Make a Simple Metal Book - page 3

©2002 Judith Hoffman

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The Book: 

Before you start, straighten your metal if it has a curve in it from being stored in a roll. Roll it in the opposite direction wearing leather gloves. Mark off your pages on the metal with a pencil. Again wearing the gloves, cut small pages (mine are 3 x 3 inches) from your sheet metal. To cut the metal, use a smooth forward action with the shears. Don't close the shears all the way; this causes a ripple in the metal. Try to avoid creating jagged edges. It's particularly easy to cut the back of your hand as you cut through a large piece of metal, where you aren't watching what's happening behind the shears. 

To prepare the pages for filing, tap gently around the edge with the mallet to flatten ripples caused by cutting. File edges with the mill smooth file. Also file the corners to round them a little. Test the edge very gently with your finger or thumb to make sure all burrs are removed. Think of a sharp knife; don't press. 

For a smoother edge, wrap a piece of the sandpaper around a small stick of wood, using it like a file; do a final sanding on all edges. If the metal is soft or very thin, it may need some support for filing. If so, support the edge of the metal along the edge of a scrap of wood, and file it.
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"Man Fish Who Breathes the Night" Judith Hoffman © 1989, 5-1/4 x 4 x 3/8 inches. Silver, brass, watch parts, fabricated. See an open view of Man Fish on page 7.
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