Linked Hearts Pendant

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Introduction: Linked Hearts Pendant

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

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

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


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.

Step 5: Polish and Join

To get the hearts to shine use progressively finer sand paper. I start at 400 grit, then move onto 1000, 2000, and finally automotive polishing compound on a polishing wheel. You can find all this in the auto section at Wal-Mart.

Open one of the hearts by gripping one side with pliers and gently prying the heart back and forth. Eventually the metal will fatigue and break. Link the hearts together, re-align the broken heart and solder together again. File away any excess solder from the joint.

If you’d like the hearts to sit a certain way, solder them together however you'd like.

Thanks for viewing.



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    24 Comments

    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!

    Thanks! If I remember it took about 1/2 hour. It goes much quicker if you have a buffing tool though.

    Is that a hammer head that your using as an anvil?

    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.

    when i hammered down the nickels and cut out the heart it seemed a bit small...how big were your hearts?

    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.

    20120211_193925.jpg20120211_193915.jpg

    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.