Occasionally we escape from the demands of making cabinet pulls and make pieces for the sheer fun of it and this was the case recently when Martin decided to make 2 bangles to celebrate this writer’s birthday. Since bronze is a heavy alloy and since the lost wax casting process is lengthy, Martin turned to 1/16" sheet copper to create these 2 pieces.
Lunar moths were the subject of choice, as their significant wing size and shape were well suited to artistic manipulation.
For readers familiar with our previous posts on pattern making the techniques and tools used will come as no surprise.
The shape of the lunar moth was drawn free hand onto the copper sheet and the moth was cut out using a scroll saw. The rough edged piece was then filed using a fine tapered steel file. The outline of the moth was then traced onto the surface of a thick block of walnut and the wing veins added. The veins were then carved into the walnut block using a variety of gouge chisels to create depressed channels.
The copper moth was annealed with a blow torch that turned it purple and rendered it softer to work. Using 3/8" steel hex bolts Martin made 3 hand punches to work the copper. Having marked the wing veins on the copper moth he then placed it over the walnut block and aligned the wood and copper veins and beat the metal into the channels.
The bangle was buffed on a buffing wheel to remove the coloring created by annealing and to remove tool marks. The dark accents were added using M20 by Birchwood Technologies that has been covered in earlier pieces.