Friday, November 18, 2011

Miracle oil

I actually did work out a design ahead of time (at least for the one side.)

One side of the copper and bronze bangles

Other side of the copper and bronze bangles

When attaching two pieces of fired silver together, it has been found that the addition of lavender oil to the paste gives a very strong attachment to the pieces.

As I said in an earlier post, I had to repair my bronze bangle bracelet by replacing a couple of balls and adding a new ball.  (Actually I decided not to use the errant balls but made three new ones instead.)  I wasn't sure if I should add lavender oil to the bronze or not, but thought what the heck!  I added the oil to a small piece of lump clay which I used to make the three new balls.   Then I made the paste from the left over lump of oil infused clay.  

After careful drying in an upright position, I held my breath when it came to firing.  Since there were some freshly made pieces in the container with the bangle and the three balls were fresh clay, I did the first firing over again.  The first firing burns out the binder.  The second firing sinters the metal. 

Today I got to open the kiln and Christmas came early.  Everything was perfect.  The new balls are permanently attached.  (The only bad thing is that the bracelet is a little big for my hand and could slip off.)  That was easily remedied by wearing two bangles.  An earlier copper bangle is slightly on the small size and by putting it on after the bronze one, it keeps the bronze bangle from slipping.  (There is one more bronze bangle waiting to be fired.  Two bangles are pretty noisy.  Just wait until I'm wearing three bangles.  I won't be able to play hide and seek with the grandchildren.)

By the way, I think it's time for a grandchildren post.  Got a couple of goodies from the three year old.  Will share in a post soon, after I check to make sure I haven't shared them already. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

OK, you know I have to ask: on the bronze one, what's its final (after two two-phase firings) inside diameter?

As I remember it, you used the Metal Adventures bronze clay for it, but I don't recall: was it original (17-20%) or fastfire (5-10%) form of that?

I noted the advertized shrinkage rates above (though bronze doesn't necessarily shrink evenly in all dimensions). I think that the older "templates" you had were for the Metal Adventures copper clay, which is said to shrink 20%.

I do know that you used my 77 mm cutter for its inside. How much did you sand the inside (none, a little, a lot?), as that would have enlarged it a bit.

If you want to make it a little smaller, you could always try adding a few little balls on the inside too, and re-fire it yet another time. (I know that as a down-sizing trick for rings, but it should work for this too with appropriate placement...)