Friday, March 18, 2011

New Challenges This Week!!

I have a new design out this week and nothing feels better than achieving a new skill set.  I was never all tomboy growing up.  But, because I inherited the 'muscles' to go along with the brains in my family more often than not, Daddy called me to 'help him'

I laugh now but it was pretty scary at the time....I was probably eight years old when Daddy first put me on the big farm tractor and said 'take this up to the field' (a mile from the house); ok, sounds like fun....then he said 'now it doesn't have any brakes so just turn the key off when you get to the middle of the field'....well now.. that turning the key off thing just did not seem reasonable to my eight year old mind... so I started stomping on the brake which as he had indicated was completely 'ineffective'.

I could hear him yelling so I decided the best thing to do was to JUMP off the tractor and let it fend for itself.  Once I clear that big rolling tractor tire the ground part wasn't so bad!  Dad lost half a tier of tobacco but he ran fast enough to stop that tractor before it made it rolled into the pond!!

So after all my superior training as a child metalwork should be a piece of cake but it has it challenges (some larger than that big tractor tire).  This week I had a 12 gauge piece of fine silver wire I needed to complete the design I had started.  With wire the smaller the number the larger the wire, so 12ga is really large.  Fine silver is very soft.  I hammered my texture in the center and flattened each end; but needed to drill holes in each flattened end to complete the necklace.

This could have been easy; I have multiple tools that just punch holes---all too big!  The only alternative was to drill the hole.  I've drilled lots of holes in silver before---this silver cost $22/package; replacement package cost $45--no pressure there.   I marked the hole with my permanent marker and hit it with the nail punch; since it was hammered not much happened; I thought about annealing it but fine silver can melt quickly with actylene torch so I decided to go for it with the 1/8" tiny drill bit.  It bounced all other the silver!!

I went back and got the pearl reamer drill bit and started trying to make a dent hole that would hold my drill bit and pearl bit broke!!  I began again with the broke end of the pearl bit and got a dent.  I decided to move forward the with drill----it burned the silver piece into the wood 2 x 4 I was using to stabilize the piece and then the drill bit broke (and I thought fine silver was soft).  I had no choice but to move to the 1/16 drill bit and hope it did not brake through each side of the silver.   Thankfully it did not.  Now I moved to side two!  I was shaking when I finished! BUT I accomplished a new skill set and nothing feels better!!

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