Instructables
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These hearts are made from two American nickels. It’s a fun project, doesn’t require any specialized tools, and can be made in one afternoon. From start to finish it took about 2½ hours.

 

Step 1: Hammer and Draw

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Start by hammering two nickels. Only hammer enough so the detail disappears. It’s important you use a smooth faced hammer on a smooth surface. Otherwise you’ll spend more time sanding out tiny dings and dents.

Use a pencil to draw out the shape you want. This doesn’t have to be the final design but it helps to guide you along the way. Also it helps if you have an engraver to trace over your pencil mark. That way you marks won’t wipe away while your handling it. If you don’t have an engraver use a permanent marker.

Step 2: Cut, Drill, and File

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While holding the nickel with pliers, drill into the inner section of heart. Next use a rotary tool to better shape the inner heart void. After that use metal shears and tin snips to cut out the rest of the shape.

Use a grinding attachment to further refine the shape.

Use hobby files to refine it even more. The files I use came from the Home Depot and cost me $16.

Step 3: Solder and Re-shape

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Once you have the shape you want, solder the heart onto the other nickel. Use the same techniques to match the shape for the second heart.

The solder I use is from the plumbing section at any home improvement store. Lead free of course.

Step 4: De-solder and Keep Filing

Separate the hearts. File the edges round on both the inside and outside perimeter of the hearts.
 
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How long did it take to sand? Did you do it entirely by hand? And btw, I love all your projects. I made my first nickel ring today its not perfect but i suprised myself by doing it! Keep up the great work!
Mrballeng (author)  arcticthunder1 year ago
Thanks! If I remember it took about 1/2 hour. It goes much quicker if you have a buffing tool though.
tech dawg1 year ago
Is that a hammer head that your using as an anvil?
Mrballeng (author)  tech dawg1 year ago
Yes. It used to have a handle welded to it but it broke off from so much hammering on it. One day I'll buy a real one.
jarodkister2 years ago
when i hammered down the nickels and cut out the heart it seemed a bit small...how big were your hearts?
Mrballeng (author)  jarodkister2 years ago
They were just smaller then an original nickel
Making this for my girlfriend, so far so good! Great job in the instructable. Hopefully the soldering goes well.
Hey there! Couple of things, first, your instructables are amazing and have inspired me to try and make jewlery with my wife! You make it seem so simple, because it is! Next thing is, I'm having a hard time getting my soldier to be "invisible" after linking the hearts. I was able to get the gap all the way closed up with pkiers, but when i put the flux and soldier on it either beads up or fails to bond to the gap and flakes away when I file and sand it. Any advice?

Attached images are a cleaned up shots of my work so far.
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Mrballeng (author)  The Dark Ninja2 years ago
I know exactly what your'e talking about. What I think is happening is the nickel and maybe even the solder has oxidized. Meaning it's been over heated. It happens to me all time. What you have to do is clean off the surface that's going to be soldered. Take a piece of sand paper (something like 800 grit) and fold it it half so both sides are abrasive. Run it through the joint to clean off the mating surfaces. Once those surfaces are clean apply the flux and place a small piece of solder. It will work better if you hold the heart with some pliers and heat the joint from the bottom while the solder is on top of the joint. That way the heart will heat up along with the solder and draw into the joint. That should do the trick. Let me know. Looks great by the way. Thanks for the comment.
I got it to work! You were right about too direct of heat. I set my hobby torch to a flame more like that you'd find on a lighter and heated the metal away from the solder.

I also used a different polishing cream than standard jewelers rouge, I used MAAS 'all metal polish'. I trust this stuff a lot. I used it to polish brass when it gets tarnished, and the shine stays on it for months. I guess it's also a sort of protectant too.

Anyways, I'll have to find those pictures of the final version, I'm having trouble conveying it's 'shineyness' though. Saw your ible on photography, but not sure how to apply that to this project. :-(
mnewman-12 years ago
Thank you so much for your instructables. I made this for my girlfriend for our 6-month anniversary (yes, I know it's technically not an anniversary). She absolutely loved it!! She couldn't believe I really made it out of two nickles!!

Oh and just a side note for anyone who doesn't have a polishing wheel. You can easily make one for use in a drill by taking some felt, cutting it into some circles, making a hole in the middle of them and putting them on a bolt with a large washer on each side of the stack of felt pieces and a nut or two (i used two to keep it from loosening up) to hold them together.

Polishing Wheel and Necklace:
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Mrballeng (author)  mnewman-12 years ago
This is great!!! I'm sure she appreciated all your effort much more than a store bought gift. Thanks for sharing. Congrats on 6 months!
0xCyrusx02 years ago
Amazing...

Your instructables have helped me immensely, everything you've posted has been so well documented. I made the vintage locket several months ago for my girlfriend, and made one out of a sheet of copper for myself.

I'm going to try to make this one in a few hours once I can find a rotary tool of somekind. You've helped me make many lady-friends of mine smile.

I started out running a CNC plasma cutter and other large metalworking equipment, but these instructables have really got me interested in jewelry making as a hobby, thank you.
Mrballeng (author)  0xCyrusx02 years ago
Comment like your's make what I post worth it. Thanks. Don't forget to post pictures.
Nawaz2 years ago
Done..not as good as I was expecting but it turned out not bad. Thanks again :)
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Nawaz2 years ago
Next on my to do list :P Thanks for sharing
mslaynie3 years ago
WOW!! I'd missed this one somehow, but I'm glad I found it... this is gorgeous! Again, the mind boggles... :D
Spookiefish3 years ago
wonderful work as usual!!!
u can probably save yourself the trouble of soldering/de-soldering step by using super glue. it can hold up to the filing required for shaping and be removed with a torch. it isn't as much cleanup after the fact either
I tried this... While grinding the nickle got hot enoulgh to melt the superglue
neetz3 years ago
amazing!!!!!!!!! i really want to try this!!!!!!
action pig3 years ago
Beautiful as always!
WhittVT3 years ago
I love The stuff you do, I just can't ever get it so delacate.
jeiroq3 years ago
Thank you sir! This will make a great gift!