One can never have too many hammers!
So I treated myself to a few more recently 🙂

New Hammers

They will go nicely with the other hammers I have and sit in the tool stand Mr A made for me last year.

hammer stand
Wonderful range of Hammers available to buy on Amazon.co.uk

How to Store Copper Off-cuts

How to Store Copper Off-cuts

Metalworking Tip about Copper Off-Cuts

Copper Off-cuts tend to have sharp ends which really hurt if they pierce your fingers. I know because I have experienced it plenty of times! And if you use snips / scissors / shears to cut shapes out of thin copper sheet then the off-cuts have all kinds of curls and bends on them too.

How to Store Copper Off-cuts

I never throw anything away and hold on to these copper off-cuts as they are useful for all kinds of design projects, especially for smaller items like earrings, pendant bails and even small pendants. I store all my copper off-cuts in little plastic boxes. And when I need a small bit of copper for something I just rummage through the boxes to find the right piece instead of cutting up a bigger sheet of copper.

Previously when I put my hand into the box there were lots of “OW” and some (OK a lot) of swearing as these pesky little bits with really sharp ends attacked me!

How to Store Copper Off-cuts

To avoid injured (sometimes bleeding) fingers I have now started hammering these curled up bits of copper off-cuts to flatten them before I throw them into the plastic box. It just takes a few seconds to flatten each piece out using a flat hammer and a nylon block. But it saves a lot of pain, especially when you are in the middle of a project and just need to get on without bleeding all over the workbench.

How to Store Copper Off-cuts

How to Store Copper Off-cuts
Box of Copper Off-cuts hammered flat to avoid bleeding fingers

Hope this tip is useful to other metalworkers who, like me, have experienced sharp copper off-cuts biting them!

  • Don’t throw away copper off-cuts
  • these off-cuts have sharp ends which can hurt your fingers
  • flatten the off-cuts using a hammer and a nylon (or wooden) block. Don’t have a Nylon bench block? Buy one here
  • store them for future use.

Learning to Setup the Rolling Mill

Learning to Setup the Rolling MillSo I bought a rolling mill. What next? Learning all about it of course!

Learning to use your tools properly is so important! So once the Rolling Mill had been mounted properly on a sturdy table (it is a heavy piece of kit! Weighs 28 kg.) it was time to get to know its various parts and how they slot in together.

Some of the steps in learning to set up the rolling mill

Learning to Setup the Rolling Mill

The first job was to open it all up and see what part was what.  There are so many different bits that are screwed together to make up the tool.

I took off the gears, those two round things and the one with handle on top. That is the easy bit. They just slide off. Then the screws have to be taken off. Thankfully it comes with the right spanners. And Mr A has a collection of spanners and ratchets in the right size too. If you don’t, they are not too expensive to buy.

Learning to Setup the Rolling Mill

After I had worked out how to use the spanner properly and removed the screw I took the top off.

Learning to Setup the Rolling Mill

The Rolling Mill arrives with a thick coating of heavy duty grease. Make sure you have a roll of kitchen towel handy to wipe off the grease as you go along. Don’t do this wearing nice clothes!

Taking the the top off it exposes the top roller, which is a plain roller. Be careful not to scratch the rollers as any marks could (probably will) transfer to the metal when you roll it.

Learning to Setup the Rolling Mill

Taking out the top smooth roller carefully. Make sure you have enough space around you to put these down safely. And don’t forget, these are rollers and will happily roll off the table so put it in a cardboard box, drawer or a tray.

Learning to Setup the Rolling Mill

Changing the roller to one of the patterned rollers that came with the rolling mill.

Contents of the pack:

My Rolling Mill has 7 rollers: • 2 plain rolls for sheet rolling • 2 wire rolls for wire drawing • 1 roll with cross checks and flat checks • 1 roll with dull and lining • 1 roll with v groove and half round

Plain rolls are already installed in the machine and the rest came individually packed and sealed in little cardboard boxes. There is a generous grease / oil  coating which had to be wiped off with paper kitchen towel. In the picture above I have installed the cross & flat checks roller.

Once I had installed the roller I put it all back together and it worked! 🙂

I have not really used the patterned or wire rolls yet, it will happen another time. I will need practice in using the wire rolls. After I had checked that the patterned roller was setup correctly I opened the mill up again and put it back with the plain roller.

I have had a few sessions and rolled some patterned paper and stickers through the rolling mill so far and made some jewellery. I have a whole lot of things in my stash box that I will try rolling to create more pieces.

One of the first pieces I made using the Rolling Mill – Handmade Paper Texture Earrings 

If you are thinking of buying a Rolling Mill there are several models available to choose from

My New Annealing Pan

Mr A has made a new annealing pan for me. 🙂

New annealing pan
My new 3 litre annealing pan

This new workbench accessory is going to make life so much easier when I want to anneal or flame paint larger pieces like my bigger copper trays or if want to anneal 2 or 3 bracelet blanks at the same time.