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Tips on Making a Titanium Pin

E. Douglas Wunder colors titanium with electricity to design his "Morning" pin.

Materials and Tools:

sheet metal of titanium and silver
silver tubing
titanium round wire
silver pin stem with catch and joint
spray adhesive
drill press
jewelry saw
buffing wheel and buffing paste
sandblasting equipment
mild acid solution
water bath
oxygen acetylene torch
electric voltage machine
flush cutters
needle-nose pliers
face shield, dust mask, safety glasses
soap and water

1. Draw the morning sun with clouds design for the brooch on paper with drawing tools.

2. Cut the individual drawn shapes or parts out of paper and mount them to silver and titanium sheet metal using spray adhesive.

3. Wearing safety glasses, drill a small hole into the metal sheet. Insert a No. .02 saw blade through the hole and fasten the blade to the saw frame.

4. Saw the drawn shape out of the metal.

5. Repeat for each shape of the titanium pin.

6. Drill rivet holes into place on each jewelry part using a drill press.

7. Remove the paper from the five parts by placing it in an acid solution to dissolve the spray adhesive. Rinse and dry.

8. Put on a face shield, then file, sand and buff the parts on a buffing wheel using 400-grit paste. Rinse with soap and water.

9. Sandblast the parts. Wear a dust mask and face shield when sandblasting.

10. Dip the cloud part into a bath of mild acid to clean and prepare the titanium surface to be heat-colored. The part is washed and dried and placed on a wire hook. Heat the surface area with a lit torch. Bold random colors of purple, blue and bronze will emerge.

11. Color the other pin parts by electricity, with the exception of one silver piece for the back of the pin. First, dip the part into the mild acid, then submerge the piece in a bath of water and charge it with electricity. A different solid color results by controlling the voltage. The suns rays will be blue and the sun and background will be yellow.

12. Flux the silver back piece of the brooch, then place a pin catch and pin joint into position. Cut pieces of wire solder and place them by each finding. Heat the torch to melt the solder, and secure the joint and catches in place. Place the part in the pickle for 10 minutes.

13. Cut 15 pieces of 18-gauge titanium round wire into 3/4-inch pieces with flush cutters. These will serve as the rivets.

14. Cut 15 pieces of silver tubing into 3-millimeter pieces with saw and tube cutter. These will serve as the spacers between the top and bottom of the brooch.

15. Place the sun ray piece on the backing.

16. Place the sun on top of the sun ray piece. Insert rivets through the holes with needle-nose pliers.

17. Fit spacers onto rivets and into place with pliers.

18. Place the top cloud part on the pin, resulting in a clear separation of layers.

19. The rivet wires stick through both sides. Cut them down so just a little of the wire is exposed past the hole.

20. Hammer the rivets with the use of an anvil. This flattens the tip of the rivet on both sides, causing the ends to flatten over the sides.

21. A pin stem is fit to the joint on the back of the titanium pin with needle-nose pliers.


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