Tips and Information about making jewelry

With this blog, I hope to share my knowledge, successes, trials and errors, student's work, tips, and information about making jewelry.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Saving $$ by Making your Own Inexpensive Sanding Discs

This tip is for those of you who like to use a sanding disc with your rotary tool. I don’t know about you, but sanding discs just don’t last long and can become very costly. Here is a way to make your own.
You will need:
  • Plastic milk jug or a 1 liter plastic jug 
  • small punch or awl 
  • rubber cement or spray adhesive 
  • sandpaper (you choose the grit) 
  • scissors mandrel shank 
  • small screw driver 
  • circle template
  •  fine tipped marker

1.  Cut a flat section of plastic out of the milk jug.
2.  Trace the cut plastic shape onto the back of your sandpaper.
3.  Cut out the sandpaper shape.
4.  Apply rubber cement or spray adhesive to the back of the sandpaper and to the plastic piece.
5.  Allow both to dry.
6.  Attach the sandpaper to the plastic by pressing them both together.

7.   Trace 1” circles onto the plastic try to get them close as possible.
8.  Cut circles out with scissors.

9.  Punch a small hole into the center of each circle.

10. Attach the sanding disc to the mandrel by pressing the mandrel’s screw through the disc’s center hole.

A sanding disc quickly sands flat edges, and is bendable allowing you to sand tight areas. 

Lets hear about your ideas on making a tool to save money! Post your comments here.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Surprising Ideas You Can Come up With in A Pinch!

Janet Alexander
Fine silver bead with granulation
Have you ever wanted to dome something in metal clay only to find you don’t have the correct size or slope? I've had that  happen to me. So, I looked around my studio to find an object I could use that had the correct size and dome. I wanted a small round high dome so I could make this bead.

I decided to make a mold of the ultra sonic lid’s handle. Here is what you can make on the spur of the moment with stuff sitting around your shop.  I pulled out these items.

Top to an ultra sonic cleaner   2 ea. Gatorade caps two part silicone mold compound two part epoxy a scale weight popsicle stick tooth picks colorant

Mix the two part silicone mold compound in equal parts until they become one color
Press into the cap. This gives the mold a flat surface at its opening.

Press the object into mold compound. In my case the lid’s handle. Weight it down so that as the compound sets it doesn’t push the object out.
Allow it to set (per manufactures recommendations).

Then make a form out of resin in the mold. I added a paper lip around the cap so I can pour extra resin making a footing for my form.
Mix equal parts of two part epoxy, enough to fill the mold. I added colorant to make it easy to spot the form on my cluttered workbench and just to make it fun.
Allow the epoxy to set, per the manufactures recommendation.

Remove dried epoxy and enjoy your own custom form!
Remember to lubricate the form before laying metal clay over it!  Do not place the form on a hot plate to dry the clay, it may burn!