Thursday, May 17, 2018

Here is my latest invention.

It is an angled jewelers cutting jig that I use to cut equal lengths of rod , tubing or flat strip at 90° and at 45° .

I made it light in weight so that it is easy to use on the peg or sawing table.

On either end are two hardened steel guides that guide the saw blade.

One can also use it to true up material by simply filing on the hardened steel, and it does not affect the file, because the steel is so hard that the file doesn't bite into it but just glides over it.

The main body is made of Delrin (Polyoxymethelene), and I am selling these for $130 .

I hand make each one so my stock is somewhat limited.

This is the complete jig

The file only cuts the tubing.

Thing is, I hardened the guide plates to above Rockwell 65, so that the file teeth don't get blunted,  because they glide over the polished surface.

Still, I use a well used file rather that a brand new one --it just seems to work easier.

Here is a little frame that I made with the 45° side.

Here is a link with a video and more information.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Today I cycled the hill and I took some pictures of the beetles I saw on the road.

Black-headed Cardinal Beetle Pyrochroa coccinea

Soldier beetle(Cantharidae)

Fire Beetle (Pyrrhocoris apterus)

Alder leaf beetle

Sunday, December 4, 2016

How to drill straight accurate hole in metal.


This jewelry tutorial video shows a trick of how to drill an accurate straight hole in metal. The more accurate your drilling the more neat the eventual gemstone setting will be.

With this drilling method it is important to drill short burst using your rotary hand piece and then rotating your ring clamp or the metal by a quarter ( 90 degrees). You continue short drills, turn the metal and drill again. This will correct any tendency of a drill wondering to the one side resulting in a skew hole.

This prong setting tutorials is a good example where accurately drilled holes are essential.

And this halo ring making tutorial is all about accurate drilling.


Click on the picture.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Laminating an Aquamarine and Amethyst



The finished product.


gemstone-lamination-aquamarine-amethyst -rough

First I select the material.

A piece of Brazilian amethyst and a piece of Zimbabwean aquamarine.


Then I carve them into two shapes that are mirror images.

I only concentrate on the inner curves at first.


Normally if I have to set an expensive emerald or some other delicate stone I use a spray powder called seat check.

You fit the stone and the muti shows where the stone is still touching.

It also works well for gem carving.

As can be seen on the left side piece, the powder discolours where it touches, so that where you grind material off.


High tech clamp.

I use HXTAL resin to laminate the two sides together.

I takes five days to harden.

I put masking tape on the clamp because if the resin comes into direct contact with the stone, it breaks the stone before it releases.


I also weaken the clamp by annealing the back part so that it holds the two pieces more gently.



Once the resin is hard the stone is ready for pre forming.



The resin ground off.

Now I dop the stone and cut it on my Imahashi gem cutting machine.
I was going to cut this stone into an oval, because an oval reflects light in a bow tie shape along a center spine.

I thought that the 'bow tie' would change colour as it ran down the center.
But the amethyst developed a surface crack, so I had to make it's shape round.

With round, there comes a more even reflection of light which is not really what I wanted.

No matter, you go with the flow.


This picture was taken under an incandescent light.

I was cutting on copper with 7000 grit.

I clearly shows the different cutting surfaces between quartz and beryl.

The polishing rate is nearly the same, with the quartz lagging a bit behind.

I use a Batt lap with 50,000 diamond grit for polishing.



View from the back of the gemstone.


The stone came out at 10 mm in diameter and 3.6 carats in weight.

On my tutorial website I have a downloadable PDF here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Dragonfly Fighter is finished.



I decided to fire colour my wings.

So I make a fire and then heat the wing red hot and quench them into a bucket of cold water.

It takes many attempts until nice pattern is achieved.



Once the wings have a cool pattern on,they have to be carefully flattened so as not to damage the surface.


Fitting them to the thorax, which is next in line for finishing.


Here is one of the finished wings with the power and stabilizer rods attached.


Another view of the wing.


Pretty much everything finished except the cabin.


The front chest guard is fitted and now the cockpit has to be taken apart and finished.


There were quite a lot of spikes and screws that I turned out on my lathe.


My bench as I re assemble the cabin.

Not shown is the liter bottle of liquid patience that is needed.



This was by far the most difficult component of the Dragonfly fighter that I made.

Over 95 hours of time spent on it.


The view of the alien pilot when he looks upwards.


The tail is completely finished.


Completely finished.


I assembled my photo tent in the workshop for the photography .




The Video.