Introduction: Stainless Teardrop
I’ve been wanting to make a teardrop pendant out of stainless steel. The problem is it’s difficult, if not impossible, to solder stainless steel with the method I typically use. Instead of drilling a hole, I included the jump ring into the tear drop. It was a fun project. The only difficulty was shaping the metal to look like a believable droplet.
Step 1: Basic Shape
I chucked a ¼” rod of stainless steel into my mini lathe and spun it at 1100 RPMs. I machined in the basic shape freehand. The only thing you have to watch out for is putting too much pressure on the bulb of the drop. With enough stress you’ll snap it off before you’re ready.
Step 2: Refining the Shape
I used a half round file to refine the shape and to clean up any tooling marks. I then used 320 grit sand paper to clean up the lines left by the file. Separating it from the rod is simply a matter of snipping it off.
Step 3: Forge the Jump Ring
Here’s another part you want to be careful with. I used a propane torch to heat up the jump ring end. Once it was red hot I hammered it flat. Make sure the blows are square with the pendant. Otherwise you might snap it off unintentionally.
Step 4: Drilling It Out
I used a center punch to help set the first of 3 drill bits. If I were to use just one bit, instead of moving up in increments, the bit might catch and spin the entire pendant. This could accidentally snap the jump ring off. That would be bad.
Step 5: Shape and Polish
Using diamond burs, I shaped the jump ring to be nice and round. Once I had the shape I wanted, I polished it on a buffing wheel to shine it up.
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