Skip to main content

Copper Bangles with Added Tricky Bits


Why make simple copper bangles when you can make "tricky" copper bangles? That's tricky to me anyway, other people would probably find them super simple! I'm talking about copper bangles with five small sterling silver concave discs soldered to the outside. Not hard to make just tricky.

I wanted to combine copper and silver as I love the look of the two metals together. The fiddly bit was the soldering of the silver discs to the outside of the copper bangles. I wanted then evenly spaced and was about to Google how to divide a circle into five parts when I realized I know how to do this already - just remember the length of wire you used for the bangles and divide by five!


After quite a lot of faffing about with my third hand and my fibre board soldering block (and swearing, mustn't forget that) I got the first disc soldered to the first bangle. Only 14 more to go. I had to pickle in between each soldering too which made it quite a laborious process but I got a little production line going in the end and managed to get the bangles finished with a big sigh of relief.

The main problem I have is that my reverse action tweezers I use with the third hand don't have a very good grip so things tend to move just when I don't want them to. I'm not sure what to do to sort this. If I could find some that had a firm grip I could possibly hold the bangle upright myself in the tweezers whilst I solder.

I recently bought another version of a third hand which looked a lot more sturdy. It has two grippers - for want of a better word - and it's own small soldering block in between. The grips seemed a lot sturdier when I first got it (after I tightened up all the screws about three times), but when I tried it with the bangles I found it even more awkward to use to be honest! It was hard to position and get it to stay in position. Oh well. It's the cheap version so that's probably why. I almost set fire to the rubber that covers the small feet underneath it too. I wondered what the funny smell was........


I also made some more twisted wire bangles with some of the wire I twisted at college earlier this year. These are great to make. The only fiddly bit is matching up the ends. I normally pick solder the join on bangles now as I find it a lot easier and quicker than chasing small bits of solder around when the flux bubbles, especially on twisted wire!


If anyone can help me out with suggestions for tweezers I can use to hold metal as I'm soldering that have a firmer grip than the wooden handle reverse action tweezers that are widely available then please do leave a comment!

Comments

  1. I loved this post because YES those discs are a true pain in the neck to solder on! I've tried it myself for rings and I don't have a 3rd hand. I gouged out some of my solderite board and put the ring into that to sit and propped the sides with pieces of broken charcoal block for heat and stability. then after the flux has done its bubbling and spitting, gently and carefully lay the disc on and hold it with my solder pick while I join the two pieces. Not always successful but I make do with what I (don't) have lol. The bangles turned out beautifully! Great job. x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ooh I couldn't imagine life without a third hand! How do you do it?!

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds soldering challenging sometimes :D

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've read so many pros and cons about using a 3rd hand that I haven't made a definite decision on buying one yet! So far the gouge/charcoal method works....I've actually shelved the disc soldering for now because it's so fiddly and drives me crazy! Challenging, yes...:D

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh yes, that looks soooo difficult to do, third hand or not. Wish I had advice for tweezers but am afraid I don't!

    But like a lot of things that take so much work, thought, and swearing, the finished bangles look beautiful, and I'm also very admiring of the join on the twisted bangle - never, ever easy!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you Mossy, it really wasn't easy! The twisted bangle joins were a breeze in comparison!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Your comments and questions are very welcome!
If you would prefer to contact me directly please use the contact form on my "get in touch" page.

Popular posts from this blog

Etching Silver Using Nail Art Stamps

So my love/hate relationship with etching sterling silver continues. I've tried a few times now and always end up with different results most of them not that great to be honest. I've tried connecting the silver and a piece of copper to a 9v battery and also heating the ferric nitrate. Sometimes the results are good sometimes not so good. I currently have an etched piece of silver sheet waiting to be reticulated and rid it of the mess that is the etched "pattern". 
I now know that using stamps and Stayz On ink just doesn't work with silver - the time needed to etch using ferric nitrate is much longer than etching copper and the ink starts to wear away after about an hour. This results in the pattern being patchy as the resist is eaten away and the silver ends up quite lumpy and course looking. I have yet to try using pnp paper. I don't know why but it all seems a bit of a faff to do. I don't have a laser printer so would need to find somewhere or someone…

Rolling Mill Textures On Metal

I had another play with my rolling mill last week using some of the texture sheets from Etsy shop Rolling Mill Resource. I used some sterling silver and copper sheet and soon discovered it's best to get organized before you start!

I cut the sheet to size and worked out which design was going on which piece of metal. I also tried a feather but more on that later. Most of the sheet I used was 20g/0.8mm with one piece of 18g/1.0mm and one of 22g/0.6mm.
I've read that you should do a dead pass of the metal through the rolling mill with the gap the same size as the metal and texturing item. I'm not sure what this is supposed to achieve but I don't bother doing it. Judging the correct size of gap between the rollers is a trial and error thing that you discover by setting the gap then starting to roll the metal through. If there's too much resistance you make the gap bigger until there's just enough resistance to roll the metal through without giving yourself a herni…

Embossing Metal With My Sizzix Bigshot

I must admit up until a few weeks ago I was vaguely familiar with the name Sizzix but as to what you actually did with a "Sizzix" I was completely in the dark! That was until I stumbled across a video from Vintaj showing how you could use their embossing folders with a Bigshot to create designs on metal ("metal" - my favourite word after chocolate!)
I was really impressed and itching to have a go, I just needed a Bigshot........ I waited a few weeks then when the urge to possess one overcame me I went out debit card at the ready..............and the shop had sold out! So I trundled off to The Range on the off chance and came home clutching my own surprisingly heavy pink and black wonder machine. It sat on the dining room table for a couple of days while I waited for the embossing folders I'd ordered online to arrive then the time came to start playing!


I started with some pre-cut 24g copper hearts and the Wildflower Vines and the Butterfly Swirls Deco Embossin…