17 votes

I make jewellery from wood - here's how I make one of my designs

11 comments

  1. [3]
    mat
    Link
    Apologies if this is a bit spammy (please do delete if it's too much), I know it has links to my Etsy but I thought people might be interested in the process. Any questions, please ask and I'll do...

    Apologies if this is a bit spammy (please do delete if it's too much), I know it has links to my Etsy but I thought people might be interested in the process. Any questions, please ask and I'll do my best to answer!

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      cfabbro
      Link Parent
      Not spammy at all, IMO. And the Tildes CoC would seem to agree as well: BTW you have an amazing voice. ;)

      Not spammy at all, IMO. And the Tildes CoC would seem to agree as well:

      If you have your own site/project/channel/etc. that you'd like to share on Tildes, that's generally fine (in moderation), but it shouldn't be the primary reason that you post on the site. Tildes is a community, not a free advertising platform. Sharing your own content is welcome as long as you're involved in the community, but don't just treat Tildes as a source of an audience.

      BTW you have an amazing voice. ;)

      9 votes
  2. [8]
    patience_limited
    Link
    I'm curious as to what cyanoacrylate you're using. I've tried practically everything for lapidary stabilization and crack/pit filling (Opticon, straight sodium silicate, aviation resins, etc.)....

    I'm curious as to what cyanoacrylate you're using. I've tried practically everything for lapidary stabilization and crack/pit filling (Opticon, straight sodium silicate, aviation resins, etc.). One of my favorite materials is matrix opal, but it's a monster for tear-outs and uneven hardness.

    Mostly, I've settled on Starbond products for viscosity control and setting time, plus specialty epoxy for opal and other doublets. However, I don't find that I can get perfectly uniform polish even with a plastic-specific polish step.

    4 votes
    1. [7]
      mat
      Link Parent
      I use Screwfix's own-brand "No Nonsense" CA. It's the cheapest I can find. I get through a lot of CA for various reasons, not just this sort of thing. To get a really good finish (which I didn't...

      I use Screwfix's own-brand "No Nonsense" CA. It's the cheapest I can find. I get through a lot of CA for various reasons, not just this sort of thing.

      To get a really good finish (which I didn't entirely achieve on this piece, if I'm really honest), the trick is to sand it very, very flat between the CA and wet polish steps. Which is more sanding than seems right, and I didn't do it quite enough on this video - it's very distracting having a camera shoved into my workspace.

      4 votes
      1. [6]
        patience_limited
        Link Parent
        Sure - I'm using three to five layers of ultra-low viscosity CA coating on previously lap-polished matrix opal these days, heat-setting and polishing each, to get what I think of as an adequately...

        Sure - I'm using three to five layers of ultra-low viscosity CA coating on previously lap-polished matrix opal these days, heat-setting and polishing each, to get what I think of as an adequately uniform finish. It's just more time-consuming than I'd like, and runs the risk that I'll have a lot of rework if I overheat the CA and brown it, or polish through.

        2 votes
        1. [5]
          mat
          Link Parent
          I wonder if maybe just layering up the CA before polishing would save time? You don't need each layer to be dead flat before you add more because it will fill any small gaps or pits. I find that 5...

          I wonder if maybe just layering up the CA before polishing would save time? You don't need each layer to be dead flat before you add more because it will fill any small gaps or pits.

          I find that 5 layers is slightly too few for the way I work. I'd probably do at least ten before wet sanding flat and polishing.

          2 votes
          1. [4]
            patience_limited
            Link Parent
            The layering is more to ensure that any pits or tear-outs are seamlessly filled and the CA is completely bonded to the underlying material. CA can shrink or undercut; I may experiment with thin CA...

            The layering is more to ensure that any pits or tear-outs are seamlessly filled and the CA is completely bonded to the underlying material. CA can shrink or undercut; I may experiment with thin CA to penetrate and bond, and thicker CA to fill, since thin CA seems to have greater shrinkage.

            The CA surface on a pendant-sized cabochon (I don't cut smaller ring stones out of matrix opal - it's too fragile) doesn't get the kind of abuse a ring does.

            I'm surprised that even multi-layer CA can stand daily ring wear and immersion well enough - do you recommend against washing?

            2 votes
            1. [3]
              mat
              Link Parent
              Ah, yeah, pendants don't get anywhere near the abuse of rings. It's amazing the kicking rings get in daily wear. I do recommend people are a bit careful with my wood + CA pieces but that said, my...

              Ah, yeah, pendants don't get anywhere near the abuse of rings. It's amazing the kicking rings get in daily wear.

              I do recommend people are a bit careful with my wood + CA pieces but that said, my wife has CA-finished rings which I made maybe six years ago and she's terrible for not taking them off in the shower or leaving them on wet surfaces. Some could do with a bit of a buff, but the finish is still holding up. One of my customers told me they'd shut their finger in a car door and the ring they were wearing took the brunt of it and came out without a scratch.

              If you're aiming for penetration, have you considered a vacuum chamber? They're pretty affordable these days. I occasionally use mine to stabilise wood by immersing it in resin then pulling a vacuum to get all the air out of the pores of the wood (and resin in). It works pretty well, not sure if it would help with your use case.

              2 votes
              1. [2]
                patience_limited
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                Oh, I've definitely thought about a vacuum chamber - among other potential uses, I've got five pounds of lovely, but overly soft, turquoise/azurite/malachite/cuprite aggregate material that needs...

                Oh, I've definitely thought about a vacuum chamber - among other potential uses, I've got five pounds of lovely, but overly soft, turquoise/azurite/malachite/cuprite aggregate material that needs proper stabilization. There's a water glass process I've been tweaking that should harden it nicely if I can just get that thick solution to penetrate.

                Not sure if you've ever explored water glass (sodium silicate) as a wood hardener, but there are techniques for artificially "petrifying" wood or other porous materials. My secret technique involves 40% sodium silicate solution and Emergen-C electrolyte packets (!), about 3 per 500 ml, to get the right balance of trace minerals and pKa (from ascorbic acid) for surface mineralization in a heated solution over the course of a week or so, then drying in an oven at 300°F for a couple of hours. That may be too harsh for organic material, but it's cheap to test. Use a thrift store warming plate, pot, tongs, and sheet pan, because they'll crust up with glass.

                2 votes
                1. mat
                  Link Parent
                  Wow, that's a very interesting sounding technique, thanks for the heads up. That's definitely going on the list of "stuff I'd really like to try when I have the time/money/space"

                  Wow, that's a very interesting sounding technique, thanks for the heads up. That's definitely going on the list of "stuff I'd really like to try when I have the time/money/space"

                  2 votes