see if we can “jazz” this up.

Texturing2 (1)

In this instance, I am going to be using a #45 Flat Graver to add the finish, you can use smaller or larger blades according to the width of the piece you are working with.

Texturing2 (2)

I am going to polish the edge of the blade so it will leave a little more of a “shiny” texture. If you want a “duller” finish, you can skip this process. Take a piece of Yellow Rouge and rub it on a piece of scratch paper. This will leave a thin layer of rouge on the paper and we will use this to polish the graver. Polish the graver by rubbing the graver as flat as possible on the rouge covered paper.

Texturing2 (2b)

Texturing2 (3) Texturing2 (4)

Once the graver is polished, take the piece that you are going to be adding the texture to and support it somehow. With this piece, I can hold it with my fingers, but if it is smaller, you can hold it with Dop Wax, or with Jett Sett. Next take the graver and place the edge of the graver along the bordered edge. Start to “Walk” the blade back and forth, lightly cutting into the silver and rotating the blade from one end of the blade to the other, at the same time, moving forward. After you make one “pass” with the blade, repeat the same process, overlapping the first cuts, so they blend together.

Texturing2 (5) Texturing2 (6)

Texturing2 (7) Texturing2 (8)

Repeat going over the area until you are happy with how it all blends together, being very careful not to accidently touch the edge of the blade past the border. This texture is a great contrast with smooth, polished areas.

Texturing2 (10) Texturing2 (11)

There you have it, one more way to texture your pieces, this way takes a little practice, but once you get the hang of it, you will enjoy the process and the look. Go find some scrap pieces and practice, and if you make something cool, go ahead and post it on the JewelryMonk facebook page.

If you like this site and info, feel free to share it with your jewelry friends, the more, the merrier. Also if you want these posts to be emailed to you daily, sign up in the upper right hand corner of this site. (Subscribe to Blog via Email)

Thanks again for joining me on this journey, now get out there and “rough something up”…..


Giving Your Jewelry a Contrasting Textured Look

I was working on a piece a couple of days ago and I just wasn’t happy with the piece and how it was looking. When I finally realized what it was, just too “bland” looking, I knew just the recipe for it, CONTRAST!

Textured Header

I have mentioned it before, but I am a huge fan of “contrasts”. Contrasting colors, contrasting textures, and contrasts in life. I was getting ready to polish this earring and I knew exactly what was missing. I have showed a texturing process before in Day 22 and Day 23 about “Contrasting Textures”. In this instance I was using an Electric Engraver with a modified bit and a diamond bit. Today I will be using a 0.5mm Ball Bur (005) and my Foredom Flex Shaft.

Textured (1)

First I use a Foredom and a small 0.5mm Ball Bur to add a dimple texture to the “borders” of the piece. Be very careful and slow in this part, since if you slip, you will mark the area you want polished.

Textured (2)

Once you have the outline of the area textured, you can start filling in the area you want textured. I try to overlap the “dimples” made so there is no “un-textured” shiny areas. Start at one corner and just continue texturing, making sure you use a good amount of Bur Lubricant, I use Pro-Cut for this.

Textured (3) Textured (4)

If you have been around for a while, you will remember on Day 38, I did a tutorial on “How to Make Round Beads or Balls in Silver”. Well, I am resurrecting one of these pieces, adding a silver loop to it, and hanging this piece from it….. and you thought I was making beads for fun.

Textured (5)

There you go, another step in the jewelry making journey, I hope you are enjoying the ride. By the way, if you are looking for something in particular as far as a tip, in the upper right hand corner of this site ( is a search bar, type in any word, and it will “magically” take you to any article that mentions that word. Hope that helps.

Now go dazzle someone with your abilities and talent.

Take Care


How to Make a Nugget Pendant With Recycled Silver

A lot of the things I have learned, I figured out by trial and error. A while back I wanted a “Nuggety” looking pendant, so I experimented and here is what I came up with.


Here is a fun little project if you have a few pieces of silver scrap and a torch. Start with a few pieces of random scrap pieces and bunch them up in a pile. Add a little Handy Flux to the top and when it heats up, the flux will coat all the pieces. Here I start to melt all the pieces with my Mini Torch slowly, careful not to melt them into a “ball”, but just soft enough to make it malleable, like butter.

photo (1) photo (2)

photo (3) photo (4)

Once I have the pieces melted into one piece, I reheat the silver with the torch and use a Titanium Soldering Pick to spread the metal around and add texture. Again, heat the silver up just to the point being soft. It is amazing how moldable the silver is at just the right temperature. keep playing with it until you get the look you want. After you are satisfied, place the silver in a pickling solution, I use Sparex.

photo (5)

In this instance, I made a silver circle out of rectangle stock. I made the inside of the circle the same size as the circumference of the silver “nugget”. Solder the nugget inside of the circle., and on this piece I also soldered a silver loop on top of pendant. I filed a flat spot on the loop first to make better contact.

photo (6) photo (7)

photo (8) photo (9)

After the piece is all soldered together, I soak it in Sparex for a while to remove most of the firescale, then I tumble it in a Magnetic Tumbler for about 30 minutes.

photo (13)

There you have it, a fun little project made with completely recycled silver and imagination. Come back and we will shine this up, and maybe even add a stone to it.

Thanks for stopping by and hanging out with me today, I hope you are enjoying the journey.

Now go do something fun, and great, and motivating.


How to Use a Split Mandrel

After a long weekend of resting, relaxing, and racing, (sorry, it is my other hobby) I am back at the bench and bringing you a few little morsels of jewelry making goodness.

Mini Sanders Header 1

Over the weekend, I had a comment/question from a reader who was having issues with the split mandrels I posted about on July 9th  She asked:

“I bought a couple of split mandrels for my dremel for this purpose. I really want to use them but I must be doing something wrong because the paper flies out of them a high speed. I then sticky taped the paper to the mandrel but the length of it flaps around like crazy. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks Ange”

Well Ange, let’s take a little closer look at “Split Mandrels” and how to modify them to work for us.

First, whether you are purchasing or making your split mandrels, make sure the sandpaper you are putting in the mandrel is the same width as the “cut” in the mandrel. You can do this by lining up the cut in the mandrel on the paper, mark it, and cut the paper. The length of the paper can be modified to your liking.

photo (1) photo (2)

photo (3) photo (4)

When adding the Sandpaper to the mandrel, if the paper doesn’t fit into the mandrel tight, it will come out easily when rotating. You can either fold the paper in half to make it thicker, therefore making it fit more snuggly, or you can squeeze the ends of the mandrel together to make it pinch the paper better. Both ways work good, the purpose is to hold the paper tight so it doesn’t slip out.

photo (5) photo (6)

photo (7) photo (8)

I hope this helps and as always, thanks for stopping by.

Now go take on your day!


Day 58 Building a Fancy Rectangle Stone Bezel

Over the past few days, I have been putting together a bunch of pieces and parts and I bet you are wondering “What in the world is that JewelryMonk doing?” Well today I am going to try to get a little closer and by the end of this post, you might be a little closer to figuring out where I am taking you on this journey.

Rectangle Setting Header

The ring shank I am going to be using is a size 10, so I will scribe a mark on the underside of the bezel I have built at a size 10. I now file using a #2 Hand Ring File to take most of the bulk off and a #4 Hand Ring File to get close to the scribed line.

Rectangle Setting (1)

Rectangle Setting (2) Rectangle Setting (3)

Next I am going to use the “square-holed grid I built yesterday. I want the grid pattern to be at a 45 degree angle, so I place it on my Stepped Ring Mandrel and tap it with a Small Plastic Tipped Hammer to get it into shape. I will sand the surface with 600 Grit Sandpaper so I can lightly scribe a line on the grid and better see the mark. I cut the grid with my Saw Frame, using a 3/0 Saw Blade.

Rectangle Setting (4) Rectangle Setting (5)

Rectangle Setting (6) Rectangle Setting (7)

Rectangle Setting (8) Rectangle Setting (9)

Now I take the stone base I built a few days ago and place it inside the rectangle bezel I built at the same time. The base fits firmly inside, so I place the stone in place so I can mark the height I want the stone to sit at. I can now solder the base into place.

Rectangle Setting (10) Rectangle Setting (11)

Rectangle Setting (13) Rectangle Setting (14)

Once soldered, I mark the inside of the base with my Dividers at about 1.25mm because I want to cut away the majority of the base, only using the outside rim of the base. I drill holes on the inside of each corner and place the saw blade into the hole so I can cut along the inside of the scribed line. I clean up the cuts with a #4 Barrette Needle File and a #6 Square Needle File.

Rectangle Setting (15) Rectangle Setting (16)

Rectangle Setting (17) Rectangle Setting (18)

Last I prepare to solder the grid shaped plate to the underside of the bezel. I take extra care to slowly trim the edges of the grid and line this up so it fits snuggly into the bezel. Once it fits inside, I solder just one contact point. After one contact point is soldered, it holds the plate into place and I can adjust the rest of the contact points, and I solder them. Be careful not to use too much solder. I must mention again that solder follows heat, so you want to direct the flame (not too hot) at the thicker part of the piece, which is the bezel. If you try and heat the solder, it will flow into the grid pattern and you will have extra cleanup.

Rectangle Setting (19) Rectangle Setting (20)

Now you can get an idea of what I am putting together. Come on back tomorrow and we will see if we can finish this piece.

Rectangle Setting (21) Rectangle Setting (22)

Again, thanks for stopping by, and if you find value in this content, or if you like to keep up to date on the eBook, tutorials, podcast, and video lessons coming soon, make sure to Subscribe to this Blog Via Email (link in the upper right corner at

Now, go dazzle someone with your awesome talent!