Friday, April 12, 2013

Important News!

Despite the fact that I am going to be doing a few quick posts about Feedly, I am also going to be posting about.....

are you ready?

Wait for it.................

wait for iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.


Shocker, I know.

Although I love that I can share home and family and all sorts of anythings or nothings, I DO want to get back to posting about metalsmithing more. :)

To start off, many of you know that I got a scope recently. WHOOT! WHOOT! Lucky me!

So I took some photos for a few friends. I thought I'd share them with you.

First, to orient ourselves, this is a tiny stacking ring with a very small ball on it. 

And that crazy craggy thing to the left is my fingernail.

EEWWWWWWWWWW, gross, right?

But seriously, don't look at my fingernail......well, no -  actually DO look at it.

I mean just LOOK at it!!!!!!!!!!

That's my fingernail! 

(It's so amazing in its ickyness! ) The detail is awesomesauce.

when I first put the ring under the scope I noticed there was some dirt in the divot. So I pulled out a little wooden toothpick to try to rub it out.... and then I got T-totally distracted.

 Gone is the ring and in is the toothpick and then anything else I could get my hands on. I had completely forgotten how much fun it is to play under a microscope!

But seriously now, back to the ring. (and actually, I WAS being serious before. I could sit at that darn thing all day and just look at stuff under it. Way cool)

OK back to the ring. Ahem. Ring, ball, divot. We got that far.

So look at the divot - this is with maybe a 1mm ball bur, maybe a .5mm. But look at that HUGE bur or lip around it. Especially the bottom edge. The left edge is sort of 'blown out'. THIS is what we miss when we are cutting seats and setting stones. tiny stuff.

 and no, I am NOT suggesting that we must all have scopes. They are a luxury. But then again, so is 20/20 vision, or 20/15 which is what mine USED to be. (please, if you have good vision - be THANKFUL and take care of it!)

A scope is so much more convenient than trying to hold a loupe up as it frees up both hands.  And my optivisor just wasn't cutting it. So, here I am. With this amazing piece of equipment.

Here is that bottom edge up REAL close. That lip looks like a mountain! But you'd never really know it was there without some high power magnification. Strike that.

Now you actually DO know what may be there. Because I just showed you.


So this is why it's a good idea to run a very fine file around the edge of a freshly cut seat, hole, divot....and then use sandpaper.

You may be thinking 'why bother? you said you can't see it!'

While this is true - there are some things to consider.

#1. although the actual lip itself may not be visible, it WILL affect the final look of your piece. Not only will your eye detect 'something' but every little tiny bump and divot will change how light plays off the surface of the piece. There may be bright 'hot spots' or areas of shadow. The eye will pick up on this and in the end the piece just won't be as 'polished' looking as it could be.

#2. For stone setting, the tiniest burs can really create havoc when you are trying to level your stone or have a nice even edge around the final setting. I had discovered when I began louping everything that it is the tiniest of adjustments that can 'fix' a seat. Prior to using the loupe I think I was OVER correcting everything and then trying to correct THAT and it was a vicious cycle which sometimes resulted in loss of a whole setting. And THAT's no fun!

I also took a short video under the scope at the prompting of a friend, for a small group of smiths I correspond with. . . but I'm not sure it's suitable for public I was just shooting off the cuff and rambling. . . . this was weeks ago and I can't recall exactly what the video entailed -- so let me watch it  and then I'll either link to it or shoot a new one. (you can try emailing me for the link now, I'm just not sure I want to put it out there for the entire world!)

Later friends!