How to Make Stamped Solder Pendants

How to make stamped solder pendants solder jewelry

This was such a fun project. I made all of these cute little pendants using plain old plumbing solder! I think they resemble wax seals or old coins:

Bernzomatic torch projects: jewelry pendants

Basic List of Materials (a little goes a long way):

TS4000 Bernzomatic Trigger Start Torch
MAP Fuel Canister (yellow)
1 Roll of Sterling Plumbing Solder
1 Roll of Copper Picture Wire (18 Gauge)
Non-Asbestos Soldering Block
Lead-free Water-Soluble Flux
Rubber Craft Stamps (Postmarks)

Optional but Recommended:
Parchment Paper
Bon Ami Powder

Each pendant only requires a tiny bit of solder and a few inches of copper wire making it a very inexpensive project:

solderpendant21

Here’s my TS4000 Bernzomatic Torch. It ignites with just a push of the button so it’s not scary or hard to use. Once you start torching…it’s kind of hard to stop!

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The pendants are primarily made up of metal from melting this sterling plumbing solder:

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To created the base of the pendant I used 18 gauge copper wire. Using pliers I created this “8” shape:

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I use a non-asbestos soldering block to fire against. It can withstand the heat:

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Brush a little bit of flux onto the copper wire. This will help the solder adhere to the wire:

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Using the torch, carefully heat the solder so that drops of solder begin to fall into and around the copper circle. It doesn’t have to be precise. Once there’s enough solder to fill the circle let the piece cool.  I put parchment paper underneath because it will catch any extra beads of solder that can also be reheated to create pendants:

molten solder stamping

Use the torch to remelt the solder. If you burn heat in a circular pattern around the edges the solder will shift towards the center into a circular glob:

rubber stamped jewelry

Take a regular craft stamp, mine are the “Far Off Posts” set by Dawn Houser:

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Press the rubber stamp onto the molten solder. They need to be wood-mounted so you don’t have to get your fingers near the molten solder.

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One the sterling solder has cooled you can just tap the stamp on the block and the pendant will fall away:

solderpendant3

Kind of addicting to make these…feels a little like minting money: [Read more…]

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How to Import VHS Tapes into iMovie

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I’ve been helping my friend Daren transfer some of his old acting demo clips from VHS to digital format. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to create a step-by-step tutorial for transferring VHS to iMovie because I know you’ve been asking for a while now.

First of all…..how cute is Daren?!  I loved watching all of these episodes….brought back so many memories: Wonder Years, Hunter, My Sister Sam, Growing Pains. You can click the image below and see the clips on IMDB:

I’m still trying to talk Daren into letting me run his fan club.

 

Ok, on to the step-by-step:

First of all, it’s pretty easy to import a VHS tape into iMovie for editing….but it involves a few steps because the VHS has to be converted into a digital format first.  I do this using my Sony Digital 8 Handycam. I record the VHS tape onto the Handycam and then import recorded footage into iMovie.  I’ve got two tips to getting this done:

Ok now to get started! To convert VHS to digital format using a handycam you’ll need the following which you can probably find from a neighbor or friend:

Digital 8 Handycam (DVC)
Audio Video TV Out AV Cable
Any VCR
Fire Wire Cable
Fire Wire Cable Adapters (if needed)

 

The first step is connecting the Handycam to a VCR.  This is done with a simple Audio Video TV Out AV Cable….you probably already have one sitting around somewhere. It has the 3 colored plugs on one side and an earphone like plug on the other side.

Here’s a closeup of where to plug each side of the AV cable into:

Next, insert a blank tape into the Handycam (DVC)….or one that you don’t mind recording over.  Turn the DVC on to VCR mode:

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