Monday, June 22, 2015

Back Home and Back At It!

The past several weeks have been full of activity and life has been in full swing! The crazy period of my job won't start again until the fall. The Graduation for my nephew, the memorial for my husband's beloved uncle, and wonderful reconnecting with family time was just what my soul needed! After 3 states and 10 days of travel, it's good to be home and to be starting to enjoy the Lazy Days of Summer!

Before taking the hiatus from my mini world, I'd been thinking I'd like to learn to solder. I have some little rooster plates for the barn kitchen, and I thought it would be great to make a plate rack to display them on. I ordered the supplies from Amazon and there they sat on my work table just waiting to be utilized.

I have a couple real life plate racks in my dining room, so I took measurements from them and attempted to recreate them in miniature.

I have some 1" and 3/4" plates to practice with. For the 1" plates I'll attempt a 2 plate rack, and for the 3/4" plates I'll attempt one with 3.

I've watched plenty of YouTube videos and read a bunch of articles so I think I understand the science of soldering. Now, I just have to come up with my own technique. The copper wire I'm using is soft and pliable, so I am able to twist and bend it. Once I get the soldering technique figured out, I'll be able to get really creative!

You really need 3 or 4 hands: one to hold the soldering iron, one to feed the rosin flux into the metal seams, 1 to hold piece A, and 1 to hold piece B. I have a handy "third hand" sort of thing, but I needed something to hold piece B while I soldered them together. My wonderful husband came up with another alligator clip and that's where I am now.

I'll update the post if/when I get somewhere with it. Wish me luck!


Got the copper racks all soldered. Went pretty easy except for holding the pieces in place while soldering. The alligator clip was a little rough on the copper due to it's teeth, and because of the length it was hard to clip the pieces together and still have room to work. I've found some solutions on Amazon, such as cross locking tweezers and locking forceps. They were only around $4.00 with prime shipping, so I'll probably get them.

I sprayed the racks in flat black and they came out pretty good. Definitely not perfect, but I'll just call them "whimsical". I fell asleep last night redesigning them in my head. They say dreaming is the best way to come up with solutions to your problems, so we'll see how the next batch turns out.

I had some miniature laser cut paper doilies so I decided to add a little texture to the plates rather than just painting them. I painted the doilies a shade or two lighter so the detail would show better. I coated them afterwords with Mod Podge spray gloss.

The finished racks are pretty cute, and I think I'll make several more until I feel confident in making the special one for the barn kitchen's rooster plates. Maybe I can sell the practice ones on eBay. I can always use more "mini money"!

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