Stainless Teardrop

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About: Awesome Gear I've designed myself.

Intro: 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.

Thanks for reading.

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    40 Discussions

    I have been very impressed with you jewelry Mrballeng. I must say i have never seen such genius with a engine lathe.

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    reosed

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Has someone who has followed your instructables before, you deserve more tools! When I followed your granite pendant instructable, I found that the "anvil" portion of my vise was very rough and made my polishing job much harder. Great job on this. I might have to see if I can get it done with a drill press and a file! I voted for you.

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    rocketperson

    5 years ago on Step 5

    @ Mrballeng's reply: Another thing to take into consideration is that the beauty of handmade items is that they will always have a unique quality, just like a signature! That looks so cool that I would try it if I had the tools. I am also impressed with how you took less than a pennies worth of material and made it priceless!

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    Mrballengcjgordon

    Reply 5 years ago on Step 5

    I like to keep jewelry one of a kind. So this is the only one.

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    ledshed

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Nice - stainless is not the easiest of metals and takes a while to polish, but the results and durability make it worth it.

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    stilcrazychris

    5 years ago on Step 5

    U do very nice work on all ur stuff. Ur wife is one lucky lady. Ur son did a very good Lego instructable also. I really enjoyed it. Keep up the nice work. Looks like son will fellow in Dads footsteps... Lol..

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    tjk1939

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Good job, sure makes me wish I still had my lathe.

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    chuckyd

    5 years ago on Step 5

    I'm a wood turner, and I would turn this the other way around, with the thin part at the end. That way, you don't have to worry about breaking it off so easily.

    Also, could could you have turned a longer thin piece and wrapped it around a mandrel to avoid flattening and drilling?

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    dkeach

    5 years ago

    I absolutely love your stuff mrb, I actually just modified your butterfly tutorial a little and tweaked the size, its about four or five times bigger, kinda regret it bc the solder is more visible, its nice to see youve been getting better equipment though. again u r an inspiration to all of us that beauty is crafted not just biught, thank you. keep it up

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    Mrballengdkeach

    Reply 5 years ago

    Why thank you very much. Soldering takes practice, just like anything else. But i know exactly what you mean. I'm really excited about my new anvil. Thanks for taking the time to write.

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    lillyann

    5 years ago on Step 5

    Beautiful!!! You should register and sell them at fiverr.com! I'd be the first to buy one!

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    Kinnishian

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Quality instructable :). Thanks for the detailed pictures and clear explanations.