Intro: Sterling Silver and Crystal Pendent
This is a very easy elegant beginner project. It only requires a few different materials and tools!
Step 1: What You'll Need
- 1" or so of 20 gauge sterling silver wire
- .5" of 16 gauge sterling silver wire
- 2 pieces of easy solder
- a crystal with a hole in it
- jewelers torch
- wire cutters
- sand paper (600 grit)
- quenching bowl (bowl of water)
- dish soap
- cup of pickle (1 part vinegar 2 parts salt warmed in the microwave)
- a dremel with a tip that is the same as your 20 gauge wire
- jewelers saw and blade
- four inch divider, or a measuring device
Step 2: Measuring and Cutting
You'll want to begin by cutting a piece of sterling silver 20 gauge sheet with your jewelers saw. You will want to measure from the hole in your crystal to the top of your crystal, and make the silver about four times as long. You'll want the width of your piece to be about the same as your crystal. You'll then want to take your four inch dividers and measure where your holes will be in your sheet. After you've done that, you're ready to drill. First, make a punch hole by taking a nail at the intersection and pounding it in, so the drill has somewhere to sit. After you've done that, sand down the holes and the edges.
Step 3: Fold
You'll then want to fold your sheet evenly in half, leaving it still open so your crystal can fit. I bent mine over a pair of closed pliers.
Step 4: Soldering
First, clean your piece with dish soap and dry it off. Then, paint your sheet with some flux to keep your piece clean. You will now place your 16 gauge wire on your bent sheet however you'd like. I did mine diagonally, but it is completely up to you. Place your two pieces of solder on either side of the wire and begin to heat it up, starting at very low heat then moving up till your solder has melted. Place your piece into the quenching bowl using pliers.
Step 5: Balling Up Silver Wire
You will hold your 20 gauge wire in pliers to ball one end up. You do this by holding it at the tip of the blue cone of the flame until the wire melts into a ball. Place that in the quenching bowl when you have a ball that you like.
Step 6: Pickling
After you've done both of your pieces you may now place them in your pickle to get any access flux off. Your pieces should look pretty clean when you take them out of the pickle. Snip off any excess wire from your piece and then sand down the sides.
Step 7: Putting It All Together
After you've dried your pieces off from being in the pickle you'll want to gently sand off your piece. I suggest leaving some oxidation on your piece to give it depth. Then, slide your 20 gauge wire through your sheet and your crystal. Wrap the end of the wire up with you pliers and snip off any excess. Sand if it is rough in any spots.