How to Make a Silver Sun and Sea Bracelet

Hammer silver into a beautiful, flattering bracelet.
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Materials and Tools:

2 pieces of 1¼-by-7-inch strips of 22-gauge sheet silver
two 7-inch strips of 1-by-4-millimeter silver wire
two 1¼-inch pieces of .076 ID silver tubing
1½-inch piece of 16-gauge round wire
1¼-inch piece of 26-gauge round wire
jeweler's saw with 0000 blade
sheet-metal shears
disc cutter
steel hammer
rubber cement
needle files
pickle
hard, medium and easy silver solder
flux
jeweler's torch
shaded safety glasses and clear safety glasses
buffing machine
flex shaft
coarse, medium and fine polishing compound
oval steel bracelet mandrel
leather mallet
chain-nose pliers
graph paper
pencil
copier
scissors
chemical silver oxidizer
bucket of water
terry-cloth towels
jewelry clamps
tweezers

Steps:

1. Draw a scale design of the sun and sea on graph paper and make a copy.

2. Cut out the design and glue it to one of the 1¼-by-7-inch strips of sheet silver with rubber cement.

3. Cut out the raised central portion of the design for the front and the back of the bracelet with a jeweler's saw.

4. With the remaining scrap of sheet silver (left over from cutting out the designs), cut circles with a disc cutter and a steel hammer.

5. File the edges of all the cut pieces until flat and smooth, using needle files. Place the bracelet components aside.

6. Wash, dry and place the two 4-millimeter strips along each long edge of the second 1¼-by-7-inch strip of sheet silver.

7. Apply flux and hard solder to the edges of 4-millimeter strips. Wearing shaded safety glasses, light the torch, tune the flame and slowly apply heat until the solder flows into the desired locations on the silver pieces.

8. Let the piece cool and place it in the pickle to remove the melted flux from the soldered area. Take it out of the pickle and rinse in water. Dry it with a terry-cloth towel.

9. Place the sun cutout design on the silver strip between the two soldered strips near one end and the water cutout design near the other end. Place the discs randomly along the strip.

10. Flux and solder the design pieces to the silver strip.

11. Saw the metal strip into two pieces, one 3¾ inches long and the other 3¼ inches long. Pickle the pieces, rinse and dry.

12. Wrap the 3¼-inch strip around the oval mandrel and pound it into a bracelet shape with a leather hammer. Repeat with the 3¾-inch strip.

13. Place the ends of the shaped silver pieces together and adjust them to fit together perfectly.

14. Cut each piece of tubing into three equal pieces. There will be a total of six pieces of tubing for the hinge joints of the bracelet.

15. Align the edge of the 3¼-inch shaped bracelet piece with the edge of the 3¾-inch shaped bracelet piece on the soldering surface and place three pieces of hinge tubing between the two.

16. Clamp the bracelet pieces in place. Carefully mark the hinge-joint placement so the solder is adhered in the correct area. Placing the solder for this section is critical, as there will be two attachment points on the 4-inch section and one attachment point on the 3-inch section.

17. Apply flux and, using medium solder, solder the hinge tubing to the bracelet pieces with the torch.

18. Align the opposite edges of the bracelet pieces and solder the remaining three-hinge tube pieces in the same manner. Pickle the pieces, rinse in water and dry.

19. Coarse-polish the front and back sections of the bracelet with a buffing machine.

20. Apply silver oxidizer to the darkened areas shown in your drawing with a cotton swab or a small paintbrush.

21. Rinse the bracelet thoroughly with water and dry.

22. Medium- and fine-polish the bracelet with a buffing machine or the flex shaft.

23. Rivet the hinge with the 1¼-inch piece of 16-gauge round wire.

24. Hold the remaining 1½-inch piece of 16-gauge wire with tweezers and heat the end of the wire until it creates a ball. Remove it from the heat. Allow the wire to cool, and then polish it.

25. Using chain nose pliers, put a small bend in the middle of the wire with the ball on the end. This will be the locking pin for the bracelet.

26. Insert the wire into the completed bracelet.

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