Yesterday, I shared my somewhat haphazard, accidental creation of a filed, forged, stamped copper snake charm. Today, I created another intentionally. This time, I used 10g wire and it made a much more substantial snake. Which also leads me to believe yesterday's snake was 14g wire, not 12g as I initially thought. You can see from the side by side, there is a big difference in the scale of the two snakes.
The snake gave me a great excuse to go to Harbor Freight and do a little tool shopping. I used a 6 inch file for the first (garter) snake and I knew that would never work for the second (anaconda). $2.00 later, I am the proud owner of a 12 inch file, and about $30 worth of other tool delights! But before I tell you about the tools, let me provide some details of my snake.
I filed the tail into a taper first. I think I annealed once during the filing stage, but I'm not sure it made it go any quicker. Filing takes as long as it takes - but it is somewhat meditative and soothing to shape the wire. After filing, I had to anneal the wire in order to shape the snake. After shaping, I used the "W" stamp to apply the pattern and I hammered the head end flat. I filed the head into more of a diamond shape.
Now, for the shopping! I love Harbor Freight for jewelry tools and materials. Check the link for some of my previous finds. This trip, I got the following: a magnetic tool holder for my peg board so I can have my most often used tools handy, a replacement belt for my harbor freight tumbler (even though it hasn't broken yet, I like to be prepared), a new pair of micro flush cutters, a handheld electric bug swatter for when I work at night in my garage with the door open and the bugs visit, and a set of 3 wire brushes to clean my files and other misc. tasks. Oh, and a box of nitrile gloves because I know I'm not as careful as I should be about getting things like Liver of Sulphur on my hands. I wish I had looked up these items online before I went shopping and I would have saved the money on the tumbler replacement belt. It got horrible reviews! I think I'll return it and buy a big box of rubber bands because I've heard they work too.