For this tutorial, I will be making a simple key, with an oval head. All the heads were made by wrapping wire around needles. The oval is a more common key head, though you can get keys with circular heads. The fancier key heads are created using finer wire, with some of the loops opened out, by pushing a bigger needle through, to create "C" shapes which were then positioned to create trefoil shapes, etc.
You will need:-
- Gas soldering iron
- Flux (I used Templers Telux in a tin, the only flux in the local hardware shop :D )
- Tapestry needles (aka big needles)
- Cutting blade
|Before doing anything, run the wire through some wire wool, or lightly sand it with sandpaper. Bend the wire across the back of the needle as shown. Wrapping the wire around the Eye of the needle will create an oval shape.|
|Use pliers to gently squeeze the wire ends, so that they cross over, as shown.|
|Either use the nose of the pliers or your fingertip, to push between the wires so that they cross as close as possible to the eye of the needle|
|The way the wires cross will dictate which way to twist the ends. Twist the ends tight and close to the needle, one or two turns is sufficient.|
|Clamp the wire loop between pliers to secure the bend, and to flatten the loop.|
|I took this photo before doing the clamping. After you have clamped the loop, snip off the excess as shown.|
|Finished loop. Could have snipped that a bit more neatly......|
|I used a Dremel Gas soldering iron. This one is a Dremel 2000-6 Versatip. I use it without the tips. When I bought mine, I found the instructions a little hard to follow, especially refilling it. So here is a really good video showing it being filled. I was still a bit confused though, as my cigarette lighter fuel can came with lots of nozzles! You don't use any of the nozzles. Just stick the "straw" into the hole at the base of the Dremel. I think all hobby gas soldering irons require you to use the lighter refill gas, I used Swan universal gas lighter refill, which has a lovely picture of a swan on it :D|
Regarding soldering tiny things, here is another good video. My method was quite a bit different, but I did find her explanation useful.
You can also see how I made a bracket, using a gas soldering iron, in this post.
P.s. I am not a soldering expert, far from it. Anything I am doing has been picked up from others on the internet. I still can't solder using a tip, but the gas soldering for me, is working very well, so if you're worried about "not being good at soldering", don't! And the flux IS important!
|Er......slightly off centre. Aim to have the tip of the blade in the middle and gently press down, in order to create a tiny cut to remove the excess.|