Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Metalsmithing Class - Week 2

Today was our second classroom session of our Metalsmithing course at the Tulsa WaterWorks Art Center.  Last week was basic discussion/show and tell of tools and terminology.  Today was the day to jump right into some very basic but very exciting and fun techniques!  We learned different types of joints, how to properly load and adjust the blade for the jeweler's and the process of going from a piece of metal to two pieces of metal connected with solder -- design, saw, cut, file and finish ends (today was a butt joint), clean the metal properly, apply flux and solder, solder, quench and pickle.

I have already had my share of playing with all these but my first time to actually use a jeweler's saw.  We typically use a scroll saw for cutting, but hadn't had a WHOLE lot of luck with it...Today, I think I figured out WHY -- not enough teeth per inch for the gauge of metal we are cutting!  So, that will be the next experiment for using the scroll saw.

Come to find out, there is a standard table to determine how many TPI (Teeth Per Inch) your blade needs to be based on the gauge of sheet you intend on using it on.  To have a proper TPI - Sheet Gauge ratio, you must have at least 3 teeth on the metal surface at all times.  If memory serves me, the table goes something like this:

28ga -- #4/0
26ga -- #3/0
24ga -- #2/0
22ga -- #1/0
20ga -- #1
18ga -- #2
16ga -- #3
14ga -- #4
...and so on in both directions up and down the table.  The smallest I have noticed so far is 8/0 (TINY TINY TEETH for some super thin sheet!!!).

David seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself!  He blew right on through to make THREE different types of soldering applications!  The instructor was smiling knowing he was so eager to learn!

We are really anxious to see what next week holds.  I am already imagining actually being able to MAKE pieces I've had locked inside my head!


  1. Looks like the two of you had a marvelous time! Thank you so much for sharing the journey with us :)

  2. I'm living vicariously through you on this class. I've been very interested in taking a class such as this. I hope you will write some more soon and sharing your joy.

  3. I am excited to share what we're learning! We are looking forward to actually being able to do the things we have ideas for. So many things to create -- so little time! :)

  4. Loved reading your blog about your metalsmithing journey! My husband and I are sharing a similar journey. Love your work, Kat.
    Barbra in AK

  5. Thanks, Barbra, for taking the time to post a comment! We are enjoying sharing our progress and looking forward to the fun times ahead!


Thanks for your comments!