Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Part VII Hard Rock Cafe @ 30.96 Hastings Mike Ma Metal Works Forum Hydraulic Press

June 5, 2017

 [Etchers Anonymous] My first time using citric acid with the ferric..

Dear all,
check out the Etchers Anonymous on Facebook...called the Edinburgh etch..citric acid/ferric chloride. see reply to me from my question..apparently gives a more resolute line (crisper?)...pick up citric acid at any Mediterranean food store and the Ferric chloride from electronic store and play with and compare to using ferric chloride only...have Fun !


mike ma

(Ed. Note:  Another kind of Anonymous: Edinburgh's mysterious literary sculptures)
Absolutely Fascinating in detail


September 29, 2017

Metalworks HRC

--Dear all,

We will be commencing a class- Metalworks for Mondays 9:00 AM- 12:30 PM..
 I will be bringing in my Hydraulic press and accessories and some of the work produced from it usage .. the works will be spread on the table and you can get some ideas as to what you would like to achieve..

over time I will introduce other aspects of shaping metal with formers/stakes ..

each month I receive a mystery box sent to me from what it holds I dunno! but that should create another twist in the use of the hydraulic press ...

this week we will look at: Various dies - silhouette/impression and learn how to make your own dies from plexiglass..I would suggest you have available a flash drive 8-16 G memory in the case I can download ideas/books or DVD sets on various aspects of jewelry making from my laptop. as well bring in some 18-20 gauge sheet-Copper/Brass..

We can start out by pressing out bracelets..any scraps can be further roll milled to 28-30 gauge where we can strike out impression patterns which will be at the class as well. 1st class - Hydraulic press usage - dies-disc cutting applications using the al.

cheers all,



October 12, 2017

Metal Works  - Pancake dies

Dear all,

 picked up 4 new pancake dies to be used with the hydraulic press...the theme is Leaves:...earrings n' a ring..

when using these pancake dies it is important to make sure your metal is hardened and not annealed.

...if you do start with annealed metal you can roll mill the copper/brass/silver to harden it or take your metal sheet and with a rawhide hammer can harden over a steel block.

the gauge for the Leaf theme pancake dies should be anywhere from 20-24 gauge depending on what die pattern you are using. see Pancake dies attached.

see ya'll on Monday October 16th-2017 at 9:30-12:30 for metal-play

cheers mike


October 13, 2017

Hi all,
i am posting some web sites that'll have you up and running with regards to the use of the hydraulic press.
1) I purchase my equipment and accessories at: each month end ,I receive 4-5 new accessories - the Mystery Box...this month's theme is Leafs. there are dozens of video feeds on Potter's site using various dies. his newest hot items are dies..its hot hot stuff.

Mystery Box

Nancy L T Hamilton
 following specifically the works of: Jon Kisro (former employee of PotterUsa) Mellisa Muir- on youtube for video feeds using hydraulic press. Nancy LT Hamilton-video feeds for a wonderful overview of everything in metalwork-inspirational and funny!
Joni Kisro

3) there are paper cuts patterns, plexiglass dies and different patterns using plastic sheets over 3 containers..feel free to use any of them for your projects. will provide some design motif books and CD's of patterns as well.



October 21, 2017

Metalworks-Inspiration and Resources

hi all,

 just a quick note to explore Inspirations and Resources:

1) VCC-downtown: 3 sections on Jewelry Design/techniques/general books- located at the VCC campus downtown in 3 distinct areas of their library. Why.dunno !

2) 3 showcases containing 12 shelves of the works of the students registered in the jewelry program at VCC-downtown..these probably change as the students start exploring their course project requirements. Explore some of their current works.

3) DVD's at VCC-downtown- about 12 DVDs on stone setting/cabochon setting (Michael Boyd) bring your own laptop with DVD reader...

4) VCC - downtown campus, magazines on jewelry are: Metalsmith, Lapidary-Jewelry artist and magazine Metal Arts Guild of Canada (toronto based mag.) I note that we have a Metal guild here in Vancouver .. somewhere (memory escapes me on this now) .. but that last magazine (Metal Arts-Toronto) is quite interesting in my estimation for a small publication (like the Metalsmith mag. not on steroids)

5) Exploration for Inspiration at the Vancouver Public Library is on the 5th floor which houses the Arts .. on the same floor is the magazine section which has a plethora of inspirations from African sculptures to furniture/metal/plastics/tinnitus and the skeptic et . al .. a compendium of the magazines hangs outside the stacks and the mags are alphabetically arranged.and if you are into manga/cartoons check out these which could be patterned off and incorporated into etched works.Take your lapidary templates and search for patterns much like a mathematician does but find a quiet area as this might be construed as: Hmm.




Metal Works    October 29, 2017

Texture plates carve onto plexiglass

Hi all,

these were some of the dies which I worked on at home a few years ago when we were closed down as a club. It was a fertile time for me because I worked alone and with focus on multiple projects of discovery . I was introduced to Facebook and joined different groups. These dies are constructed  easily using plexiglass carved with burs . The tooling is inexpensive and the diversity of creating variation unimaginable. Over time posted many of the dies to select persons directly and to our members of HRC participating in the Metalworks class . will send a few email feeds each week on Sundays that I posted from the past.



October 29, 2017

Hi all, 
Here is a response received from a noted jewelry company - Rio grande.   I had experienced problems after having made a 2 1/2 inch circular die and thinking we could use a large 6 inch square urethane pad of one inch thickness to create a silhouette item outcome. I worked on this project with Elly B. and it was a miserable failure. eventually we found a solution and learned a lesson here. the lesson was there is a limit to what a hydraulic press can do..its not a simple walk in the park and you have to ask the experts for advice.


mike m.


Thursday, 26 Nov 2015 
Subject: Is hydraulic forming right for you?
Hello mike,

It looks like you may be interested in learning about hydraulic forming! I'm one of Rio's in-house experts on the process and thought I might be able to answer some questions for you. I'd be happy to schedule a phone call with you. We can discuss your needs and how hydraulic forming might meet them. Just respond to this email and let me know if you're interested!

Rio Grande
 Monday, January 18, 2016
Subject: RE: Is hydraulic forming right for you?

Dear Mike,

When working with a silhouette die to create a 2.5 circle you definitely want to work with a smaller, contained urethane like the 3” you ended up using. The reason for this is when your polyurethane is under pressure it seeks out the path of least resistance.

If using the 6 urethane that is not contained, it will displace itself in many directions and therefore not have enough pressure to form down into the pattern of the die no matter how many tons of pressure you are using. If the urethane is fully contained then you are able to direct the movement into the die allowing for the best efficiency. Also, using a urethane closer to the size of the die also allows for that greater efficiency in making your impression.

I've attached a PDF on silhouette dies and it has a lot of great information included. I hope it will be helpful to you.

As far as what is the 6 urethane used for, it is used quite a bit for dapping with the large mushroom former. Therefore, if you were wanting to form something like a cereal bowl you can use the large mushroom former and the 6” urethane to press out that shape for the bowl. Another use is to put something like a repousse looking impression into a very thin piece of metal like 24 gauge or thinner.

For example, you would first put down a 6” piece of Kevlar (this will protect the steel), on top of the Kevlar you can put down some things like washers or bolts, etc., then the thin copper sheet, then the 6 urethane. From there you can make the impression of these pieces into the metal giving it that look similar to what repousse  does.

I hope this will help to answer your questions. Please let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.

Best regards,


Sunday, January 17, 2016  

Subject: Re: Is hydraulic forming right for you?

dear Maria

made a plexiglass/wood composite silhouette die for 2.5 inch circle ...... using the 6X6 inch -95 durometer urethane pad i purchased from Rio grande tried using 18/20 22 and 24 gage annealed copper to form the hemisphere and it did not work ... what is the  purpose use for this 6X6 inch pad ... in my estimation maybe would work using an compressor system and a 50 tonne press but i don't understand the reason for its  use with manual 20 tonne hydraulic press..can you pose this question to your technical staff and/or Mr.Poirier himself ... the 3 inch 95-durometer urethane pad worked great with no problem. In my estimation this is wasted money unless you can share what purpose others are deriving from it..

i thank you

mike m.

Metal Works - October 13, 2018

Dear all,

    went to Central Library/ always checking the newest books that come in...make sure we are the first to view opportunity.

        1)   Super symmetrical Papercuts Patterns for Artwork, Keepsakes, Greeting Cards and more-FOLD IT & CUT IT- includes templates to cut or trace
              CEN 745.54 S555f      
Super symmetrical Paper Cuts Patterns
2) Sherry Serafini's -Sensational Bead Embroidery cen 739.27 S48s    
 attachment of the covers of the above books and a few pages sent.
   we will be doing Fold-Forming next week..bring in 20-24 gauge copper/brass 1 in. X 7 in. strip...we will roll mill the strips to 24 gauge which is the best thickness to use as per Travis Ogden!! Discovered something new by one of our classmates..L.D. was using a jack hammer Foredom attachment. as she used it the unit became quite hot, enough for her to drop the hand-piece. the following week we used another foredom pendulum drill machine and the jack hammer head still became too hot. At home i reviewed the information on Foredom tooling with regard to the jack hammer hand-piece and discovered that the jack hammer unit using our 18,000 RPM machine was not appropriate. Actually the jack hammer unit is only slated to be used at 5,000 RPM or less . The cam inside the piece that oscillates to create the jack hammering action creates at 10,000-18,000 too much friction which creates lotsa Heat !. I guess we have to run our Foredom at lower speeds or purchase another unit..check out the 3 new Foredom drill machines on youtube ..very informative. Did some servicing of my Foredom. Remove the sheath, and the inner shaft; which I replaced with a new one. I lubricated the shaft and it can now be used in the shop...if anyone has an old Foredom bring it in and could check it out..there are bushings to replace/shafts to be lubricated and regulated at the coupling end to 3/4 inch showing...thank goodness for youtube ! anyone can be perceived as an expert.


mike m.


Metalworks- in the Beginning     January 31, 2018

At last we have arrived..and are ready to move metal using Brass/Copper sheet/wire. We will be exploring the use of Hydraulic Press to form curvatures, press patterns, die strike Indian stamps and even cut and press out intricate items , through the use of pancakes dies. . we have already made synclastic and anticlastic bracelets which have been textured through the use of hammers and the rolling mill. Each week we try to introduce a new idea and technique. So far so'll take time to build up the confidence and to learn to share ideas. But we'll get there !

Some of the techniques we will be exploring are; corrugation, etching, roll milling, fold forming. Through the use of anvils/stakes and dapping tools we can duplicate the outcomes from the use of the Hydraulic press through alternative techniques. I used to say that one could form a curved bracelet from a wood plank/ wood doming block /steel sinusoidal stakes/broad stakes and a telephone book. The fact is you can. Its not always about the tool more so its more about the person interacting with the tool. Our classes are: Sunday 10:00 AM - 1:15 PM and Mondays 09:00 AM - 1:30 PM and remember there are S/Smithing classes on Saturdays at 9:15 AM-12:15 and Wednesdays 09:00- 12:00 PM . You might also find me there, on the Wednesday S/Smithing classes because its Open Studio-time where you can work at your leisure. This is an Instructor-less Open-Studio time. This shop time has also been allocated for Copper/Brass metals, but you should bring your own tooling because we don't want to mix Silver tooling with Copper/Brass metals tooling. If I am there you can use my tools, which i carry with me always; even to Church... So join us when you have time. Drop in for a chat with people in the shop. I'll give you an over-view of the shop and its presumings...


mike m  


Metal Works  -  February 11, 2018

Dear all,

so nice to see everyone in class, busily engaging in conversation and making jewelry we had some tool repair. A.M. brought in a nice hammer that she found. I removed the wood plug on the top of the hammer to see the peg that tightened the hammer head to the handle. I showed her and others the use of the file to shape this hammer head and hopefully A.M. can create the tool to her specification. then we will after shaping the head, polish the striking faces. I eagerly look forward to the final product.    several people like E.B., S.S. started the fold forming projects. E.B. is just all fired up annealing and folding lines upon her folds.. D.C. marked up a bracelet and fused silver wire to a copper base...this project did not require solder and by simply applying heat to the copper base and adding silver wire created the reticulated surface bracelet at marginal cost.. i've played with this procedure making synclastic copper pipe and using the copper base/ scrap silver to create the same effect. its such a random process and teaches one how to move the silver towards the source of the heat. One of our younger classmates A.M. was busy filing and shaping an oval copper plate and made a tentative copper bracelet. Next week I will be working with him on Etching Copper. We will be using the Ferric Chloride solution to etch his copper project. several of us will be attending the S/Smithing class this Wednesday from 9 AM-12 PM. this class allows us to use the s/smithing tools like the shear cutter and the functioning rolling mill to continue with pattern rolling onto brass/copper..hopefully can also bring in my Cavallin rolling mill which is awfully heavy but will give it a try !

cheers to all and have a hippo Fam-lee-day,

mike m.

Metal Works, February 20, 2018 

Dear all, there are 3 exhibits that might be interesting to visit and they are: 1) Bill Reid Gallery on Homer (if Vancity member you get to bring in one guest free) and another Bill Reid Gallery showing up at the SFU bookstore in the Harbour Centre; his prints/jewellery sculpture held at 555 West Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC 2) Essence in Zisha- Yixing stoneware - February 17-May 31-2018 -theme noted as: Eastern Intangible Cultural -Heritage of Yixing Stoneware at #100-905 West Pender Street, Vancouver,BC --
3) a nice visual presentation of jewelry projects at the downtown campus of VCC of their projects...multi-media on the outside of the library and in the library 3 showcases of an interesting array of hemisphere's..some really exciting and beautiful pieces...very impressive indeed. I will be visiting all of the 3 above this morning ...all of the above are a stones throw away from each other so if you're downtown..make it an outing.

Have a perfect day all, 

mike m.

Metal Works  March 3, 2018

Dear all, the website.... is offering up this weekend view all craft DVD's... get to watch...Victoria Lansford and Granulation (7 her share the spit ??)
..Charles Lewton Brain on fold forming 
..Mark Nelson of Riogrande on silversmithing videos   , Melissa Muir on the Hydraulic press vidoes this weekend...take advantage on tips and tricks of the trade...other crafts also shared..knitting/textiles/bonsai. etc etc and more etceteras..after this weekend you'll all be experts !

mike m. 
Metal Works  March 13, 2018

This past weeks participation at the Metalworks class had members exploring colouring of copper using the torch as well as using Liver of Sulphur to enhance stamped/etched copper/brass metals..we had one brave member even start repousse and chasing using the hydraulic press to impress metal wire onto copper to start the repousse process.
Liver of Sulphur
 the class members are starting to gather more vocabulary of techniques and feeling more at ease with the use of the tooling supplied and we can only expect more design possibilities to follow..enclosed some pics of their works. thanks goes to Margaret who bring her skills at discovery and serendipitous play . We continue to learn from each other..without the others how else could we evolve.

from the kids in the sandbox,

mike m.
 Metal Works   March 15, 2018


Dear all, just passing through the Vancouver Community College to look at their Jewelry courses when I saw an Instructor setting up a display of their student's works...Repousse and Chasing..the display was just being set up but will post these pictures both on Facebook and send to you later tomorrow. And while if you are there, check out their Jewelry library an sight their DVDs..there is a lot of resource here for such a small college.. 

mike m.



Mike Ma
Part I Hard Rock Cafe 30.96 Hastings  MetalWorks Forum; Torch Fired Enamelling; SilverSmithing  

Mike Ma
Part II Hard Rock Cafe 30.96 Hastings  Torch Fired Enamelling; Silversmithing; Blacksmithing

Mike Ma
Part VI Hard Rock Cafe 30.96 Hastings  MetalWorks Forum:  Mike Ma

Mike Ma
Part VII Hard Rock Cafe 30.96  Hastings  Metal Works Forum Hydraulic Press  Hydraulic Press

Part III Hard Rock Cafe 30.96 Hastings   Books

Part IV  Hard Rock Cafe 30.96 Hastings  Days of Old, Days of Gold

Part V Hard Rock Cafe 30.96 Hastings  Annual Rock and Gem Show : Children Activities too
Part VI  Hard Rock Cafe 30.96 Hastings   Circular Divider, Makerbot

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