One of the rewards is a kit that covers the basics techniques of metalcrafting. I’m putting it out in the form of a “Steel Critters” kit. This little box will have what’s needed to create 3 different critters. I have two out of three down. One's a gecko. Another's a spider. The third is still up in the air.
Here the guidelines I’m working under.
1) Sparks creative interest.
2) Can be completed with common tools.
3) Does not require special skill.
Along with describing the steps to create this I’ll explain why I consider the Photo Owl a failure. Back to the drawing board. Other ideas are a Seahorse, Mouse, and Crab. Any suggestions?
Step 1: Kit Parts
Step 2: Embossing
Step 3: Dapping
Step 4: Owl Parts
Filing the cut ends of the wire is where it could be tricky. To get the circles to close flush you have to use the same file angle on both sides. There would be enough wire to re-do this if it wasn’t right.
Trouble. To get a sharp bend in wire you have to file a notch. I used my diamond wheel in a drill press. These tools are not hard to get or specific to a trade but I consider them special. So I would have to modify the design.
The beak would come already cut out so no issue there.
Step 5: Deal Breaker: Soldering
1) Molten solder has a surface tension. It will keep parts in place to a certain extent.
2) Soldering one part will cause the part next to it to become molten again.
3) To overcome gravity you have to position the parts just right. That way they don’t slide off when your solder on other parts.
4) Solder must be placed so that the melting trail it leaves behind does not distract from the piece.
This kind of knowledge only comes through experience. Which voids the purpose of the kit. The idea is that a person of average skill can complete this. Even if they’ve never done it before. I consider this special skill. So I either have to modify the design or scrap it all together.
Other points: Another special tool; the wooden parallel clamp. If you’re a wood worker you may have one but your not going to want to singe it with a torch.
Which bring to mind “what if I don’t have a torch?”. You can use a jet lighter. They’re sold at any grocery store and are used for lighting candles.
Step 6: The Feet and Stand
Step 7: Shining Up
So am I on the right track? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Thanks for reading.