Intro: Making a Cold Enameled Jewellery Box
Heres a nice copper box to make, Ive used reclaimed sheet copper & copper wire.
The heart design on the top is cold enameled, which sounds posh but its epoxy resin with glitter mixed in!
To make you will need:
Small sheet of copper or brass five inch square should be plenty, about 1mm thick.
Few inches of scrap copper wire. I used old electrical wire and stripped off the plastic.
Leadfree solder & flux.
Fast set epoxy resin. Comes in two tubes.
Bit of red glitter.
Pencil torch or soldering iron.
Step 1: Mark Out the Copper
From thin wood or MDF, cutout a heart template the size of the base of the box. This one is 3 x 3 cm. Mark this onto the copper sheet using a sharp scribe or file. With tinsnips cut the shape from the copper, clean off with sandpaper and flattern out any bumps on a flat surface using a hammer.
Step 2: Cut Out the Side of the Box.
The side of this box is 2cm deep, so cut from the copper a 2cm wide strip about 12 cm long. Clean this with the sandpaper and then its ready to be bent into a heart shape. If the strip is annealed it bends much easier into shape, to anneal copper its heated with the blow torch or pencil torch to red hot and then allowed to cool. This changes the make up of the metal and makes it more pliable.
Using the wood template as a guide, work the strip around the the wood until its heart shaped. Cut off with snips at the back so a solder joint can be made. What you end up with looks like a cookie cutter, clean the two surfaces of the joint ready for soldering.
Step 3: Soldering
Right so we have the side bent into shape and the base ready to solder together. Apply a small amount of flux to the joint at the back of the box and then with the side supported upright place tiny pieces of solder onto the joint( see photos) Heat with the pencil torch and let the solder flow into the joint. If the solder doesnt flow you need to clean the surface of the copper again.
When cool put some flux around the box base and place the side onto it, around the inside of the box put tiny pieces of solder and heat with the torch, be careful when near to the joint at the back, as too much heat will open this up again.
When cool draw around the top of the box onto some card and then allow a few millimetres all the way around to give a slightly bigger lid. Place this tempate onto copper sheet and cut out with snips, clean and smooth the edges.
To make the lid fit to the box we need another heart shape to solder to the underside of the lid which forms a lip (see photo)
If you draw around the top of the box again onto card and then cut this template inside the lines it will fit inside the box, make adjustments to the template until it fits, then cut from copper.
Solder the heart shape to the base of the lid so it forms a lip that will sit inside and locate the lid.
Step 4: Enamel the Lid
Strip the cover from some copper wire and bend into a heart shape that is smaller than the lid. Place onto a flat surface and tap with a hammer to make sure it will sit flat on the lid. Make sure the wire & lid are clean & free from grease, mix some epoxy resin onto a piece of card and sprinkle a bit of glitter next to the epoxy. You can add a tiny bit of Acrylic paint aswell to make the mix a darker red, place the wire heart on the lid and then slowly add the epoxy to the inside of the heart shape (make sure its mixed well or it wont set hard) I use five minute epoxy from the hardware store. When set hard you get a nice glossy surface like enamel, Ive found its best to pollish the lid before putting in the enamel as some polishing wheels can damage the surface of the enamel. File off any bits of copper around the box so it looks tidy, using a dremel or a polishing wheel clean and polish inside and out and your done.
You can make this any size you like and change the design on the lid into some quite complex shapes and colours, have fun.