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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Rolling Mill Musings and Fusing Success Story

Things I learned upon trying to use my rolling mill for the first time.

1) Attaching the handle to the machine isn’t intuitive… not for tentative people, anyway. I ended up having to use a little elbow grease and a rawhide mallet to get the “pin” into the slot and the handle onto the pin.

2) It works much better if you put your metal in the right direction. Yes, I actually wondered why my metal was falling out of the rollers. It seemed natural to put the metal in BEHIND the machine and have it come out IN FRONT of the machine… but not so.

3) I’m gonna have to find something to bolt it down to because it needs to be held down when the handle is being turned… and it’s like holding a greased pig… or a greased rolling mill.

4) I need to figure out what kind of “oil” I’m supposed to put into the cloth that I will put over the rollers to keep them from rusting. All I know if vegetable and olive oil. I’m sure there’s something at a hardware store that is more appropriate… something like WD40 or machine oil. Okay, I don’t really know what “machine oil” is, but the phrase popped into my head and it sounded good.

5) Oh, and I need a short, sturdy flat-head screw

So I’ll put it away for tonight and start again tomorrow. I think the most difficult will be deciding what I want to attach it to.

Okay, I temporarily give up on the rolling mill… and move on to something else I’ve never mastered… fusing silver.

Well yeah, I can fuse like 20 gauge, but I want to fuse really fat silver. Anne Mitchell, inspiring metalsmith, assured me it can be done… with a micro blazer.

I tried… on multiple occasions… without success… until… tada… I tried filing the ends of the ring to make them as flush as humanly (for me) possible.

12g fine silver…

Maybe my new work area inspired me to succeed. :-)

BTW, I’ve got this new thing where I delete photos from my computer as soon as I’ve edited and saved them. Yes, I used to keep all those original over-sized raw photo files… y’know… just in case. Oh my gosh, “just in case” has caused me MANY problems over the years. I really have to STOP worrying about “what if I need it some day?”

Okay, Sharks won… time for bed. TTYL!

1 comment:

  1. Your new work area is FAB! It's so...clean...and tidy...how do you get anything done? ;)

    And your soldered ring looks perfect!

    From your last post...I want an Alaska bun! And Gabe? Shaved head with bangs? Awww, poor guy. Still, bet he looks good though!