Thursday, January 22, 2009

Some days you got it...others you don't!

I was given this wonderful opportunity to make a set of custom bangles for a lovely lady thru my Etsy shop "Luster". I was very excited to do this as it was going to be a fun mix of metals and textures, and I love mixing textures and metals! It seemed that this project was doomed from the start! First my son got a cold, then of course I got it, then once we were better....my husband had to travel for work and during that time my babysitter got sick...and then the fridged cold moved in. We're talking -14 degrees cold.

Well my "studio" is a sliver of space in the far corner of our machine shed that houses my husbands toys. The building is quite large, and quite full of stuff...and unfortunately not temperature controlled. Those of you who work with metals know that in order for solder to flow, not only do you have to have a clean joint, but you have to have heat. Well, when it is that cold, it is very hard to keep the entire piece of metal warm enough so that the solder will flow.

I tried everything, sitting in the pickle for hours (the bracelets not me), I rinsed, and sanded, and wiped with alcohol (denatured not vodka), and tried to solder....all to no avail. I still could not get that darn solder to flow! It would just form little evil solder balls at the joint.

Frustrated, I put the project aside for a few days, and tried again...this time I was desperate! I pickled, sanded, wiped down not just the bangle, but the solder too. The turned on the flame...still no flow. So I sat with my solder and tried to goop more on....still no flow! Then I took the solder pick and poked an the molten solder ball...yup adn still no flow!

Okay, so now I feel defeated and deflated. I have spent way too much time on this project...not to mention as I fumble along here I am paying a babysitter to play with my son. So I decided it was time to put bracelets on hold in my shop. I have lost my touch at soldering them....or at least I have lost the warm weather that makes it seem effortless.

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2 comments:

Crystal said...

Boy do I know about those frozen middle of the cornfield winters! I'm North of Chicago now (still frozen winters) but was born & raised in Champaign and travel through Homer every time I go visit my mom in Fairmount.
Your work is really nice and I love that you use found copper. I've been salvaging old silver lately - gotta love it!
I'm going to link you up to my blog. I love to read about others who enjoy the same things I do.
Hope you got that solder to flow eventually!
Crystal

Evie's Tool Emporium said...

Love the thought of the bracelets sitting in the pickle-not you! Very, very funny!
Spring will be here soon!
Michelle-