10 votes
Accepted

How to create a metal ring?

What do you need? You can make rings out of all metal that can be bent by hand and all that can be hammered into shape. Wire comes in many sizes. Unless you have a hobby involving metal wire, you will ...
  • 2,536
10 votes
Accepted

How can I smoothly flatten select parts of a wire design?

The flat parts of the wire are achieved by using a curved face chasing hammer and a hammering block. The chasing hammer has a slightly convex surface that makes those nice smooth transitions from the ...
  • 551
9 votes

Building closed loops with springy wire

What you are looking for is called spring steel or spring-tempered wire. Tempering is a process where the wire is hardened by heating which allows the resulting spring steel to return to its original ...
9 votes
Accepted

Blackening steel with oil vs. vinegar - and others?

Treating with vinegar (or other acids) tends to form a dark grey patina, depending on how it is applied it can also also show variations in shade. More viscous things like mustard and tomato sauce can ...
  • 1,919
8 votes

Embedding a neodymium magnet inside a forged/melted aluminum enclosure

The melting temperature of a magnet is irrelevant because it loses it's magnetation long before melting. Have a look at this site and you'll see that the maximum working temperature of neodymium ...
  • 9,515
7 votes
Accepted

Building closed loops with springy wire

You could also use bicycle brake-cable wire— it's very bendy, tough, and virtually impossible to permanently fold. If you know any bikers, they might have old brake cables you could get for free. ...
  • 535
7 votes
Accepted

Beginner Question: How would I cut this shape out of 6061 Aluminum?

Don't overestimate the difficulty involved in filing aluminum. One can nearly sculpt aluminum into any shape in a very short time, using a sharp file and a file card. It is even practical to use only ...
  • 6,588
6 votes

Pliers for chainmail that don't scratch the the rings

In addition to your own answer: Jewelers (and most chain mail workers that I know, including myself) use a type of pliers called "chain nose pliers." I don't really know why they have that ...
  • 1,556
6 votes
Accepted

How to Bend Metal Rod to Make a Perch

Bend it around something like steel pipe ( a mandrel).Clamp one end of the rod and the pipe in a vice and pull or push the rod around ; you can use a hammer It does require a sturdy vice. After the ...
  • 1,113
6 votes

How Can I Create the Metal Comb of a Music Box?

In order for the "tines" on your comb to ring brightly, you must begin with spring steel. You may use a flat piece of steel and cut the teeth into it or use a long length of quality steel ...
6 votes

Is there a tool that will make a rounded cut in flat metal wire?

As you're only working in thin aluminium, I suggest a gouge chisel. It will need sharpening fairly often (a diamond file is probably easiest) to go through easily but should do a good job. Use ...
  • 5,228
5 votes
Accepted

Why are longer sheet metal screws snapping on installation?

Torsion strain exceeding screw strength. It's likely that 3" of wood is creating some friction, even though your pilot hole is nominally larger in diameter. You might try a 3/16"ø pilot hole and see ...
  • 331
5 votes
Accepted

Is there a cheaper alternative to aluminum wire for armatures?

A couple of alternatives. Firstly, cheap and cheerful, use metal clothes hangers (normally given free from the dry cleaners). However, this would only offer you a limited range of gauges. Secondly, ...
  • 1,338
5 votes
Accepted

What specs should I look for in a hobby milling machine?

Most hobby machine tools are made by a couple of Chinese manufacturers (notably Seig) and branded by the importer. However, while the basic machines are pretty similar the detailed specifications do ...
  • 1,919
5 votes

What wire other than 1.6 mm stainless will work for chain mail?

I made a butted link hauberk some years ago out of galvanized steel wire (the stuff I got was used in repairing fences - 20 gauge). Not as shiny as other materials but I felt it was more authentic ...
5 votes

At a minimum what would I need to repair a fracture in a gold pendant?

In my jewelry making course way back in 2000, heating metal for soldering required actual flame... a torch. You wouldn't want to do this with the equipment you have at all. It's a totally different ...
  • 3,436
5 votes

Which steels are most suitable for knife making?

Looks like there was already an answer here, but there are a lot of variables not considered: If you are going to send out your blades for heat-treatment, then any steel with medium carbide volume is ...
5 votes
Accepted

What safety precautions should I take when working with 316L/A4 steel?

Main precaution ; Do not touch it while it is hot. No vapors will come off the steel . What does A4 mean ? Your heating would be about right for forging. But for bending , try room temperature. It ...
  • 1,113
5 votes

Align concentric holes of different sizes in 2 pieces of metal on drill press

Working with my very basic press, I'd clamp the two pieces together very well, and drill all the pilot holes. Then separate the pieces and open out the clearance holes. I wouldn't go straight in with ...
  • 5,228
5 votes
Accepted

What is the Best Material for Chrome Guitar Pick Guard?

I'm looking to cut a piece of metal in the shape of a pickguard, then have it professionally chromed The chrome will go away quite fast, considering the abuse it will have to take - regardless how ...
  • 1,300
5 votes

How to chose between soldering and welding?

For the benefit of other readers, let me start with a brief explanation, and I'll expand the terminology to include brazing. Soldering and brazing are the same process, the difference is the ...
  • 10.4k
4 votes
Accepted

Can I turn this cast iron grill into a usable firepot with possible tuyere?

Will this be mounted inside a larger 'table' made with firebricks, refractory, or something else or do you intend it to be 'free standing' as is? If free standing it should be suitable for light use (...
4 votes

Is there a cheaper alternative to aluminum wire for armatures?

So I asked a Tinsmith friend and he suggested the followings: Iron wire: it is cheap and has the big advantage that it can be fold at the same place several times without breaking. So you can reuse ...
  • 1,195
4 votes

How can I create a custom lamp shade frame?

What materials you use depends on the design of the lamp shade you want to make – is it a hanging ceiling lamp, a desk lamp, etc. How sturdy the frame needs to be depends on what material it is ...
4 votes

How to create a metal ring?

There are a few ways to make rings but they all suggest a tool budget. I consider copper your best alternative. It is malleable and soft, so you can hammer and bend. As Willeke said, it will ...
  • 619
4 votes
Accepted

What material can be used to create a mold for pouring any molten metal without problems?

For use with the widest range of metals, a properly prepared ceramic mold is your best bet. It can tolerate high temperatures and capture fine details well. However, these are commonly single-use ...
  • 3,367
4 votes
Accepted

creating something like an expanding ring mandrel for my homemade lathe

Making one properly without a (metalworking) lathe would be very difficult. With one it's quite easy. This youtube video shows one made from simple hardware, and you could choose an appropriate ...
  • 5,228
4 votes

What is a castable gold-coloured metal that is less expensive than gold?

Maybe you could use epoxy resin instead of metal. It's not exactly cheap and you'd have to do some research as to which resin is best suited for your purpose (or suited at all), but there are tons of ...
  • 9,515
4 votes
Accepted

What is a castable gold-coloured metal that is less expensive than gold?

There is no other easily available alloy than Copper based ones that are gold colored. Brass is the most readily available that will have a gold color. There is also a very wide variety of bronzes ...
  • 246
4 votes

How can I make a faux gold finish less garish?

I assume the look you're hoping for is a little like this, a dirty gold: source, actually a 3d render If you're not planning on rebending the stand a lot, I'd suggest taking some acrylic paint (...
  • 9,199

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