Introduction: Make It - Gold / Glass Vial Holder

This summer I was lucky enough to get some gold mining lessons in British Columbia (thanks Josh and crew!) My family and I spent the day on the river panning and we have a small vial of gold to show for the work. I wanted to build a housing that would protect the vial but also make it easy to admire the gold. This is what I came up with.

I urge you to check out the build video to see the whole thing come together. Links to all the products I used in this build can be found in the video description.

Step 1: Cutting a Base and a Top

This is really basic build. The top and bottoms are identical pieces of wood cut down from a scrap piece of walnut I had. I taped them together in preparation for the next step.

Step 2: Drill Some Holes

I drilled through both pieces at the same time in the four corners with a 1/4" forstner bit on the drill press. Drilling through both at the same time ensures the hole placement is identical. I then drilled a 5/8" hole in the centre of each block. One of the 5/8" holes was 1/8" deep and the other side was just deep enough to hide the plastic lid of the vial.

Step 3: Cutting the Brass

I sandwiched the vial of gold between the base and top to determine the length the rod and spacers needed. The rod is 1/4" solid brass and the spacers are 5/16" brass tubing with a 1/4" ID. The brass rod should protrude an 1/8" top and bottom. I assembled the holder and made my way over to the anvil.

Step 4: STOP!, Hammer Time!

Nothing really to say about this step other than it will take a lot longer than you'd think. I worked on one pin at a time, slowly mushrooming the brass rod to pin the vial in place. The spacers keep the pressure off the vial so as not to break it.

Step 5: Finishing

I used Briwax to protect the wood and wax and this project is done.

I urge you to check out the build video to see the whole thing come together. Links to all the products I used in this build can be found in the video description.

Comments

author
tytower (author)2016-11-02

I would suggest a coat of clear over the cleaned brass because if you dont you will have a regular messy polishing job on your hands . Clear cote or varnish stops that for a fair while

author
dpmakestuff (author)tytower2016-11-03

I am fully expecting and patiently wait for a beautiful patine to develop! Good advise though if you want to preserve the shine. That's what they do to brass accents in the home like light switch covers.

author
ironsmiter (author)dpmakestuff2016-11-03

switch to bronze rods, for that aged statue feel you are probably after.

or, hit it with 5 parts salt dissolved in 4 parts ammonia, for a cool purple patina. LIGHT washes with a plastic paint brush. Extra layers will develop it into a green color. A bit of paste wax, when it reaches the desired color should retard or stop further oxidation.

author
dpmakestuff (author)ironsmiter2016-11-04

You can give brass and copper a patina using ammonia also. Copper develops a beautiful blue colour if you get it just right!

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