The messages in this group may be a little too "hard core" for what I'm
interested in, but I'm hoping someone can offer some advice. After
trying many crafts over the years - painting, sewing, quilting,
woodworking, etc. - I've finally decided that I'd like to focus on metal
crafts. I find myself attracted to anything metallic, whether it be
beads, paint, hardware (the older the better), tin ceilings, whatever.
I'd like some advice on getting started (as in a good book, web
resources, suppliers, etc.), though my range of initial interest is
probably not covered in any one book. I'd like to learn about different
types of metal, gauges, the best materials for projects, tools needed,
techniques for antiquing metal, and perhaps how to solder. I'm
interested in learning about embossing, punching and metal collage. I
have searched the Web but the options seem overwhelming. Amazon has over
300 books in the metal crafts category.
Also, DickBlick.com seems to have some reasonable prices on metal
sheeting and tooling supplies. Is this a reputable site?
Thanks for any advice,
Karen, I suggest you visit your local library and search under the topic
of "metalworking". Also find out what metalworking classes are offered in
your area at your local technical colleges or community colleges, and look
into those. Metalworking is a giant field and you can do art metal in lots
of ways, or you can simply make things. A shrink once told me the reason I
do metalworking (machine shop stuff) is because my life was so out of control
I needed a place where I could do things perfectly (or within .001" anyway).
Shows what shrinks know, huh? :-)
From the tone of your note I sense that you would really enjoy blacksmithing
and lost wax molding. I got my start in metals as a kid with a hammer, anvyl
and old nails. I got pretty good at making knives from nails and later when
I got a forced air forge I started messing with old files and hammering them
into incredible shapes. This taught me something about heat treating and
annealing, and metal hardnesses and why they were so different.
Later I got into pouring lead into plaster molds. You mght want to avoid the
lead thing but there are low temperature metals you can buy by the pound
from McMaster (expensive!) that will do just as well. Once you master this
art you will want to step up to lost wax (investment casting) because it
offers such a wonderful opportunity to make anything into metal by first
making a clay or wood model and then duplicating it as many times as you
want with the process.
You might consider, for your first too, a $39.95 drill press from Harbor
Freight along with a set of drills. Or a Dremell set, or both along with
some basic pliers, ball peen hammers, files, brushes and the like.
. She was a part of this
group for a while. Is this what you have in mind for metal crafts? As far
as Dick is concerned I don't see much there to suggest he has anything to do
with metal working other than some foil and a way to punch holes in it.
no neat sig line
A mighty book on serious metal coloring - e.g. find in the lib first! -
"The Colouring, Bronzing and Patination of Metals" Hughes & Rowe ISBN
It is over $50. It is from the Whitney Library of Design publications group.
DickBlick sells good stuff. I use them all the time.
Try some of the book sites advertised here [on your right screen]
There's a world of technology, methods and techniques to learn about.