Sea Glass Pendant

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Introduction: Sea Glass Pendant

About: Awesome Gear I've designed myself.

The goal of this instructable is to provide you PRO TIPS for casting soft alloys.

I often find sea glass in tiny pieces. Because of how small they are, it makes them difficult to drill or wrap with wire. Here is a method for casting silver solder around a piece of sea glass for display.

Step 1: Make a Sand Paper Form

I'm using 400 grit sand paper to make the tear drop form. You could use coarser sand paper but your cast will have a rougher finish. Using sand paper withstands heat and makes a sturdier form compared to regular paper.

I cut a square out and folded a crease about 1/4th into the paper. After tucking the other end into the crease, I taped it shut with duct tape. Make sure the sand paper is on the inside.

This sand paper came from the auto supply section at Wal-Mart. It was about $4.00 for 5 sheets.

Step 2: Set Up for Casting

If you don't have a soldering stone you can set this up on top of another sheet of sand paper over a scrap piece of wood.

Use a tiny dab of hot glue to secure the glass on your casting surface. Gluing the glass down will prevent it from shifting when you pour the metal. Place the form over the glass and check to make sure it's where you want it to be. Balance a socket on top of your form. The added weight will keep the form from toppling over when you pour.

Step 3: Cast Your Pendant

Put on your safety glasses. Melt about 12" of lead free soldering wire on a spoon. Verify the metal is evenly melted with a very gentle sway. The blob of molten alloy should roll back and forth evenly. Pour the metal in the form and give it a few minutes to cool off.

This solder can be found wherever plumbing supplies are sold. I also got this at Wal-Mart.

Step 4: Cut and Drill

Trim down the pendant with a hack saw. Mark the hole with a punch before drilling it out.

Step 5: Shape the Pendant

Since silver solder is soft, you can actually cut it with a razor blade. Just make sure you direct the blade away from your fingers.

Shape the inner frame of the glass by whittling away small pieces. Shape the rest of the pendant with files.

Step 6: Polish and Clean

Polish your work with polishing compound on a buffing wheel.

Clean it off with a degreaser and tooth brush. I'm using brake cleaner.

Step 7: Make More

This process is forgiving and inexpensive. So, make one for a pendant or make a bunch for a charm bracelet.

Thanks for reading, Brent.

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    19 Discussions

    Thanks for making this instructable!

    I made one yesterday! Size is similar to the one in the instructions. The stone is Sugar Jade. The sugar mills here in Hawaii would burn the rubbish from the plantation, which included ceramics and glass. At the end of the season, the leftover slag in the foundry was cleaned out with a pick-axe and the slag was dumped in the ocean. After decades of tumbling in the ocean, the sugar jade can be found on the beaches of former sugar mills. It looks a lot like jade or turquoise.

    My suggestion is to use normal sandpaper, not the type with gripping texture on the back. The grip material burns and smells bad.

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    Thank you so much for this idea. I have a piece of the "purest green" (copyright Blackadder) which I found in the sea at Ostia (port for Rome in times gone by) in 2005 while splashing around with my kids. They swim well and nearly drowned me.. Ok it's just a piece of green glass from a bottle but it holds so many good memories and I thought to make it into a ring but I never did. Now its gonna become a pendant tomorrow.

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    I love your posts!!! How does the paper not burn!?! Can I use pewter or aluminum? I have 600, 800, 1000, 1200, and 2000 grit (actually I’ve got numbers that are quite absurd) how fine a grit can I use? I cannot wait to try this. Tough call, play with new hydraulic press, or cast some stuff. Or adult and clean!! Haha

    1 reply

    I would go with the 800. The sand in the paper helps protect it from burning. I've never melted pewter or aluminum but my guess is it would be too hot for this method. Silver solder has a relatively low melting point.

    Very good instructions. I have some jem stones and polished Tigers eye rocks etc. that would look great like this. I do have a question though, I'm not familiar with the term "Sea glass." What is it and where could I to get some?

    1 reply

    I got this sea glass from Pismo Beach, California. If you dig in the the loose gravel by the sea shore, you'll find small pieces of broken glass that have been tumbled over the years by the waves. You could also buy it, artificially made, at most craft stores.

    Sorry, I did have another question, about the silver solder you mention here, is there more then one type of this? I am a machinist and the only kind of silver solder I have handled was used for attaching carbide to steel tool blocks for machining of steel and cast products and this type of silver solder had a pretty high melting point, attained with an acetylene torch to attach it to the steel block using a silver solder paste. Is the solder you talk about a different type with a lower melting temp.?

    1 reply

    There are several types of solder depending on the application (electrical, plumbing, stained glass, ect.) The solder I used is for plumbing and can be melted with a propane torch. Most importantly it's lead free.

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    ddos90

    3 months ago

    Uhmm they are cool

    These look nice. A question doesn't your clothes get dirty of the soldering?

    1 reply

    If you intentionally rub it on your clothes there would be a transfer. Normal wear wouldn't cause it though.

    Hi!!!

    This is such a wonderful idea!!

    Silver Solder melts at a lower temp than usual silver right... so do you think there are a few gemstones that could be set in the same way?? Such a beautiful idea I love it :)

    1 reply

    Thanks. Yes, I think you could do it.

    Unique idea using the silver solder, it came out beautifully.

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    raphan

    3 months ago

    A very nice result indeed. The tip of using sandpaper is more than clever. Thx.

    Melting iron is a big task. Soldering iron... Wow! Nice jewelry.

    Yay! I love when you post jewelry because it's always the best! And I also love sea glass so this is super the best. I didn't know you could do that with solder, I'm going to have to save this and see if I can do something someday :D

    1 reply