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Carrie Crocker


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Carrie Crocker

  1. 1. 98 99 Metals TOOLS AND METALS Thank you to Erica Sharpe for sharing her tin knowledge and expertise. Working with Tin When heated, tin bonds very readily with other metals, especially gold and silver (even at very low temperatures), and this is irreversible, so keep tools used for tin separate, use a different work bench, and vacuum up any dust and filings. Soldering Tin can be joined using a plumbers’ type solder and low heat. Larger pieces are created using fold joins (see p. 138). Polishing Polishing can be achieved using a series of increasingly fine abrasive papers followed by a jeweler’s mop or a handheld pendant motor mop. Tin can also be tumble- polished with fine steel shot in a barrel polisher (see p. 51). Malleability The softness of tin means that it is easily dented, scratched, or bruised, so avoid anything too thin or intricate (e.g. pendant loops, hinges, catches). Rings and bangles must be heavy and not detailed. Use a leather mallet to avoid denting the tin when hammering; steel hammers will mark it more readily. Bending and rolling can be done without softening, using pliers, your hands, hammers, and rolling mills. Listen for the “cry of tin”—the sound of the crystal structure shearing as the tin is worked! Tin is a beautiful soft white metal with a very low melting point. It is nontoxic, not readily tarnished, and can either take on a bright polish or a textured finish. Tin can be worked in a similar way to pewter (the majority of pewter consists of tin; see p. 90). In Cornwall, England, tin is traditionally associated with a tenth wedding anniversary, and Cornish tin has shaped the landscape and heritage of southern Britain for thousands of years. Symbol Sn Atomic number/weight 50/118.7 Specific gravity 7.3 Melting point 449˚F (232˚C) Color White image credits Left: Patinated earrings made from sterling silver and a recycled tin can, by Carrie Crocker. Opposite Left: Earrings made from a vintage tea tin, by Betsy Menson Sio. Center: Bracelet made from woven tin, by Betsy Menson Sio. Right: Earrings made from a vintage tin can, by Carrie Crocker. Tin Tin was one of the earliest metals to be known and used— it is a component of bronze and has been used for this from as early as 3500 B.C. FOR TUTORIALS See: Cutting and piercing p. 114 Finishing p. 164 Soldering p. 120