I was asked to make a few good luck charms also known as a talisman - A loving remembrance to be carried with them always. To ruminate a person that was an avid hunter - that recently has gone to the happy hunting grounds.
I wanted to combine items that symbolized his hunting interests in life. I combined a deer antler, his ashes, brass bullet cartridges, and leather lace; to make the Talisman necklaces.
A talisman is an object which is believed to contain certain powers or magical properties which would provide good luck for the possessor or possibly offer protection from evil or harm.
This project is using old used brass cartridges; I have an alternate material example (making this without using a used brass bullet cartridge).
THIS IS A BIG SAFETY NOTE ONLY USE BRASS BULLIT CARTIRIDGES THAT ALREADY HAVE BEEN FIRED OR NEW BRASS THAT DO NOT HAVE A LIVE PRIMER IN THEM. YOU DO NOT WANT TO PUNCH OR DRILL A LIVE PRIMER. IF THIS DOES NOT MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU, THAN YOU SHOULD NOT ATTEMP THE BRASS CARTRIDGE PROJECT. TRY THE ALTERNATE MATERIAL EXAMPLE.
Remember to practice and use shop safety – use protective eyeglasses, dust masks and gloves. Know how to safely use the equipment before you start. No loose clothing, hair or objects around moving items. Remove your rings.
Step 1: Items Used
- Deer antler
- Bullet casing aka brass, brass cartridges, brass shell casing (hardware brass tubing was also used)
- Tube or pipe cutter
- Items to put into talisman (this is a personal choice)
- Hack saw – for cutting to size
- Sand paper – I recommend the wet type grits 220 (please note I used power wet wheel sander).
- Bail – brass wire - this is the metal to hang the talisman from a necklace
- Nail polish - or car polish = to coat antler and brass
- Drill bit and drill – one size to remove the primer, one to drill holes for rings
- 12mm split rings
- Necklace material – I selected leather lace.
- Pliers or vise with soft jaws – I used a towel in a bench vise
- File – general purpose fine
- Hammer and punch or drill and drill bit
- Two part epoxy glue
- Large beads
Step 2: Preparing the Brass and Alternate Material Example
THIS IS A BIG SAFETY NOTE ONLY USE BRASS CARTIRIDGES THAT ALREADY HAVE BEEN FIRED OR NEW BRASS THAT DO NOT HAVE A LIVE PRIMER IN THEM. YOU DO NOT WANT TO PUNCH OR DRILL A LIVE PRIMER.
NOTE: IF THIS DOES NOT MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU OR YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT A PRIMER IS;
THAN YOU SHOULD NOT ATTEMP THIS PROJECT WITH A BRASS CARTRIDGE.
TRY USING THE ALTERNATE MATERIAL (BRASS TUBING).
ORIGINAL TALISMAN BRASS
To make a hole in the bottom of the brass cartridges, needed to first punched out the primers (this is located in the bottom of the brass). I used a small punch and hammer to knock the primer out of the bottom (do not try
pushing the primer up into the casing). Using a drill and drill bit will also work to remove the primer.
- For one talisman; I just used a short brass bullet casing.
- For one talisman, I used a tube cutter to cut down the brass cartridge for aesthetic appearance (it was extremely long). I also used the tube cutter to cut a short piece of brass tubing.
Using wire cutters I cut a short piece of brass craft wire and formed a loop. I put the looped wire thru the bottom of the brass into the hollow.
THE ALTERNATE TALISMAN MATERIAL EXAMPLE.
I used a tube cutter and just cut a small section of brass tubing.
I drilled two holes on opposing sides of the tube, to put split rings in. This is for mounting or hanging the talisman on the necklace.
Step 3: Cut the Antler
I used micrometers to measure the inside diameter of the brass bullet casing. Then I marked a spot at the approximate outside diameter to match the bullet brass casing. I went slightly oversize on the antler to allow for grinding and sanding. Antlers are not perfectly round; it is easier to adjust the outside diameter of the antler to match the bullet brass casing (than vise a versa).
I used a hacksaw to cut some tips off some deer antlers. I took the time to cut the tips cleanly off and not to break them off.
Step 4: Drill the End to Antler Piece
The purpose of drilling a hole in the antler piece is to have a cavity to put in a special item. In this case it is the ashes of a loved one.
I used a bench vise with a towel to hold the antler. Using a power drill to put in a shallow hole, in the top of antler piece.
Step 5: Working the Antler to Fit the Brass
I simply put the antler next to the brass opening for comparison.
The antler is not perfectly round; it needs to be adjusted to create a tight fit. I used a file to ruff in the antler to become round and to size. Then I used wet sand paper to make a fine adjustments to the end of the antler (this will also help in the bonding the glue).
Step 6: Fill the Hole With Talisman Item and Assemble Brass
I put the special item in the hole; I then added a small amount of two part epoxy on top of the hole (to seal the talisman).
Spread some more epoxy around the fitted edge of the antler.
I pushed the brass onto the antler piece.
I had some large beads to hold the antler pieces upright until the epoxy cured.
Step 7: Finish Coating and String Leather
With skin reactions to different elements, I like to coat my wearable jewelry with a protective coating.
I used clear nail polish to add a nice top coat to the brass and antler.
I thought leather would finish the talisman theme.
Thank you for viewing my project.