Introduction: Jointed Mild-steel Necklace

Picture of Jointed Mild-steel Necklace

This is a piece I made last spring at the Crucible's forge space in Oakland. It's a three- or four-piece jointed necklace, made from 3/8" round stock from the scrap bucket. Right now, I use steel jump-rings to connect the C-scroll back piece to each of the front S-scroll pieces, and the folded C-scroll clip holds the front two together. For a simpler look, I can just put a jump-ring or bit of wire to hold the front pieces together where their curves meet.

Process: As usual, I just rough-sketched the design and then started playing around with the pieces. If I make another, I'd start with smaller stock (since these were drawn down to less than 1/4" at their widest), do a more thorough design first, and mock up the 3D curves with wire. Also, it's a pretty impressive amount of trouble to shape very hot iron in complex curves that match one's own neck in a room with no mirror. I had to go through a lot of heat-and-quench cycles for this piece. With that and all the drawing and tapering, I broke one piece, and the clip has some serious cracks in it. A better model would help, as would time to properly anneal the pieces.

Finish: I cleaned off the scale and smoothed it with a grinding bit on a rotary tool. (Dremel + Flexshaft = awesome.) Since the piece is designed to be worn on the skin, I need to keep it from rusting. For the moment, it's been oiled & heated, and that seems to work well enough.


kayakattack made it! (author)2017-06-03

Thanks for the idea and pics. I did a fairly good replica of your work at my guilds forge, but left it black and beeswax sealed the steel. I thought of burnishing it with a brass brush. Either way, it should go well with my wife's Renaissance Festival outfit.

ladycroft108 (author)2010-05-17

awesome!!! I just got into metal-smithing and I wish I had the tools to make this! 

captaincoolness55 (author)2009-03-18

that's awesome man! :D i'll have to make one of these in the future.

Kaelessin (author)2008-11-12

you mentioned the cracks and how it'd be weaker but since it really only has to hold itself up you probly don't need to worry no? either way, I love the harsh and yet somehow still delicate beauty of it - very elegant!

jestersforge (author)2008-07-08

Beautiful necklace... one made of brass or brass/steel combo would be pretty neat.

abbabibble2 (author)2008-03-16

daaamn. I have to make me some scrolling tongs and a hold-down!

reno_dakota (author)abbabibble22008-03-17

Yeah, scrolling tongs would be handy for this kind of thing. If I do much more fiddly delicate ironwork, I'm gonna need to make myself a set of <1/4" tongs, at least. ...So, hey, when're you going to post that iron-rose instructable? :) I played around a bit trying to make one, but it didn't come out so well.

abbabibble2 (author)reno_dakota2008-03-19

oh right. Iron rose. I have to get an acceptable outcome first but that will come, definately. Best way to do it i think is to cut the pieces out of sheet stock and tack to a bar instead of scrolling the leaves and pounding them all out of a single bar. I'll do some more experimenting and see what i get.

reno_dakota (author)abbabibble22008-03-19

Aww, but cutting pieces out of sheet stock I could do pretty easily...tacking them down might be more of a challenge. I managed to scroll up something that looked approximately like a rosebud, but in doing so twisted it right off of it's "stem." I'm not sure how to get around that; I'd love whatever tips you can throw my way. (And, sadly, my time at the forge has run out, so I won't be doing much/any hotwork until late May. I should console myself by playing with the waterjet machine instead.)

brainwise (author)2008-03-06

What a great piece of jewelry!

reno_dakota (author)brainwise2008-03-09

Thanks! I just recently got back into the forge, and it is wonderful.

GorillazMiko (author)2008-03-05

Wow! That is incredible! Very nice job, if you posted an Instructable, that would be great!

reno_dakota (author)GorillazMiko2008-03-05

Thanks! Unfortunately, I don't have enough photos to make a full Instructable on it. Taking pictures when I've got tongs in one hand, a hammer in the other, and am handling hot iron is...a bit tricky. :) I'm trying to get enough photos for an Instructable on my current forge project (a blacksmith's rose).

thinkahead (author)reno_dakota2008-03-06

Recently a friend and I visited a craft shop for the disabled and realized how neat it would be if we could take the pictures and notes on their crafts for them... Maybe you could come to a similar arrangement with someone at your studio and alternately do the notes and picture taking. These guys now plan to make the Instructables a resource.

reno_dakota (author)thinkahead2008-03-09

That's fantastic, glad to hear it! Usually other folks at the studio are busy working on their own projects, and time in the forge is limited. I might try to sit in on a class sometime soon and take photos of process then. I also managed to get a friend to come in to the studio with me this afternoon to take photos/video, so if those turned out allright I'll have a full instructable up soon.

mspark400 (author)2008-03-06

Excellent, great metal work! +1

reno_dakota (author)mspark4002008-03-09

Thank you!

Patrik (author)2008-03-06

Very Nice! A great flowing and organic-looking piece, for something made out of cold, hard metal. Was this a project for one of the Crucible's courses, or something you did all on your own? I've been tempting to take one their blacksmithing courses - it looks like they have a great forge space their. Instead, I'll be doing their woodturning intensive next month. I suspect I'll have similar difficulties trying to take pictures while I'm working... :-D

reno_dakota (author)Patrik2008-03-06

Thank you! And yeah, I love the juxtaposition in making organic/delicate pieces out of iron. (And the challenge of making them with a much-larger-than-jeweler's-size hammer and anvil and forge...) This wasn't for a class, just me playing around in the studio. The forge shop they've got is fantastic -- I'm finally getting back in there again for a few weeks this spring for a studio access lab. Have fun with the woodturning, and I hope you're able to post at least some of your projects. I always poke my head in the door on my way to the forge, just to see what people are working on.

Robotrix (author)2008-03-05

what a gorgeous project!

reno_dakota (author)Robotrix2008-03-06

Thank you!

ItsTheHobbs (author)2008-03-05

that's so neat

reno_dakota (author)ItsTheHobbs2008-03-05


About This Instructable




More by reno_dakota:Southern-style Sweet Tea for SummertimeExperimental Bread PuddingJointed mild-steel necklace
Add instructable to: