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August 30, 2013

Wire Snake Charm - Created Intentionally This Time!

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.  If When I try again, I may try to dome the head a bit using a doming punch in my vise to give it a little more shape.  The reviews on the second snake were very positive (2 out of 2 children preferred it!), but my daughter, forever the stickler about details, thinks it should have eyes!  You know if I do that, the open mouth or forked tongue is next...

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.

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