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I Forge Iron

Treble Clef Pendant and Earrings (plus a story)

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Hey guys, I'm not exactly sure where to post this, so I figured this is as good of place as any(well, maybe better than in the bladesmithing section). I'm just posting this because its been forever since I've made anything, and even longer since I posted anything. So for all of you who joined after I stopped posting: Hi, I'm Luke, and I'm addicted to blacksmithing. For those of you who care to hear a short story, keep reading. For those who aren't, just look at the pretty pictures.

So, I'm a full time college student so I barely have time to forge any more, but over the summer I was messaged on Etsy by some guy asking about a Treble Clef pendant that he saw on Pinterest. The funny thing is that all of my Etsy listings expired back in 2013(because no body bought anything...), and I never posted the picture of the pendant anywhere else (well, maybe on here but I cant find it). As it turns out, when I first posted it on Etsy, somebody pinned it, and in the last three years it started to spread around all over the website. In fact, if you google "hand forged music note" its the first thing in google images. So, three years after i closed up my Etsy shop, some guy comes along requesting me to make him a pendant and matching earrings. At the time, I was at an internship out in Northern California(so much better than the Vegas heat), but he said he would be willing to wait. Because of classes and other things going on I wasn't able to get out to my forge until last Sunday. The pendant was made out of a 1/8 steel rod. I tapered the end and started from the spiral and worked my way out, and the loop at the top was from the same piece of metal, just worked down to a smaller diameter. Then I used a wire wheel on my bench grinder to give it that nice finish that I love oh so very much. The earrings were cold worked from 19 gauge steel wire, using needle nose pliers and a very small hammer(I wanted them to match the pendant, so I gave it a forged look). Sadly the pictures of the earrings don't do them justice, they are smoother than they look in the images. Now I know that I am a complete forging noob, and about 80% of the stuff I make is rubbish, but I think these came out quite well. Well, at least the new pendant is a little better than the first one I made(eh, you can just google it).

Long stories short, I've been busy, guy paid me to forge again, now I'm back, the end! Tell me what you think, or judge me, I'm not picky.





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Have you tied similar ones using silicon bronze or even copper wire?   My wife has me making spinning hooks from brazing rod---the originals were made from coat hanger wire; but I made one for my wife out of brazing rod and now about twice a year I have to make a bunch of them as every time my wife teaches a class or attends a spinning conference they sell out...

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The pendant especially looks good, the first photos of the earrings they don't look great but the one of all together they work really well. This is relevant to me as I made a treble clef coat hook as a housewarming gift for my brother last night - one thing I would say is your central scroll could be a half turn less and still look good - less work for you:



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Nice work. 

That sort of story happened to me several times for a stainless steel omega pendant I made and put up on An art hosting site. I made a few but it just wasn't cost effective for me so I stopped. Stock removal on stainless steel isn't fun. 

Congrats on the return. 

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Good to hear from you again Luke. Funny how things work isn't it? Drop something as a dud after a long try and THEN it becomes popular. You're too busy to do the things without it being a chore of course. Good thing they're not Andirons or driveway gates eh?

They look pretty good, just not perfect enough to be attractive. I'm thinking a sledge hammer head, light ball pein, scrolling pliers and a Dremel wire brush and you could carry this kit in a brief case. Perfect for a college student's pocket money generator.

Best to you keep us posted please.

Frosty The Lucky.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you all for your comments. I apologize for the late response, so much for being back, eh? But i appreciate all of the tips and comments, its great to be "posting" again.

Anyways, to Thomas, I have not tried using anything else, those were my first attempts both at making those treble clefs and at working with wire.

To Robbie, I could probably do with a less dramatic coil, but I recently got a pair of scroll tongs which makes the job much easier. I kind of like the dramatic coil, and it sort of puts my style on the treble clef.

To Daswulf, I agree, trying to grind stainless steel is not fun at all. I've had to do some work with it while making class projects.

To Frosty, I actually have been wanting to make a small soup can forge, a small piece of train track, and make a portable mini forge and anvil stand that I could take places. There are art events here called First Friday that people go and try to sell tons of artsy stuff, but surprisingly there are very few jewelry or knickknack stuff. I think it would be awesome to rent a booth and make and sell stuff in front of people. But for obvious reasons, I'll have to get a lot better before I could do that. Or at least come up with more pendant ideas.

To Mr. ToolSteel, that is an excellent suggestion, and actually gave me some ideas on trying to do some decorative stuff to the wire before I bend it up. Maybe make it out of a twisted square stock, cut a diamond pattern in it, or maybe flattening the threads on a screw to give it a scaled look. I don't know, could be worth trying. Maybe next time I'm out there I can do some crazy stuff.

I also need to buy some thinner stock for the chain loop. I had to use the same 1/8th rod and work it down thinner, which made it come out not so great. Maybe I could try to make it more decorative. I'm an engineering student, so my mind set is more set on functionality more than esthetics.

Also, could anyone suggest a good way to work with brass? I was thinking of trying something similar in 1/8th brass rod, but I'm not sure the best way to heat it or soften it. The only experience I have with brass is making pins for knife handles.

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