After seeing a photo Instructable by thegnome54 about a turtle pendant made from a nickel I felt inspired to create some turtles of my own and share the method I used. https://www.instructables.com/id/Turtle-pendant-from-a-nickel/
My first step was to create a template by drawing a little turtle, then I hammered some pennies until my template fit on the pennies. I used pre-1982 copper U.S. pennies. I marked around the template with a black marker and removed the blackened area with small files. I drilled a small hole in the turtle's head for the hook and gave it a rough sand with some medium grit sandpaper. Using some wire I stamped the shell lines into the turtles and followed that up with doming the turtles and fine sanding. After sanding I buffed out the copper for a little shine and added some french hooks.
Lets take a second to to talk about legality. I have read seveal Instructables about making jewelery or souvenirs out of coins, and there are always comments about how illegal it is. Mutilating coins is illegal in some places and many countries have laws about defacing and mutilating coins. I live in the United States and "a federal statute in the criminal code of the United States (18 U.S.C. 331), indeed makes it illegal if one "fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates, impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales or lightens" any U.S. coin. However, being a criminal statute, a fraudulent intent is required for violation. Thus, the mere act of altering coins into souvenirs is not illegal, without other factors being present." The statute does not prohibit the mutilation of coins, if the mutilated coins are not used fraudulently, i.e., with the intention of creating counterfeit coinage or profiting from the base metal. In the United States there are penny pressing machines in just about every museum, zoo, and amusement park. By putting a penny into one of these machines you can have a penny stretched and and embossed as a souvenir.
It is my understanding that it is illegal in Canada but not in the UK, do your own homework to be sure. If you are concerned that treasury agents will kick in your door over two cents then use copper blanks, they sell for $1.20-$1.60 apiece on amazon depending on the quantity you purchase.
Step 1: What You Will Need
Turtle template, I drew a turtle on a business card and cut it out.
Hammers, a big one for stretching the metal and a small one for stamping.
Wire for stamping shell lines. I used several types of wire and settled on wire from a small spring.
A punch or small drift for line stamping.
Files, I used some needle files and a small triangle file.
Sandpaper, medium grit and fine grit.
A rotorary buffer, like a dremel buffer/polishing wheel.
A drill and #60 drill bit.
Small pair of needle nose pliers.
French hooks, I got a bag of them from the craft section of wal-mart, they had three color options.
Doming tools, I used a carraige bolt and an old ignition lock cylinder. You could just as easily hammer the bolt into a block of wood and use that indentation.
Optional, rubber tire plug or rubber tubing. I wrapped the fine sandpaper around a rubber tire plug for sanding around the domed copper, it felt easier for me to keep a good grip on everything that way.
Step 2: Hammer Time
Step 3: Marking and Stock Removal
Step 4: Drilling and Medium Grit Sanding
Step 5: Wire Stamping
Place the wire where you want to stamp a line, put your drift on top of the wire and tap the drift with a hammer. You can hit the wire directly with your small hammer but the drift prevents hammered finger tips.
Step 6: Doming
You will need to place the turtle over something concave with your shell lines facing down into the concave area. Put yout convex tool over the turtle and tap it around the turtle's back in a circle. Hiting it with one good hard smack can leave the dome of the turtle shell off center, so work it around a little at a time.
Step 7: Fine Sanding and Buffing
If you prefer the shell lines to be a little darker, after buffing trace the lines with a black marker and wipe the turtle off with a cloth before the ink dries. This is optional, it depends on your personal preference.
Step 8: French Hooks and Done
I would like to use the laser from the Epilog Challenge to make more elaborate and detailed projects.