Monday, September 29, 2008

More on Chainmaille

In an effort to further my chainmaille-ing ability, and to save on costs, i purchased 10lbs of stainless steel in the 18swg on a spool. This brought me to my new project: Creating the tools i need to coil the steel.

I had the idea in my head from the beginning, and it only took small tweaks to make it work. First, i grabbed two pieces of scrap wood and cut them to approximately the same size. these i nailed/glued to another piece of scrap my approximate coil length. i drilled holes in the wood (yes, after it was connected, not while they were on the table, silly me) and then slid the coil rod thru the holes, marked where it hit on the other piece of wood, and tapped an indent, not all the way thru, for the coil rod to rest.

I'll get to the pics in a minute.

My first attempt was using the handle of a shovel across two chairs with the spool set on the handle. This proved not the best idea. The shovel moved, the spool moved, the wire didnt stay right, and i made a stainless steel rose, a pic of which i will post at a later date.

The second attempt was after another tool. i found a closet hanger dowel that fit the spool perfectly, grabbed a few more scraps, some screws/glue later, i made me a hanger for the spool. here is the whole setup and the coils i completed:

Yes, the green chair in the background is one of the chairs i was balancing the spool across with a shovel. Not recommended.

The coil rod is still a little long, and i'll be cutting that off when i get a hack saw. that will make it easier to mount the drill on. it just about hangs off the table now.

The next step is a coil cutter. I need an arbor and saw for my drill, plus a mount to hold the drill stable while i drop the coils thru a block of wood and have them neatly cut. Its pretty cool.

Here's a couple pics of my coils, the first two i've done.

The lighter is for size reference. yes, its short, but right after that the coil got away from me and i had to figure out how to better hold it. it wound back on itself.

This second one is significantly longer. There are some expanded places where the spool got away from me again, but i managed to get it under control, and it won't make that big of a difference when i cut them. they'll just have to be bent back a little more.

All in all, i'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out and am looking forward to getting my cutter set up. I made this one to handle 3/16" and 1/4" inner diameter coils.


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