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Fly on Black Eyed Susans


Dick Bonham

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Thank you all for the nice compliments.

The piece is totally fabricated from brass, bronze and silver. I use sheet, rod and tubing. The leaves and petals are sheet stock that I draw the design on to and cut out and pierce with a jeweler's saw. The veins are engraved with my Lindsay Air Graver and the deeper rounded areas are cut with my NSK Presto high speed rotary tool with a fine diamond bit. The leaves and petals are also chased on a lead block. The rotary tool also works beautifully for enhancing bug damage. The flower center is created using a disc cutter and dapping tools. I cheated a bit by using a sheet of brass with thousands of holes drilled into it that I bought years ago but never had any use for until now. I cut depressions between each hole with a round burr. The insects body and head were carved from a bronze rod. The eyes were made from sheet using the disc cutter and dapping die. The legs are made from rod and tuning. The wings are silver with engraved details. All of the pieces were brazed and silver soldered together using brazing paste and four stages of silver solder paste. I find the paste works very well on small pieces. Many, many small pieces. The base is engraved copper.

Thanks again for the nice comments,

Dick

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Thanks Fred. Tom, Here are some of the tools I used to form sheet metal into the insect piece. The disc cutters make various sizes of metal circles. I used the dapping block and punches to make domes for the flower center and the bug eyes. The draw plate was used to make various sized wire and the tubing formers were used to make tubing (I didn't make my tubing for this piece, it was easier to buy what I needed) but I do use it for gold. I find the forming block really useful for lots of things. Another tool I use a great deal is my rolling mill. I use it to form sheet gold from coins which have no collectors value. You can buy various foreign gold coins of different gold content that are damaged for the scrap price. Soldering is easy if you take your time and make sure everything fits and is clean. I like using the paste because you can use a tiny ammount and place it exactly where you want it placed. The brazing paste is very forgiving and once a piece is soldered it won't move when the next piece is soldered into place.

Dick

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Thanks for the descriptions, Dick. Except that now I'm coveting some new toys - this doesn't ever end, does it?

 

The brazing paste sounds like a good idea - I always seem to have trouble getting the soldered piece to stay in place until the solder flows, then it ends up stuck somewhere else! What brand of brazing paste do you recommend, and where do you get it (if internet order)?

 

Also, since I've now managed to hijack your thread onto the subject of solder, do you have any idea how to reliably solder non-ferrous to iron/steel, or steel to steel?

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Hi Dick,

 

This is really a nice piece - I love the use of the tubing and wire to achive the segmented legs. I'm guessing you have about 3 dozen seperate pieces to assemble in this work ( assuming you used one piece for the small flower petals and 3 for the large petals.)

Excellent job!

By the way - what kind of fly is this? Don't think I'd like to get bitten by it.

 

Magnus

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Hi guys,

Magnus, I think I used around fifty pieces to form the Fly piece. The insect is a horse fly, large and nasty.

Tom, I know what you mean when you say "I'm coveting some new toys" and no it never ends. I buy the brass paste from Rio Grande it is #503-053 and it costs $17.95 for a one ounce tube. Expensive but worth the cost. I buy my silver solders from Contenti. The biggest problem brazing steel is getting the temp. correct and using enough flux. Steel forms fire scale very quickly. Hope this helps.

Dick

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Thank you all! I try to make the pieces as realistic as possible. I am working on a wasp at right now but I haven't decided what kind of plant to put it on. We should start a thread on soldering and brazing. I know it's a sin but I would rather solder a piece in place than inlay it. The end result looks the same but it is a lot less work. I know I am not a traditionalist, I think you should go with what works best.

Dick

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