Thing A Week 4: Borax Red Jewlery

I have occasionally in my goofing around with torch and flux turned a piece of copper bright red. I had no idea how I had accomplished it, and chocked it up to a fluke of chemistry.  The color however was gorgeous, and I was sad I couldn’t recreate it….that was until I stumbled upon the hidden knowledge of the Borax Red Patina.

It’s super simple, you just take some water, dissolve as much Borax (20 mule team Borax from the store works just fine), heat your copper up till its bright red, and dunk it in the water.  The finish is very rugged and wont wear off, but it is heat sensitive, so make sure you only do cold forming after the treatment, if you need to solder anything on its going to be a little tricky.

 

I played around with the technique for a while and found it rather fun to just make the copper red, you can lightly polish it after to bring out the redness and make it more interesting.

I ended up making an earring and pendant set.  Its all pretty rough, as I was just sort of playing around, but I am glad I figured out the technique and will use it again in the future.









 

 

Thing A Week 3: Casting An Adult Toy In Silicone

As part of my new years resolution to make a new thing every week this year, I have decided to make the third weeks project, casting an adult toy in silicone.

Last week I sculpted an adult toy in clay, this week I am going to cast it in silicone.  I am using a two part mold, made from the same thing I intend to cast the toy in, Dragon Skin 30 platinum cure silicone.

The first thing I had to do is put some spru’s on the model so that it would sit up above so I could get the first half of the mold under the clay model.  This will also give me a place to pour in silicone later to make the final toy.

Then I built a little box around the toy.  I found it helpful to use one single piece of cardboard, so you only have a single seam to close up around the edges.  Be sure you fully seal all the way around the bottom, I used blue painters tape, and some extra clay to keep the corners strong.  I used packing tape to seal up the one corner seam.

Give all sides of the clay model a good spray of mold release, as well as the box, and the floor.  Hold it about 12 inches away from give it a light coat, wait 5 minutes and then do it again.  MAKE SURE YOU GET EVERY SURFACE.  But don’t put too much on or you will get strange surface artifacts on the final object.

Mix up a big batch of silicon, you can use an online calculator to figure out how much you will need.  I use a vacum chamber to get the bubbles out, depending on what you are using for your mold, you may or may not need to do this step.

The finished product.  This particular silicone has a pretty decent pot life, so you don’t have to rush, but you shouldn’t wait too long or it will start to harden in the cup.

Next pick a spot, and pour slowly.  Be sure to pour a very small stream so that it will not trap bubbles in the silicone.  I poured into that little hole on the left, and took my time allowing it to slowly fill up all the gaps, while pushing out any air.

Now wait for it to set up, I waited overnight.  Things like set time, pot life, and other important facts about your silicone will be on the box when you buy it.

after the silicone has set I cut in some key holes so that when I cast the other side it will be hard to mis-align the mold.  I used an X-acto knife to cut them out.

Mix up another big batch of silicone, make sure you spray on some more mold release, and do the same thing again.

After it sets up, remove the cardboard and see how your mold came out.

After I used an X-acto knife to clean up the holes, and the edges.

Clean out your mold, make sure you get all the clay, and all the dust, and everything else.  Spray the inside with mold release, and then close up your mold, and I use rubber bands to make sure it stays put together.

I used some pigment to make the next batch of dragon skin 30 blue.  Removed the air bubbles, and slowly slowly filled the mold making sure to allow the air bubbles to escape.  I ended up having to cut two small air holes (the square blue holes below) to let the last little bit of air out.

Give the sides of the mold a couple taps, and let it set up overnight.  When you wake up, take the rubber bands off and see your new baby!

I used an razor blade to cut the spru’s off, and clean up around the pour holes.

As you can see this left some small defects.  They are pretty smooth, but I am going to try a third casting where I use a different technique to try and make it so that the entire mold can be filled from one end.  Resulting in far fewing pour holes, and better air bubble removal.

And just like that, you have your own sex toy!  The total cost for this project was about $50.  Which is what you would pay for a high end sex toy.  The fun bit is though that you can re-use the clay to sculpt anything you want, and you can make as many of these toys as you want (as you now have the mold).  So future toys will be much cheaper.

 

Thing A Week 2: Sculpting An Adult Toy

As part of my new years resolution to make a new thing every week this year, I have decided to make the second weeks project, sculpting an adult toy.

Hold on to your hats prudes, and wholesome folks, futurecrash is going blue.  By which I mean, I have decided to make my own adult toy.  The first step in this process is sculpting.

If you are going to be casting the toy later in silicon (which I am, stay tuned for next week’s thing a week) you will need to be choosy about what sort of clay you use.  Silicons that use platinum based catalysts don’t do well with sulfur.  So you need to make sure you use sulfur free clay.

I used Scupltex hard, as it is sulfur free, and never dried out, and the hard variety is very firm and easy to sculpt complex geometry.

 

Now might be a good time to say up front, I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING.  None, I have never made a sex toy before, I don’t know what sizes, shapes, whatever will feel good, will work, will fail, anything.  I am flying blind here.  So I decided to make something anyone could use (that means it goes in a place everyone has), I will let your imagination fill in the rest of those details.

I started by making some balls, and rolling them together then attaching them.

I used lots of round things of various sizes to help smooth and shape the form.  I am going for a sorta anal beads with a handle feel here, but the picture above shows it in a rough proces.

The rest of the shots below are process shots, you have to do a lot of smoothing, and small adjustments to the form as you look at it from all angles.  It is surprisingly easy to ruin one side of the toy while you are fixing another, so I kept turning and shaping and turning, until I got something I think is smooth enough, and nice enough to be done.

So yea, that is where we are at this point, I think it will “work” in the sense that it wont fall apart when I cast it, and the finished product will be tough enough.  I have no idea if it will “work” in the sense that people would like to use it.  But I think it will come out nice.

Stay tuned until next week when I figure out how to make a mold for this, and cast a couple versions of it.

 

ps.  if you are into to these sorts of crafts, check out my second Etsy store.

Thing A Week 1: Custom Safety Pins

As part of my new years resolution to make a new thing every week this year, I have decided to make the first weeks project, custom safety pins.

After the Brexit vote in the UK a lot of people there started wearing safety pins as a sign to others that they were “safe.”  Basically that they were not going to be racist, or xenophobic, or hateful.  A nice easy and subtle way to spread a little joy and understanding.

I wanted to make some from scratch that would express similar but different sentiments.

First here are some process shots.

used brass and copper wire for this project

had some existing dapping blocks, and made my own for custom diameter bending of the brass tubing.

used a variety of pliers and cutters.

some thing walled brass tube.

jewelers saw and plate (cut out a dead rabbit)

close up of the saw and blade, very very delicate.

 

I ended up making three different pins.

the first two are explorations on the same idea.  A more or less standard pin, with something added to it.

The basic design, a bit of bent tube cut and shaped then soldered onto the rest.

With th

is basic design I then made a very simple heart pin.

I mostly just wanted to see if I could solder everything together without messing it all up, and get a feel for the dimensions of the pin, and how it will look on clothing.  Because of the larger wire these work best on sweaters and loos knit clothing (wool, cotton, etc).

Next I wanted to make something a bit more historic, so I picked a dead rabbit, inspired by the dead rabbit riots.

The rabbit is cut from copper sheet, and it was made dead with the help of the X letter punch (see above for a picture).

then it was just a matter of making another pin, and soldering it on.

I didn’t like it just plain shiny copper, so I added some patina.Gave it much more character.

 

Next I wanted to make something in support of Planned Parenthood, what with all the talk in Washington, and the general feeling that we are entering a time of regression on social issues, I wanted to see if I could make a safety pin coat hanger.

 

It was harder than I thought.

 

after much trial and error I figured it out.  For those that want to attempt this, my method was this:  Start with an 8 inch piece of wire, bend it basically in half, make the hook and twist the top first, and then work your way from there.  I kept trying to make one side and work my way around to other side and it just didn’t work.

Eventually I got this handsome design.

So that was week one!  I worked a little bit each night, and didn’t really feel rushed or like I was doing a task, felt good to be making something.

 

2017 Thing A Week Projects!

I have had a lot of project ideas kicking around in my head for a while now, and I have decided with the new year its time to get some of them out of my head and into the real world.

I am striving to complete one project a week, as well as documenting them and putting them here.

The very first thing I did this year is start a new Etsy store!  I have been wanting for a long time to do some “adult” arts and crafts projects and figured a new store was the best way to start.

Here is a link to my new store!  Raven’s Head Toys.

I will be posting builds from items for that new store, builds for my other store, and just stuff I wanted to make for friends and family and for use around the house.

 

 

DIY Branding Iron

A friend in the bakery business wanted to be able to brand her bread to give it a little more flair.  So I whipped up this quick and dirty bread brand.

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Cut out the T from 16 gauge brass, it was the thickest I had, if I could have found thicker I would, but turned out ok.

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Solder on some hollow copper pipe, again what I had on hand, with a nice strong joint using high temp solder.

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Looking good so far, now for a handle.


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Drilled a hole in a hard wood dowel and used a mix of friction fit and CA glue to hold it in place.

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Getting ready to try it.

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Get yourself a nice slice of home made sour dough bread.

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Heat that bad boy up for 30-50 seconds till the end of the pipe near the handle is too hot to touch.  Make sure you keep the flame moving around the whole time.

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You will know its hot enough if the bread smokes when you touch it to the bread.

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Gets pretty gross, but doesn’t affect how it works, just burn off all the gross and go again!

No bread is safe!

Shop Soap!

I have been making my own soap for a couple of years now, mostly as gifts for friends and family.  We have made all sorts of nice smelling, very good soaps, but something was missing.  I wanted a soap that was strong enough to blast off the various shop related gunk from my hands, but a soap that made my skin soft after all the crud was washed off.  The result of many batches of experimental soap making is: SHOP SOAP! It Fucks Up Dirt, Not Your Hands!

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This soap is a special blend of moisturizing oils (castor oil, cocoa butter, Shea butter, olive oil, coconut oil), with a good kick of pumice stone dust to remove the grime.  It also has a lovely eucalyptus and lemon grass smell so that once you are done scrubbing you don’t smell like chain lube.

Making Some Crow Feather Earrings

Here are some process shots from the latest group of earrings I made.

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First I print out the design, and then cut and rubber cement it to the copper plate.

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the design is cut out using a jewelers saw, then you file and polish the burs off.

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The feathers ready and prepped for soldering.  Silver ear posts are also soldered on during this stage.

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After the brass wire is soldered down the middle, tiny feather marks are made using a small hand made chisel.

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Liver of sulfur is used to patina the feathers and give them a nice dark color.

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All done!  You can buy a pair here.