Tuesday, July 22, 2014

USING A CUTTLEBUG MACHINE TO EMBOSS METAL


OK everyone…I need a change and it's time to put my journals down and start making jewelry.  Not that I need more jewelry…I have tons of it that I either made or bought but I looooove making jewelry…in particular the metal forging part.  So here we go!!!!

My inspiration came while at our local Michael's store.  I noticed that Cuttlebug (the paper embossing machine by Provo-craft) now has metal blanks that can be used with the plastic embossing folders.  Sorry...but I wasn't able to determine the type of metal nor the gauge metal.  Anyway, a light bulb went off in my head and I thought that I would give this a try with the metal that I have on hand... plus, I know that I can anneal the metal to make it softer if needed.  Well….I have to tell you…It worked great!  That little Cuttlebug machine is like a mini rolling machine!!!

First, I need to caution you that because the Cuttlebug machine and the embossing folders are not made for this purpose, you need to be careful so as not to exert any more pressure than you would when embossing paper.  In other words...don't force it!

The first metal that I tested was scrap jewelry that already had coloring and patina added.  It looks to be 26 gauge copper (not certain).  I re-cut some of the pieces, reshaped some by twisting and curling and left others as is.

scrap jewelry pieces

I tried the Vintaj metal embossing folders on some by using the "A" and two "B" cutting plates for the first pass and then added a 3ml. piece of mylar for a second pass.  This gave me a pretty decent emboss.  Of course, a lot depends on the gauge metal and how soft it is...so go slowly and like I said…don't force it.

Embossed with a Vintaj metal embossing folder

I also tried a few with a plastic embossing folder.  This required one "A" and two "B" cutting plates for the first pass, adding a 3ml sheet of mylar for a second pass and adding a folded paper napkin for a third pass.

Embossed using an Anna Griffin paper embossing folder. 
Embossed with a Cuttlebug paper embossing folder.

My final experiment was with 26 gauge copper metal (not annealed) and a paper embossing folder. It went through with one"A" and two "B" cutting plates and in two passes.  The emboss is pretty darn good!  Please excuse the tarnish…these will receive a polish and patina later.

26 gauge copper un-annealed
I learned from this experiment that the cutting plates and added shims will vary depending on the gauge metal, type of metal and whether the metal is annealed or not.  Now that I have gotten used to the feel of how the metal rolls through the machine, I am confident that it can be done without damage to the machine.

MAKING DOT PATTERNS:

Another handy tool that I love to use is a spring punch.  It's great to use with a hard rubber pad to put those darling dimpled/dot designs in metal.  Just mark where you wish to place the dots with a sharpie marker, put the metal piece face down on the hard rubber pad, position the end of the punch on the dot and punch down to activate the spring.  Presto!  A beautiful dot pattern is made!

You can find the spring punch and rubber pads at most hardware stores for only a few dollars.

Well, that's all for now so until next time…..

Hugs,
Ginny








No comments:

Post a Comment