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      Micro-Mark Discount code for IGMA   01/29/2017

      Great News for miniature artists!!!! In support of IGMA and the world of fine miniatures,  Micro-Mark the small tool specialists, have offered IGMA a 10% discount on all their purchases.  Buyer gets 10% off all purchases and in support of the Guild Micro-Mark will donate 5% of your purchased price to IGMA Be sure to enter Promo code IGMASAVE16 www.micromark.com Can be used on sale merchandise, but cannot be combined with another offer.  For example if an item is in the close-out section on the Micromark website, the discount will apply. If they discount some items in an email (a special promotion) the 10% will not be able to be combined with that offer.  Time to go shopping!!!      

Question about brass shim stock & metal working
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27 posts in this topic

I need to tap into the forum's experience... I need a malleable brass sheet that I can shape, but I need it, in theory to be thick enough to still cut it with a jeweler's saw, in the event I cannot cut it with some kind of metal cutting shears.

Any thoughts about thickness of brass?  and size of jewelers saw blades you would use?  It appears that shim stock is Type 260 and half hard from online metal suppliers.

I am finding an assortment from Amazon and Zoro, etc, etc...

Brass Shim Stock Assortment, Number of Pieces 12, Thickness Range 0.001-0.015 Inch, 6 x 12 Inches, Cold Rolled, Half Hard Type 260 Brass

And dead soft brass from Rio Grande...

https://www.riogrande.com/Product/Jewelers-Brass-6-x-12-Sheet-16-Ga-Dead-Soft/130116

I welcome your comments.

Tamra

 

 

 

 

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I get brass products from onlinemetals.com. They are located in Seattle WA. They are great to deal with and have fair prices. 

Guy

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How thin do you want Tamra? K&S sell a packet of brass shim with a few different thicknesses in there, as soon as it is too thin for a jeweller's saw it so thin that you can cut it easily with all purpose scissors. The thinnest sheet I have is thinner than the tin foil that is used for cooking.

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Thanks Guy & Elga for the response.  Guy I have also purchased from Online metals last year; just wish I had ordered an assortments of metal;  ie, nickel silver in round and sheet stock, brass is multiple dimensions...  I don't have a local online metals location, so I have to pay the shipping; I need to go and check out the store in Fort Wayne, Indy or Chicago next time I am in a larger city.  I do have a MSC distribution center within 7 miles of me, but they mark everything up so you have to spend more to get a more reasonable price.... the MSC distribution center is like a candy store though...place order, drive 7 miles, pick up order; happy customer - continue working on project.

I called K & S yesterday, and they use 260 brass and the bendable brass is NOT available in sheets... I think this is going to require some experimenting...as I don't know what will work or not work.  I'll look for the .005 rolled stuff from K & S at the hobby store options this weekend...   Elga, if I understand what I am reading on the jewelers websites; I think the .001 brass sheets that you are referring to, that is thinner then household aluminum foil is used for gold leaf.  I never understood why gold leaf was so inexpensive... but now I think I understand.  I will have to find my packet someday and see the content disclosure statement on the package.

Tamra

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I'm not sure I understand exactly what you're looking for. You can easily anneal brass by heating it with a torch until it's red hot. That makes it soft enough to shape. 

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Yes, I do remember annealing brass in a class once... I am trying my best to avoid hot metal and flames! I am only willing to flame acrylic edges for shelves over my kitchen stove at home - just don't tell my husband.

Micro thin foil is available in wonderful colors with the cricut supplies, the rose gold color was beautiful; don't know what I would do with it but it is beautiful, and while I didn't purchase any, I am guessing that this is the thickness of gold leaf sold in the small packets at our US craft retailers... I have access to Michael's, Hobby Lobby & Joann Fabric and Crafts.

I did find a roll of brass sheet at Michael's; I'm gathering ideas and supplies for my summer project--- just trying to finish a few things before I start something else.

 

 

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I believe gold leaf is much thinner than foil. I'll be interested in seeing what you do this summer!

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Yes, I do agree that metal foil is thicker then metal leaf.  I was pleased to find a copy of the Rio Grande catalog delivered this morning to my doorstep... and they also have lovely metal leaf available in beautiful colors in this catalog - yep another hour of my life gone to browsing a paper catalog.  I hope someone purchases some metal leaf and gives us ideas for its use.  Obviously we can use gold leaf for furniture, but so many lovely colors available now.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dead soft can be a bit more difficult to saw. I prefer to glue down really thin stock, it also means you can have a long grab handle to work with without needing a big piece of metal. Use burr-life or a bar of french milled soap/ cheap hotel soap on the saw blade. Sawing sounds happy when it is going well.

If you want to saw thin metal sheet, glue it to a piece of thin scrap wood (shims work great) with a water soluble glue like a cheap white school glue. Let the glue dry, then use a very fine tooth blade - ideally three teeth are the thickness of the metal. You can also glue several layers together with pieces of paper between each metal sheet (works to make wood multiples too),

Once the sawing is done, soak the stack in water to dissolve the glue. We do this when sawing very thin sheets of metal for jewelry.

A chart for selecting saw blade size:

https://www.riogrande.com/Content/Saw-Blade-Specification-CG-html

I love the 8/0 laser gold blades, but check they are facing the right directions when putting into saw frame. I use my finger and magnifiers to double check.

To anneal brass you can use a creme brulee torch or heat in flame of gas stove. Here is a link:

http://www.jewelryartistsnetwork.com/index/annealing-101/

Brass has many different alloys with differing properties. Many contain zinc, so always anneal in a well ventilated area. Also, it will oxidize every time you anneal it. You can "pickle" in a warm citric acid solution if you don't want the work pre-antiques or plan to solder it.

There is a brass called Nu Gold available "dead soft" from Rio Grande (and others) that I have used for metal forming. Rio has as thin as 26 gauge - 016" (0.41mm).

https://www.riogrande.com/Product/jewelers-brass-6-x-12-sheet-26-ga-dead-soft/130126

Here is a link to chart of what gauge numbers mean:

http://www.engineersedge.com/gauge.htm

Most cities have somewhere that offers introduction jewelry classes. Junior Colleges can have really reasonably priced classes and in one semester you can learn so much that you will use making miniatures.

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Thanks Lynda for the additional info, you have shared some helpful tips  for my metal working quest.  I have briefly looked at educational opportunities locally, spring and summer classes would be ideal as I am not retired 4th and 1st quarters of each year are very busy so no energy to do any serious creating... but I do like this suggestion.  We do have a new makerspace that I can tap into, but it is a fledgling makerspace and not as advanced as I would like.

 

 

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Thanks you for all the info Lynda--

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I found this topic interesting, but am wondering if anyone can contribute advice on pickling various brass pieces after silver soldering? I am currently working on a range of brass fire fenders for my cabinet house.  I have an issue with the brass pieces turning copper coloured as a result of the pickling.  I have used various pickling agents and have the same issue.  Ideally, it would be best to avoid the copper effect, but if not, what is the best way of cleaning the brass?

Jan Jones

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Jan, so glad that you are posting the question on the forum.  If you search (with the magnifying glass symbol) upper right of the screen, we have more info about pickling on in another post where we discussing silver solder...

 

 

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Thanks for the link. I am reposting my original post:  I am wondering if anyone can contribute advice on pickling various brass pieces after silver soldering? I am currently working on a range of brass fire fenders for my cabinet house.  I have an issue with the brass pieces turning copper coloured as a result of the pickling.  I have used various pickling agents and have the same issue.  Ideally, it would be best to avoid the copper effect, but if not, what is the best way of cleaning the brass?

However,  I have already had two solutions offered, both very similar!  I am going to try the following:

http://www.artmetal.com/files/imported/project/TOC/finishes/nonfe/H2O2.html  Soution #3

I will post on my success or otherwise!!  Thank you.

 

Jan Jones

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If your brass is turning pink during and after pickling you pickle solution is contaminated or you are using steel tweezers or such. Avoid using anything steel or iron.  Use brass or wood or plastic untangles and glass or plastic containers. .

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Thank you Bill,

You might not remember, but you first taught me to silver solder at Castine in 1992!!  You started the path for a wonderful journey!  But I am always really careful not to contaminate - the last experience was with a brand new batch of pickle using swimming pool acid, and then I retorched it because I had missed a spot with the solder, and used a new vinegar pickle, both in glass containers, using plastic tweezers.  I am going to try the hydrogen peroxide and sodium sulphate and will let you know what happens.

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Yes I remember you but I don't remember what the class project was. I am happy to know you kept at it. I would suggest you stick with commercial jewelry pickle. There is less chance for contamination.  It does not take much more than one little steel filing to mess up a whole jar of pickle. If you are using tweezers to move or pick up your piece from the soldering block the reaction of the flux and the steel is enough to mess up the pickle.  Use only high quality Stainless steel tweezers. The low priced imports from china or India are not of pure quality.

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I thought I had reposted this in the pickling topic but it seems I didn't get it right!!  Bill, it was the pedal pony cart class  I am still really proud of that achievement!  I will try the commercial jewellery pickle again on Wednesday.  I tried the others in an effort to experiment if different ones had the same problem!  I have 2 more fenders to make, so I will try the peroxide solution when I have finished them all, in case there is more copper effect!

Jan

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Jan, I wish you would start a new forum topic about your experiences with local jewelry classes, when you have time.  I think it would be an excellent topic.

I know Lynda has classroom experience in her local community, and so does Catherine, so I would enjoy reading about this topic.

We are lucky to have IGMA's Guild School experiences and the FMF to give us that start in our quests for excellence.

(In keeping with the spirit of finishing a project before starting something new, I feel like I spent most of my spare time yesterday trying to hinge a door from Geoff W's 2016 Chicago International class... the hinge is still working this morning, and the pins haven't fallen out, so, one step closer to a finally finished object!)

 

 

 

 

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On 4/17/2017 at 1:45 AM, Jan Jones said:

I thought I had reposted this in the pickling topic but it seems I didn't get it right!!  Bill, it was the pedal pony cart class  I am still really proud of that achievement!  I will try the commercial jewellery pickle again on Wednesday.  I tried the others in an effort to experiment if different ones had the same problem!  I have 2 more fenders to make, so I will try the peroxide solution when I have finished them all, in case there is more copper effect!

Jan

Jan, are you using copper tweezers or any thing copper in the pickle?  If so you could actually be copper plating the work.

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Bill, today was my jewellery making group where I play with metals. (also the 90th birthday of the fellow who leads the group and in whose home we meet!) I did some more soldering on one of the pieces as I had missed a bit.  A lot of the copper coating disappeared in the firing!  Then a friend commented"Oh, I put my large copper pendant that i enamelled in that pickle last week.  (In and out with out me seeing it!)  So that explains lots of it. So now we are to have a dedicated brass pickle!  However, I have had that copper coating before after pickling so I am grateful for the information re the hydrogen peroxide pickle.  And I will guard the pickle with my life!!

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Jan, I am glad that you shared your pickling mystery with the group.  Were you able to get the copper coating to disappear with the hydrogen peroxide pickle?  I look forward to seeing your brass fenders.

 

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I haven't tried the new pickle yet.  I have one more fender to make, then I will try it, and could use the same batch to do all of them if necessary.  But it will be a couple of weeks before I can do it!  I will have a quick trip to Sydney next week for their Miniatures Show.  Trying to get rid of surplus stuff!!  So it will be after I come home.  Last week I think I did more unsoldering, than soldering!  I never realised how many ways something can be crooked!

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I can relate to the trials of soldering... and I have some tales of woe, like I can't scribe or cut a straight line in a class if my life depended on it... what is important is that we are still learning!

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At last I have had the time to try to get rid on the copper colour on my brass fenders.  

 I tried the hydrogen peroxide and vinegar pickle and my brass fizzed and bubbled and within 10 minutes that copper colour had gone (and the pickle had turned green!).  Then I dunked the brass in straight vinegar and then washed it in hot soapy water.  So now my brass was brass coloured, but it had a dull dirty look with what looked like a dirty green deposit and felt quite rough.  So, I put them through the ultrasonic cleaner, which left them feeling smooth but still looking dirty green!  Then I tried a brass brush in the Dremel, various metal polishes, wet and dry on the smooth bits, all with varying results but nothing satisfactory.  So I went to the shed to see if I had a fine brass brush as I feared I would need to get heavy with it(!!) and came across an abrasive  scrubber type head for the Dremel (Like a pot scourer).  This worked like magic!  Brought the brass up beautifully.  A quick scrub with Brasso polish, back into the hot soapy ultrasonic, and picked up with tweezers, rinsed under hot water and left to dry on some timber.  The next day I sprayed them with a metal varnish as I don’t intend to clean them again!!  

(I do hope I am doing the right thing with the photos!)59295c5a2f834_FirescreensforIGMA.jpg.d3aca0b7488873fb48672bd3ef284549.jpg59295c715e9e3_fireplacesetcforIGMA.jpg.6aed616e78e37b33f6e180f2fa2624b2.jpg

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