For a friend's birthday, I decided to make her a necklace with a metallic bird pendant. I wanted to do all myself but I didn't have a lot of money to invest. I first thought about metal clay like silver or copper clay, but it wasn't as cheap as I thought. Therefore, I had to buy at less 50e of equipment (blowtorch, special brick…). I didn't have the budget for it (I’m a 17 years old student), and so thats why I chose to change technique and to create the pendant with what I had in my bedroom (which is also my workshop) : metal plates.
At the end, it cost me 15€ for the chain because I wanted a particular one, but you can just buy a necklace around 2€, and 15€ for the small metal files I haven't before.
So this is how I made it and I hope you enjoy making it.
Step 1: Prepare Design and Pattern
This part isn't very complicated. Just take a piece of paper and a pen and try various ideas until you find your desired design that you prefer for your pendant. After a few ideas and thinking, I have chosen a quite simple bird shape.
For the pattern, I simply cut my drawing out.
Step 2: Unrefined Cut
With the pattern, I trace the bird shape that I choose on the raw face of the metal plate, with an indelible felt-tip (for CD).
I also drew the first cut lines, I did it in order to make sure to cut straight ahead and not too close to the drawing.
I cut that with the angle grinder and the disc for metal. To avoid injury, don’t forget to wear safety glasses, gloves and protective mask (since the metal dust is bad for the lungs).
The cut lines are also useful because with the sparks, you can't really see the drawing of the bird very well therefor, you can avoid errors by following these lines rather than taking the harder way.
Step 3: Refining With Dremel
Next, I refined the cut using a Dremel (picture 1). Dremel is a very useful tool : it’s a little drill with a range of attachments for cutting, polishing, carving, drilling…etc.
First, I used a simple cut-off wheel to obtain what you see in picture 3 then 4.
To have more handiness and precision with the Dremel, you can hold the metal piece with a pair of flat pliers. You can also put a piece of fabric between the clean face of the metal and the flat pliers in order to avoid scratches (see picture 2).
After this, I changed the cut-off wheel for another accessory, that I don't know the name of. I found it in an old box of accessories my father gave me, and I think it called a “Tungsten Carbide Cutter” if you search on the Dremel website ; It looks like a special drill bit.
Whith it, I sanded my bird until what you can see on picture 5.
Step 4: Some More of Refining Manually
I finished the bird manually to avoid and prevent fatal errors. I did it with two little metal files: one flat and one in a semicircle.
I rounded off the edges and the points of the pendant and polished it with sandpaper (1200 and 1500).
Step 5: Drilling and Finishing
The last step is drilling. I simply used the Dremel tool, with the metal bit. Don’t forget to think about the center of gravity for positioning your hole, that if you don’t want a vertical hanging bird…
Next, take the hook, and pass it through the hole and around the chain. Then close it with light pressure using a pair of flat pliers.
And that’s it ! I hope you enjoyed making it. Any question ? If so, just ask and I will answer the best I can.
Thanks for viewing my Instructable.
Ps : English isn't my native language, as you may see, so please be aware that there may be some mistakes.