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guess what I did today

Dustin Clayton

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Okay I'm not terribly active on this forum but honestly I'm on here every day. Recently (at my wife's suggestion) I've been making an effort to be more active on the online communities to which I belong. I'm constantly humbled by the caliber of work and ideas routinely displayed here and I hope to be able to contribute to the discussion more in the future.

Anyway, today I went in to work (i'm a bench jeweler by proffession) on my day off and I made my first couple tiny little ingots of shibuichi (correct me if I murdered the spelling) 75% copper 25% fine silver. They came out really well I think. My boss brought in a crucible and an ingot mold from his casting shop at home and I used my regular old mini torch (propane and oxy) with a number 7 tip, it put out a surprisingly high level of heat. Because the torch was so small I made 2 little ingots, each weighing about 20 grams. After casting I anealed the crap out of them, filed about 1 mm off the surface and then rolled one out on the rolling mill. I did'nt have super high hopes, having stayed up late last night reading all the available info here on the forum. the surface of the ingot was fairly porous particularily on the top where I thought it would be. However I went fairly slow with the rolling and anealed often and it didnt turn out terrible. Right after filing the ingot was 6mm thick. All told I rolled it down to 3.5 mm and only then did surface cracks bigin to appear (surprisingly on the bottom). I stopped at that point and decided to continue at a later time or just use the piece as is, we'll see.

On a seperate but related topic. Id also brought a silicon bronze bowl I've been working on sinking, in to anneal (just try annealing a 3" diameter 2mm thick piece of bronze on a natural gas stove top :blink: ). After annealing my boss asked if I would'nt rather have a go with some of his raising stakes. Wow, that is a lot of fun. I know what I'm saving my money for. Now I've got all kinds of ideas for engraved carved inlayed etc bowls and vases. The bowl isn't the best and it still needs some (lots of) work but right now it looks wicked cool to me.

Just thought I'd share a good experience with you guys. That was the most fun I've had at work in a long time (way better than sizing rings and bright cutting 20 or 30 round bellied saphires into a domed ring :blink: ). Wish I had decent photo sizing software and I'd post a couple photos. Anyway let me know what ya'll think. Questions comments critique on my process all that stuff is welcome I'm new to both making alloys and raising vessels so the more I can learn the better



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Hello Clayton,


Thanks for sharing - you have a lot of the same background as I have (bench jeweler, bright cutter, jade carving) and seem to get the same feeling I do when you start messing around with other ways of working metal - it feels so liberating to raise a bowl or forge some steel doesn't it. Hope to hear a lot more from you.



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Hey everybody,

Thanks for the response.

Dick: It sure is. Now if only I could find a way to make the house payment doing just the stuff I wanted to do :rolleyes: .

Jim: Yeah I've had that disease for a while. The oxygen situation was the reason I didnt have such high hopes for acomplishing much with the small torch but I took my time, used a ton of flux, and managed to keep a pretty reducing flame as I went. P.S. big fan of your stuff.

Magnus: We do have a similar background. looking at your posts I see your located in the pacific northwest. I lived in Portland for three years in the late nineties, my daughter was born there and thats where I learned to do jewelry work. Absolute best part of the country, great hiking killer rockhunting laid back people and mount Hood. Really I was a bit of a fool to ever leave ;) .

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