Monday, November 17, 2014

Dragon Stuff


To make the tail I had to take all the off cuts of wax and melt then into a pot so I got a big fat chunk.

Once it was cool I cut an oversize tail out of it and started carving.


Until I got here.


Then I cast the interface with the body.


I cut the tail in four sections to make casting easier.


It screws in.




Designing the wings.


They are going to be made with a brass frame work and clad in copper.



About a year ago, my sis in law was here with the family.

When she left she gave Anne a plant with flowers.

Normally in a workshop with absolutely no natural daylight, heavy duty fumes and smoke and chemicals, plants croak very fast.

So I put this victim on the top of my screw shelf and said “Dude, it is now up to you”.

“ I’ll give you water, and talk to you like Prince Charles does, but the growing part is up to you”

His name is now Survival.

He grew a bunch of leaves and then proceeded to start growing some serious new flowers.

All under fluorescent lights.

My kind of plant---never stop, never give up.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Dead End Rivets



Often, when I am busy on a project, I have a need to rivet something in place in an area that does not allow me to drill right through to peen the rivet over on both sides.

The other options are to make tiny screws and tap a hole, but when this comes down to 1mm taps, it gets very wearisome very quickly.

The other option is to solder the object in place, but often that is not easy or even possible, depending on how finished the object is.

Also just putting a pin in the hole and hammering it down does not work well at all.

What I wanted was a rawl type plug that would expand at the bottom like a masonry bolt.

The problem is I never know what ACUALLY happens at the bottom.

So I made two flat pieces of plate and tapped the one side and screwed them together.

Then I drilled a 1mm hole down the seam.

Now I could split them apart to see what happened.



I drew down some wire from 2.5mm to 1mm without annealing.

That made it semi hard, so when it gets tapped down, it would not collapse on itself.

I used a fine three corner file to file a notch into the wire at the bottom, making sure it would collapse there.


After I had drilled the 1mm hole about 4mm deep, I used a setting burr to create a cavity at the bottom of the hole.


I used copper and silver but of course one could just as easily use gold.

The picture shows the collapse of the bottom of the rivet into the cavity.


So then I riveted a piece of brass to the two plates as if I were doing a real job.


When the two plates were split, revealed that the rivets had collapsed nicely.


The holes in the bottom are previous endeavors.


Prying the plate off proved satisfyingly difficult.

One can clearly see how the rivet tops deformed before the bottom let go.

While this method will probably not be good for critical components, it will work perfectly well  small objects like the plate shown.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dragon Stuff.


‘Ol bright eyes decided he needed an example of how to do the legs and head of the Dragon.

Plasticine or clay seemed the answer.

So I took myself off to the local art supply shop.

Eventually I found some at an art shop about two kilometers from my shop.

Six bucks for six kilo’s.

Which I carried back.

I became quite heavy after a while,—very heavy, in fact.


Rough, but it gave me an idea of the size.


Then I carved some leg blanks out of hard wax.


And a neck and head.


I carve them from two slices of wax that I temporally melt together and then when I have the basic shape down I split them and the I have a mirror image set.


Then I cut them in half again, so I got four parts and the cast then each individually.

This keeps the quantity of metal being cast down to a manageable level.


In Delft cast a lot on my projects.


This is part of the neck bottom that has been cast.


Here I am soldering the top and bottom of the head together.




The rough head stuck on with double sided tape.

As what so often happens, one part makes the other look wrong—namely the legs.


So I carved and cast some new ones.


Now I am making new talons for the legs.

I like the legs much better now.


So here we are now.

After the basic legs are finished, I do the tail and then the wings.

Then I go back and start finishing everything off.

That will be the most work still.


My Dragon steam engine.


My dragon cross bow.

I like Dragons.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Titanium, Purple Gold and the Dragon and Flying Fish.



I made some new jewellery for the Amazon shop we are setting up.






With a pearl, which I think goes very nicely with the blue.




I once had a company in SA called Mintek ( I think) make me some purple gold.

I brought my own fine gold and I had three buttons made for myself.

This gets made in a special electro smelter with an inert atmosphere.

I have made a crude form of purple gold  in my vacuum oven before.



Here is a pre-polish picture

If you look carefully you can see the aluminium concentrations in the table of the metal  stone.

You can also see the holes caused by the porosity in the metal.

That’s the nature of this beast.

Purple gold (3)

I actually had to cut this one three times to get here.

This stuff is tricky.


My drill press handle has been bust forever and in typical slap gat meevis fashion I just added epoxy putty—until it really stopped working.



Many years of putty.

I drilled a piece of stainless steel of out.


And then I made a replacement handle.


I started a new project.

It will be a dragon, standing and guarding a mystical box in which will be a piece of custom made jewellery.

So far I just call it the Dragon, but I am sure I’ll think of a better name soon.

Something fancy and Greek sounding.




Today is another frikken public holiday,

I think it’s some church shit again.

I also happened to be an OK day for this time of the year.

So we took our bicycles and did our farmland circle ride.

It is about 40k’s and goes through some nice country.

This is one of the coolest things in Dusseldorf, you can cycle just for a short time and you are in beautiful farmlands that are kept like gardens.

On the banks of the Rhine all the folk were chilling out, giving orders to their dogs and flying kites.

This dude was flying this kite, with Anne watching on.


His wife was busy on the other part of the kite, getting yelled at for not doing things properly.

And the fact is that mostly it’s the husband doing things wrong, not the wife.

Shame, the poor thing.

Definitely, pussy was not going to be an item on the menu tonight.


Anyway, about two hours we came back and they had finally got the whole contraption flying.


This highest kite in the picture is pulling the fish kite up.

Nice toy though, apart from the brake it puts on your sex life.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Rings and Light bulbs.


I made this ring and I played around in Photoshop with it.

Photoshop is easy.

In the old days to get a picture like this I would shoot the ring into the air with a cannon, and then wait for it to fall back.

Then as it went past my camera I would snap a picture of it and my girlfriend would be lying on the ground beneath the tri-pod and catch it as well.



I also made this ring for a charming lady.

I used the gold of her dear departed husbands wedding band and her one and then combined them.

The dude in the picture is welding new water pipes outside our shop.

These municipal workers are a tough bunch, let me tell you.

Come rain or snow or darkness in winter, they do the job.

I talk to them, I like them, they work hard  and do a good job.



They put the final touches on the job this Thursday.

I like this picture.

It looks like they closing up a volcano.

Or burying Satan maybe.


We use gas for goldsmithing and cooking.

We have two bottles so that if one runs out then the other can also be switched over so that there is always gas.

Last Saturday night both ran out at the same time.

Because Murphy came calling.

At seven in the evening.

So because I had had a couple of beers during the afternoon there was no way I could drive.

You just do NOT drive over the limit here.

In fact, if I consume ANY alcohol I simply don’t drive, period.

So Anne drove , the roles reversed—me doing the backseat driving for the first time in three years.


It was wonderful.

Anyway, en route a headlight bulb blew.

No problem, thinks me.

I’ll buy a new one and replace it.


Luckily the owners of the next door garage had gone on holiday so I could use the whole space to work on Arnold- as our car is called.

First order of business was to get some light in the place.

Germans live in dingy half- lit places.

Everywhere you go there are these 40watt lights, dark houses and dark yellow lighting.


So I made a Meevis plan.

I like the irony of my probably highly illegal temporary cable going over the nanny sign.

So I wired up a double florescent tube unit to it and it at least provided good light.


I parked Arnold skew like this so I had space.

This was an endless source of amazement from the people walking by.

“How did that car get in like that?” was what I heard several times.

One youngster: “ They NEVER going to get that car out” ha ha.


I had forgotten about French design.

The picture says it all.


The fucking headlight bulb.

I read on the internet that in Britain they charge up to 235 pounds to change it.

I now understand why.

Appalling design.




Pie graph of the year in Dusseldorf.

We in the dusty pink area.