A few months ago now I was approached by someone with a challenge…
That’s him… Oliver… Look at him. He’s got guilt written all over his face
Anyway, so this bloke Oliver writes in and says, “Oi, make a replica of this genuine
Viking necklace out of silver.” “Sorry mate, I don’t do silver,” I said,
because that’s me there, looking all thoughtful and sultry.
“Why not?” says he. “Expensive stuff silver,” I replied.
“S’alright,” he said. “I’ll give you the silver.”
“Ah, yes,” said I, beginning to sweat a little, whilst still looking rugged in my
armchair. “It’s got a chain see… I don’t do chains.”
Then Oliver said, “That’s alright, cos I do. You cast them thingies on the ends and
I’ll do the chain.” If you’ve followed my videos lately, you’ll
realise I’ve been dabbling more with Fusion 360 and Blender. I’ve also been using a
resin 3D printer and castable resins. Well back then that wasn’t the case. Just
a couple of months ago I was happily plodding away with Lost PLA. And I knew if I wanted
the kind of detail you can see in this image, then I needed to do better.
This meant teaching myself to use Blender and before anyone says anything, I realise
now that the Sculpting side of Blender might not have been the best choice for me. But
I was enjoying playing with it, as I often do, so there was no stopping me.
It’s important to realise that this picture is the only reference material I have. I’ve
got no other pictures or dimensions, just Oliver’s guess of about 3 or 4 centimetres
long. So my perspective may be off. Also, at the time I was doing this, I didn’t have
a graphics pad. Everything was done using an ordinary mouse.
This wasn’t a quick process for me. It took a few weeks to produce something I thought
looked fairly similar, but I was doubtful that Lost PLA could do a good enough job for
me. And as if by magic, and Elegoo Mars came into
my life and things suddenly became a lot more fun. Accurate prints with castable resins
were now possible for me. Just when I thought I was finally going to
get this on a sprue, Oliver got in touch. He wanted me to cast him some coffee bean
cufflinks. Yes, you heard right. Coffee bean cufflinks.
I was all ready to go and it was time to pull out the gorgeous, highly polished Silver ingot
that Oliver had sent me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it under all these scraps.
Yes, I’m teasing. Scraps or not there was still probably £80 to £90 worth of silver
here. It was a very generous and trusting thing that Oliver did.
I used a brand new crucible to as to not cross-contaminate the silver. Well, for my first ever attempt at silver,
I was very pleased. The silver turned black due to oxidisation
during casting. But look at the detail. It’s amazing. For something so small, the process
has captured the features beautifully. After an overnight soak in white vinegar,
the black oxidisation was gone, leaving a matt white surface. This just had to be lightly
sanded away. It was still a long way from being finished,
but I couldn’t resist giving it a proper polishing.
Wow – just wow. I’ve never polished silver before and I was amazed by the results. The
moment I saw that shine I knew I’d be hooked. So how does this compare against the original?
Well, it’s no replica… it’s more a ‘similar’ if I’m honest. But for my first venture
with blender, an introduction to the world of resin 3D printing, and a cherry losing
dip into silver casting, I’m quite pleased. And that’s as much as I was willing to do.
In honesty I was a bit scared of ruining it. But if you want to see how this Viking necklace
received a handmade silver chain, weaved link by silver link into this fabulous creation,
then you need to go and visit Oliver’s channel right now. Don’t tell him I said so, but
he’s amazingly talented and, definitely don’t tell him this bit, but he’s become
a good friend of mine. We’re talking of doing a few more projects together in the
future, so feel free to drop either of us a line and tell us what you think of that
idea. I hope you enjoyed this slightly disjointed
and out of sequence video guys. Do head over to Oliver and see this fabulous necklace in
all it’s glory. Take care and thanks for watching.