Monday, June 15, 2015

I'm Going To Make A Copper Cuff Ring and You're Going to Watch

Wow, that post title sounded like a direct order. You don't have to watch if you don't want to. Like I didn't have to leave my bedroom, the only room in the house with air conditioning, if I didn't want to. And I didn't for a very, very long time. But then a piece of copper sheet caught my eye (yea, I have copper sheets on the radiator by my bed. Don't you?) and I was again overwhelmed by the need to make a copper cuff ring.

I have made copper cuff rings before and have never been satisfied. They always came out too big and not exactly the shape I was looking for:

That thing is almost big enough to be a bracelet. Also do not like that weird bump in the middle and the gap is too small-- because the ring is too big. This time I took careful measurements.

That's a piece of, um, not paper that I wrapped around my finger. I don't know what that material is but that is not the interesting part of this picture. The interesting part is how my makeshift work table shows all of its battle scars. There's blue and orange paint from the Lego table and the scorched divots left behind by the drilled spoons. If you look closely you can see the smokey outline of a spoon around the first divot. And that was with me putting ice on the spoon and the drill bit into ice water every 20 seconds or so.

Where was I? Carefully measuring, I believe. So there I was carefully measuring and marking my measurements carefully, see?

How'm I going to get that little piece of copper off of that big piece of copper? Well, I've gone and spoiled the answer by having metal shears in all the pictures. But I do have a jeweler's saw. A saw would have been better for this application but, try as I might, I have not been able to master the saw. In fact, the only thing I have mastered doing with the saw is snapping blades like rubber bands. So, snipping it was. The very bad thing about cutting the copper with the shears is that it leaves pointy points and jagged edges that'll make you bleed. Not what most people want in a ring.

Before I got my lovely, lovely Dremel 200 for Christmas this year, I would have taken care of this problem with the household orbital sander. Real craftpersons would have done that shit by hand. I am not the most patient of people. The Dremel hand tool is a dream.

There is more filing to be done but before I do that, I think I'm going to cut a quarter of an inch or so off it. Because all that careful measuring would get me the right sized ring if I were leaving it like this but I'm not. The things I plan to do with this piece of metal will warp and stretch it.


80's romance girl would probably wear a big, acrylic ring with stripes.