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Tunnels and undergrod excavations

, horizontal underground passageway produced by excavation or occasionally by natures action in dissolving a soluble rock, such as limestone. A vertical opening is usually called ashaft. Tunnels have many uses: for mining ores, for transportationincludingroadvehicles, trains, subways, and canalsand for conducting water and sewage.Underground chambers, often associated with a complex of connecting tunnels and shafts, increasingly are being used for such things as underground hydroelectric-power plants, ore-processing plants, pumping stations, vehicle parking, storage of oil and water, water-treatment plants, warehouses, and light manufacturing; also command centres and other special military needs.

True tunnels and chambers are excavated from the insidewith the overlying material left in placeand then lined as necessary to support theadjacentground. A hillside tunnel entrance is called aportal; tunnels may also be started from the bottom of a vertical shaft or from the end of a horizontal tunnel driven principally for construction access and called anadit. So-called cut-and-cover tunnels (more correctly calledconduits) are built by excavating from the surface, constructing the structure, and then covering with backfill. Tunnels underwater are now commonly built by the use of animmersed tube: long, prefabricated tube sections are floated to the site, sunk in a prepared trench, and covered with backfill. For all underground work, difficulties increase with the size of the opening and are greatly dependent upon weaknesses of the natural ground and the extent of the water inflow.

Although very expensive, tunneling provides the most economical means for railroads to traverse mountainous terrain, to gain access to the heart of a crowded city, or, more recently in Japan and Europe, to project a railway across a maritime strait below its seabed. Railroad

It is probable that the first tunneling was done by prehistoric people seeking to enlarge their caves. All major ancient civilizations developed tunneling methods. InBabylonia, tunnels were used extensively for irrigation; and a brick-lined pedestrian passage some 3,000 feet (900 metres) long was built about 2180 to 2160bcunder theEuphrates Riverto connect the royal palace with the temple. Construction was accomplished by diverting the river during the dry season. TheEgyptiansdeveloped techniques for cutting soft rocks with copper saws and hollow reed drills, both surrounded by an abrasive, a technique probably used first forquarryingstone blocks and later in excavating temple rooms inside rock cliffs.Abu SimbelTemple on the Nile, for instance, was built in sandstone about 1250bcforRamses II(in the 1960s it was cut apart and moved to higher ground for preservation before flooding from the Aswn High Dam). Even more elaborate temples were later excavated within solid rock in Ethiopia and India.

TheGreeksandRomansboth made extensive use of tunnels: to reclaim marshes by drainage and for water aqueducts, such as the 6th-century-bcGreek water tunnel on the isle ofSamosdriven some 3,400 feet through limestone with across sectionabout 6 feet square. Perhaps the largest tunnel in ancient times was a 4,800-foot-long, 25-foot-wide, 30-foot-high road tunnel (thePausilippo) between Naples and Pozzuoli, executed in 36bc. By that timesurveyingmethods (commonly by string line and plumb bobs) had been introduced, and tunnels were advanced from a succession of closely spaced shafts to provide ventilation. To save the need for a lining, most ancient tunnels were located in reasonably strong rock, which was broken off (spalled) by so-calledfire quenching, a method involving heating the rock with fire and suddenly cooling it by dousing with water.Ventilationmethods were primitive, often limited to waving a canvas at the mouth of the shaft, and most tunnels claimed the lives of hundreds or even thousands of the slaves used as workers. Inad41 the Romans used some 30,000 men for 10 years to push a 3.5-mile (6-kilometre) tunnel to drainLacus Fucinus. They worked from shafts 120 feet apart and up to 400 feet deep. Far more attention was paid to ventilation and safety measures when workers were freemen, as shown by archaeological diggings atHallstatt, Austria, where salt-mine tunnels have been worked since 2500bc.

Because the limited tunneling in the Middle Ages was principally for mining andmilitary engineering, the next major advance was to meet Europes growing transportation needs in the 17th century. The first of many majorcanaltunnels was theCanal du Midi(also known as Languedoc) tunnel inFrance, built in 166681 byPierre Riquetas part of the first canal linking the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. With a length of 515 feet and a cross section of 22 by 27 feet, it involved what was probably the first major use ofexplosivesin public-works tunneling, gunpowder placed in holes drilled by handheld iron drills. A notable canal tunnel inEnglandwas theBridgewater CanalTunnel, built in 1761 byJames Brindleyto carry coal to Manchester from the Worsley mine. Many more canal tunnels were dug in Europe andNorth Americain the 18th and early 19th centuries. Though the canals fell into disuse with the introduction ofrailroadsabout 1830, the new form of transport produced a huge increase in tunneling, which continued for nearly 100 years as railroads expanded over the world. Much pioneer railroad tunneling developed in England. A 3.5-mile tunnel (theWoodhead) of the Manchester-Sheffield Railroad (183945) was driven from five shafts up to 600 feet deep. In theUnited States, the first railroad tunnel was a 701-foot construction on theAllegheny Portage Railroad. Built in 183133, it was a combination of canal and railroad systems, carrying canal barges over a summit. Though plans for a transport link from Boston to theHudson Riverhad first called for a canal tunnel to pass under the Berkshire Mountains, by 1855, when theHoosac Tunnelwas started, railroads had already established their worth, and the plans were changed to a double-track railroad bore 24 by 22 feet and 4.5 miles long. Initial estimates contemplated completion in 3 years; 21 were actually required, partly because the rock proved too hard for either hand drilling or a primitive power saw. When the state of Massachusetts finally took over the project, it completed it in 1876 at five times the originally estimated cost. Despite frustrations, the Hoosac Tunnel contributed notable advances in tunneling, including one of the first uses ofdynamite, the first use of electric firing of explosives, and the introduction of powerdrills, initially steam and later air, from which there ultimately developed acompressed-airindustry.

Simultaneously, more spectacular railroad tunnels were being started through theAlps. The first of these, theMont Cenis Tunnel(also known as Frjus), required 14 years (185771) to complete its 8.5-mile length. Its engineer,Germain Sommeiller, introduced many pioneering techniques, including rail-mounted drill carriages, hydraulic ram air compressors, and construction camps for workers complete with dormitories, family housing, schools, hospitals, a recreation building, and repair shops. Sommeiller also designed anair drillthat eventually made it possible to move the tunnel ahead at the rate of 15 feet per day and was used in several later European tunnels until replaced by more durable drills developed in the United States by Simon Ingersoll and others on the Hoosac Tunnel. As this long tunnel was driven from two headings separated by 7.5 miles of mountainous terrain, surveying techniques had to be refined. Ventilation became a major problem, which was solved by the use of forced air from water-powered fans and a horizontal diaphragm at mid-height, forming an exhaust duct at top of the tunnel. Mont Cenis was soon followed by other notable Alpine railroad tunnels: the 9-mileSt. Gotthard(187282), which introduced compressed-air locomotives and suffered major problems with water inflow, weak rock, and bankrupt contractors; the 12-mileSimplon(18981906); and the 9-mileLötschberg(190611), on a northern continuation of the Simplon railroad line.

Nearly 7,000 feet below the mountain crest, Simplon encountered major problems from highly stressed rock flying off the walls in rock bursts; high pressure in weak schists and gypsum, requiring 10-foot-thickmasonrylining to resist swelling tendencies in local areas; and from high-temperature water (130 F [54 C]), which was partly treated by spraying from cold springs. Driving Simplon as two parallel tunnels with frequent crosscut connections considerably aided ventilation and drainage.

Lötschberg was the site of a major disaster in 1908. When one heading was passing under the Kander River valley, a sudden inflow of water, gravel, and broken rock filled the tunnel for a length of 4,300 feet, burying the entire crew of 25 men. Though a geologic panel had predicted that the tunnel here would be in solid bedrock far below the bottom of the valley fill, subsequent investigation showed that bedrock lay at a depth of 940 feet, so that at 590 feet the tunnel tapped the Kander River, allowing it and soil of the valley fill to pour into the tunnel, creating a huge depression, or sink, at the surface. After this lesson in the need for improved geologic investigation, the tunnel was rerouted about one mile (1.6 kilometres) upstream, where it successfully crossed the Kander Valley in sound rock.

Most long-distance rock tunnels have encountered problems with water inflows. One of the mostnotoriouswas the firstJapaneseTanna Tunnel, driven through the Takiji Peak in the 1920s. The engineers and crews had to cope with a long succession of extremely large inflows, the first of which killed 16 men and buried 17 others, who were rescued after seven days of tunneling through the debris. Three years later another major inflow drowned several workers. In the end, Japanese engineers hit on the expedient of digging a parallel drainage tunnel the entire length of the main tunnel. In addition, they resorted to compressed-airtunneling with shieldandair lock, a technique almost unheard-of in mountain tunneling.

Tunneling under rivers was considered impossible until the protective shield was developed in England byMarc Brunel, a French migr engineer. The first use of the shield, by Brunel and his son Isambard, was in 1825 on theWapping-Rotherhithe Tunnelthrough clay under theThames River. The tunnel was of horseshoe section 221/4by 371/2feet and brick-lined. After several floodings from hitting sand pockets and a seven-year shutdown for refinancing and building a second shield, the Brunels succeeded in completing the worlds first true subaqueous tunnel in 1841, essentially nine years work for a 1,200-foot-long tunnel. In 1869 by reducing to a small size (8 feet) and by changing to a circular shield plus a lining of cast-iron segments,Peter W. Barlowand his field engineer,James Henry Greathead, were able to complete a second Thames tunnel in only one year as a pedestrian walkway from Tower Hill. In 1874, Greathead made the subaqueous technique really practical by refinements and mechanization of the Brunel-Barlow shield and by adding compressed air pressure inside the tunnel to hold back the outside water pressure. Compressed air alone was used to hold back the water in 1880 in a first attempt to tunnel under New Yorks Hudson River; major difficulties and the loss of 20 lives forced abandonment after only 1,600 feet had been excavated. The first major application of the shield-plus-compressed-air technique occurred in 1886 on the London subway with an 11-foot bore, where it accomplished the unheard-of record of seven miles of tunneling without a single fatality. So thoroughly did Greathead develop his procedure that it was used successfully for the next 75 years with no significant change. A modernGreathead shieldillustrates his original developments: miners working under a hood in individual small pockets that can be quickly closed against inflow; shield propelled forward by jacks; permanent lining segments erected under protection of the shield tail; and the whole tunnel pressurized to resist water inflow.

Once subaqueous tunneling became practical, many railroad andsubwaycrossings were constructed with the Greathead shield, and the technique later proved adaptable for the much larger tunnels required for automobiles. A new problem, noxious gases from internal-combustion engines, was successfully solved byClifford Hollandfor the worlds first vehiculartunnel, completed in 1927 under the Hudson River and now bearing his name. Holland and his chief engineer, Ole Singstad, solved the ventilation problem with huge-capacity fans in ventilating buildings at each end, forcing air through a supply duct below the roadway, with an exhaust duct above the ceiling. Such ventilation provisions significantly increased the tunnel size, requiring about a 30-foot diameter for a two-lane vehicular tunnel.

Many similar vehicular tunnels were built by shield-and-compressed-air methodsincludingLincolnand Queens tunnels inNew York City, Sumner and Callahan in Boston, and Mersey in Liverpool. Since 1950, however, most subaqueous tunnelers preferred theimmersed-tubemethod, in which long tube sections are prefabricated, towed to the site, sunk in a previously dredged trench, connected to sections already in place, and then covered with backfill. This basic procedure was first used in its present form on theDetroit River Railroad Tunnelbetween Detroit and Windsor, Ontario (190610). A prime advantage is the avoidance of high costs and the risks of operating a shield under high air pressure, since work inside the sunken tube is atatmospheric pressure(free air).

Sporadic attempts to realize the tunnel engineers dream of a mechanicalrotaryexcavatorculminated in 1954 at Oahe Dam on theMissouri Rivernear Pierre, inSouth Dakota. With ground conditions being favourable (a readily cuttable clay-shale), success resulted from a team effort: Jerome O. Ackerman as chief engineer, F.K. Mittry as initial contractor, and James S. Robbins as builder of the first machinethe Mittry Mole. Later contracts developed three other Oahe-type moles, so that all the various tunnels here were machine-minedtotaling eight miles of 25- to 30-foot diameter. These were the first of the modern moles that since 1960 have been rapidly adopted for many of the worlds tunnels as a means of increasing speeds from the previous range of 25 to 50 feet per day to a range of several hundred feet per day. TheOahe mole was partly inspired by work on a pilot tunnel in chalk started under theEnglish Channelfor which an air-powered rotary cutting arm, theBeaumont borer, had been invented. A 1947 coal-mining version followed, and in 1949 a coal saw was used to cut a circumferential slot in chalk for 33-foot-diameter tunnels at Fort Randall Dam in South Dakota. In 1962 a comparable breakthrough for the more difficult excavation of vertical shafts was achieved in the American development of the mechanical raise borer, profiting from earlier trials in Germany.

Tunnels are generally grouped in four broad categories, depending on the material through which they pass: soft ground, consisting of soil and very weak rock; hard rock; soft rock, such as shale, chalk, and friable sandstone; and subaqueous. While these four broad types of ground condition require very different methods of excavation and ground support, nearly all tunneling operations nevertheless involve certain basic procedures: investigation, excavation and materials transport, ground support, and environmental control. Similarly, tunnels for mining and for civil-engineering projects share the basic procedures but differ greatly in the design approach toward permanence, owing to their differing purposes. Manyminingtunnels have been planned only for minimum-cost temporary use during ore extraction, although the growing desire of surface owners for legal protection against subsequent tunnel collapse may cause this to change. By contrast, mostcivil-engineeringor public-works tunnels involve continued human occupancy plus full protection of adjacent owners and are much more conservatively designed for permanent safety. In all tunnels, geologic conditions play the dominant role in governing the acceptability of construction methods and the practicality of different designs. Indeed, tunneling history is filled with instances in which a sudden encounter with unanticipated conditions caused long stoppages for changes in construction methods, in design, or in both, with resulting great increases in cost and time. At theAwali Tunnel in Lebanon in 1960, for example, a huge flow of water and sand filled over 2 miles of the bore and more than doubled construction time to eight years for its 10-mile length.

Thorough geologic analysis is essential in order to assess the relative risks of different locations and to reduce the uncertainties of ground and water conditions at the location chosen. In addition to soil and rock types, key factors include the initial defects controlling behaviour of the rock mass; size of rock block between joints; weak beds and zones, including faults, shear zones, and altered areas weakened by weathering or thermal action; groundwater, including flow pattern and pressure; plus several special hazards, such as heat, gas, and earthquake risk. For mountain regions the large cost and long time required for deep borings generally limit their number; but much can be learned from thorough aerial and surface surveys, plus well-logging and geophysical techniques developed in the oil industry. Often the problem is approached with flexibility toward changes in design and in construction methods and with continuous exploration ahead of the tunnel face, done in older tunnels by mining a pilot bore ahead and now by drilling. Japanese engineers have pioneered methods for prelocating troublesome rock and water conditions.

For largerock chambersand also particularly large tunnels, the problems increase so rapidly with increasing opening size that adverse geology can make the project impractical or at least tremendously costly. Hence, the concentrated opening areas of these projects are invariably investigated during the design stage by a series of small exploratory tunnels calleddrifts, which also provide for in-place field tests to investigate engineering properties of the rock mass and can often be located so their later enlargement affords access for construction.

Since shallow tunnels are more often in soft ground, borings become more practical. Hence, most subways involve borings at intervals of 100500 feet to observe thewater tableand to obtain undisturbed samples for testing strength, permeability, and other engineering properties of the soil.Portalsof rock tunnels are often in soil or in rock weakened by weathering. Being shallow, they are readily investigated by borings, but, unfortunately, portal problems have frequently been treated lightly. Often they are only marginally explored or the design is left to the contractor, with the result that a high percentage of tunnels, especially in the United States, have experienced portal failures. Failure to locate buried valleys has also caused a number of costly surprises. The five-mileOso Tunnel inNew Mexicooffers one example. There, in 1967, a mole had begun to progress well in hard shale, until 1,000 feet from the portal it hit a buried valley filled with water-bearing sand and gravel, which buried the mole. After six months delay for hand mining, the mole was repaired and soon set new world records for advance rateaveraging 240 feet per day with a maximum of 420 feet per day.

Excavation of the ground within the tunnel bore may be either semicontinuous, as by handheld power tools or mining machine, or cyclic, as by drilling andblastingmethods for harder rock. Here each cycle involves drilling, loading explosive, blasting, ventilating fumes, and excavation of the blasted rock (called mucking). Commonly, themucker is a type of front-end loader that moves the broken rock onto a belt conveyor that dumps it into a hauling system of cars or trucks. As all operations are concentrated at the heading, congestion is chronic, and much ingenuity has gone into designing equipment able to work in a small space. Since progress depends on the rate of heading advance, it is oftenfacilitatedby mining several headings simultaneously, as opening up intermediate headings from shafts or fromaditsdriven to provide extra points of access for longer tunnels.

For smaller diameters and longer tunnels, a narrow-gauge railroad is commonly employed to take out the muck and bring in workers and construction material. For larger-size bores of short to moderate length, trucks are generally preferred. For underground use these require diesel engines with scrubbers to eliminate dangerous gases from the exhaust. While existing truck and rail systems are adequate for tunnels progressing in the range of 4060 feet (1218 metres) per day, their capacity is inadequate to keep up with fast-moving moles progressing at the rate of several hundred feet per day. Hence, considerable attention is being devoted to developing high-capacity transport systemscontinuous-belt conveyors,pipelines, and innovative rail systems (high-capacity cars on high-speed trains). Muck disposal and its transport on the surface can also be a problem in congested urban areas. One solution successfully applied in Japan is to convey it by pipeline to sites where it can be used for reclamation bylandfill.

Forsurveycontrol, high-accuracy transit-level work (from base lines established by mountaintop triangulation) has generally been adequate; long tunnels from opposite sides of the mountain commonly meet with an error of one foot or less. Further improvements are likely from the recent introduction of thelaser, the pencil-size light beam of which supplies a reference line readily interpreted by workers. Most moles in the United States now use a laser beam to guide steering, and some experimental machines employ electronic steering actuated by the laser beam.

The dominant factor in all phases of the tunneling system is the extent of support needed to hold the surrounding ground safely. Engineers must consider the type of support, its strength, and how soon it must be installed after excavation. The key factor in timing support installation is so-calledstand-up timei.e.,how long the ground will safely stand by itself at the heading, thus providing a period for installing supports. In soft ground, stand-up time can vary from seconds in such soils as loose sand up to hours in such ground ascohesiveclay and even drops to zero in flowing ground below the water table, where inward seepage moves loose sand into the tunnel. Stand-up time in rock may vary from minutes in raveling ground (closely fractured rock where pieces gradually loosen and fall) up to days in moderately jointed rock (joint spacing in feet) and may even be measured in centuries in nearly intact rock, where the rock-block size (between joints) equals or exceeds size of the tunnel opening, thus requiring no support. While a miner generally prefers rock to soft ground, local occurrences of major defects within the rock can effectively produce a soft-ground situation; passage through such areas generally requires radical change to the use of a soft-ground type of support.

Under most conditions, tunneling causes a transfer of the ground load by arching to sides of the opening, termed theground-arch effect(Figure 1, top). At the heading the effect is three-dimensional, locally creating a ground dome in which the load is arched not only to the sides but also forward and back. If permanence of the ground arch is completely assured, stand-up time isinfinite, and no support is required. Ground-arch strength usually deteriorates with time, however, increasing the load on the support. Thus, the total load is shared between support and ground arch in proportion to their relative stiffness by a physical mechanism termedstructure-medium interaction. The support load increases greatly when theinherentground strength is much reduced by allowing excessive yield to loosen the rock mass. Because this may occur when installation of support is delayed too long, or because it may result from blast damage, good practice is based on the need to preserve the strength of the ground arch as the strongest load-carrying member of the system, by prompt installation of proper support and by preventing blast damage and movement from water inflow that has a tendency to loosen the ground.

Because stand-up time drops rapidly as size of the opening increases, thefull-face methodof advance (Figure 1, centre), in which the entire diameter of the tunnel is excavated at one time, it is most suitable for strong ground or for smaller tunnels. The effect of weak ground can be offset by decreasing the size of opening initially mined and supported, as in thetop heading and bench methodof advance. For the extreme case of very soft ground, this approach results in the multiple-drift method of advance (Figure 2), in which the individual drifts are reduced to a small size that is safe for excavation and portions of the support are placed in each drift and progressively connected as the drifts are expanded. The central core is left unexcavated until sides and crown are safely supported, thus providing a convenient central buttress for bracing the temporary support in each individual drift. While this obviously slow multidrift method is an old technique for very weak ground, such conditions still force its adoption as a last resort in some modern tunnels. In 1971, for example, on theStraight Creek interstatehighwaytunnel in Colorado, a very complex pattern of multiple drifts was found necessary to advance this large horseshoe-shaped tunnel 42 by 45 feet high through a weak shear zone more than 1,000 feet wide, after unsuccessful trials with full-face operation of a shield.

In early tunnels, timber was used for the initial or temporary support, followed by a permanent lining of brick or stone masonry. Sincesteelbecame available, it has been widely used as the first temporary stage or primary support. For protection against corrosion, it is nearly always encased in concrete as a second stage or final lining. Steel-rib support with timber blocking outside has been widely employed in rock tunnels. The horseshoe shape is common for all but the weakest rocks, since the flat bottomfacilitateshauling. By contrast, the stronger and more structurally efficient circular shape is generally required to support the greater loads from soft ground.Figure 1, bottom, compares these two shapes and indicates a number of terms identifying various parts of the cross section and adjacent members for a steel-rib type of support. Here a wall plate is generally used only with a top heading method, where it serves to support arch ribs both in the top heading and also where the bench is being excavated by spanning over this length until posts can be inserted beneath. Newer types of supports are discussed below with more modern tunnel procedures, in which the trend is away from two stages of support toward a single support system, part installed early and gradually strengthened in increments for conversion to the final complete support system.

In all but the shortest tunnels, control of theenvironmentis essential to provide safe working conditions.Ventilationis vital, both to provide fresh air and to remove explosive gases such as methane and noxious gases, including blast fumes. While the problem is reduced by using diesel engines with exhaust scrubbers and by selecting only low-fume explosives for underground use, long tunnels involve a major ventilating plant that employs a forced draft through lightweight pipes up to three feet in diameter and with booster fans at intervals. In smaller tunnels, the fans are frequently reversible, exhausting fumes immediately after blasting, then reversing to supply fresh air to the heading where the work is now concentrated.

High-levelnoisegenerated at the heading by drilling equipment and throughout the tunnel by high-velocity air in the vent lines frequently requires the use of earplugs withsign languagefor communication. In the future, equipment operators may work in sealed cabs, but communication is an unsolved problem. Electronic equipment in tunnels is prohibited, since stray currents may activate blasting circuits. Thunderstorms may also produce stray currents and require special precautions.

Dustis controlled by water sprays, wet drilling, and the use of respirator masks. Since prolonged exposure to dust from rocks containing a high percentage of silica may cause a respiratory ailment known assilicosis, severe conditions require special precautions, such as a vacuum-exhaust hood for each drill.

While excess heat is more common in deep tunnels, it occasionally occurs in fairly shallow tunnels. In 1953, workers in the 6.4-mileTelecote Tunnel near Santa Barbara, California, were transported immersed in water-filled mine cars through the hot area (117 F [47 C]). In 1970 a complete refrigeration plant was required to progress through a huge inflow of hot water at 150 F (66 C) in the 7-mileGraton Tunnel, driven under the Andes to drain a copper mine inPeru.

Soft-ground tunnels most commonly are used for urban services (subways, sewers, and other utilities) for which the need for quick access by passengers or maintenance staff favours a shallow depth. In many cities this means that the tunnels are above bedrock, making tunneling easier but requiring continuous support. The tunnel structure

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How to Make a Ring From a Silver Spoon

In this Instructable Im going to show you how I was able to make a ring from a silver spoon. There is a video that accompanies the write up.

This method of making the ring is based of the techniques to make a ring from a coin. Coin rings are made in this exact same fashion except when using a spoon you need to first cut out a blank that will be used to shape the ring.

A few tools are needed, the only one that you will probably will need to purchase is the ring mandrel.

Here are videos that show all the steps in detail.

First step is to make a ring blank that will be shaped on the ring mandrel. You will need to flatten the spoon by gently pounding it flat with the vinyl hammer on a piece of wood. You should also anneal the spoon by heating with a blow torch and quenching in water, be careful not to over heat the silver as you can burn and ruin it unlike other metals. Annealing makes it easier to shape the metal and release stress built up by work hardening.

Use a quarter and trace out the outline on the flattened spoon. Using calipers measure the diameter of the quarter and take half the measurement to mark the center of the circle that was traced. Use the center punch on the center of the circle and then drill a pilot hole in the spoon. Once the pilot hole is drilled us a step drill bit to drill out a hole that is approximately 3/8 in diameter.

Use a file to clean up the hole or else any small tears or cracks will grow when you start working the metal. Cut out out the circle with a Dremel with a cutoff disc or hacksaw.

If you have a belt sander use it to clean up the edges and remove the excess around the outline of the circle. You can also use a file if you dont have a belt sander.

As a final step to make the blank completely round I used a drill with a make shift lathe made from a bit and using tape wrapped around many times so the center of the ring blank would friction fit on it. Then spun it up on some sandpaper to smooth out any high spots.

Place the ring blank on the mandrel, you might need to start with a drift pin if the hole is tool small to fit on the mandrel at first. This really depends on how big you made hole as the size of the hole determines how thick the ring will be with the size of the circle being equal. You can just drill the hole large enough to fit on the mandrel.

Start tapping gently around the ring blank, tap and rotate, tap and rotate, tap and rotate. Repeat many times, you will start seeing the metal bend around the mandrel.

After working the metal for a bit, reheat with the blow torch and quench to anneal.

Continue working the metal around the mandrel equally all around. This will take time so go slow. Repeat the annealing every so often if you feel the metal isnt working easy. The ring will start forming.

Once you have the ring start taking shape you will want to flip the ring blank around and start working it down on the mandrel with the same tapping technique.

If the metal starts crinkling up, dont worry it will work out, just go slow. Once it starts taking shape you will need to start sizing it. Using a piece of plastic conduit pipe and hammer tap on the edge of the ring, it will force it down further on the mandrel. Work each side equally or else the ring will deform. Keep sizing it until you have the size you want.

This step is optional but you can out a nice round edge on the ring by using a doming block. You can skip this step and go on to final sanding and polishing.

Put the ring in the doming block and using a vice squeeze the ring into the block. You will need to over size the ring if you plan on doming it as this step reduces the size of the ring.

See the video for more details on this step as I dont have many pictures on how to do this.

As you can see in the pics I used a piece of round aluminum and some tape to friction fit the ring to it on a drill. Easier to look at the pic than explain, polish the ring on some fine grits of sand paper to sand out any scratches, if you have deep scratches you might need to go with a rougher grit. Work through ever finer grits of and paper, I go all the way up to 1500. At this point the ring should be starting to shine. To make it really shine use some metal polish and a cloth to polish the ring with the drill. Careful that the cloth doesnt catch in the drill.

Remove the ring and hand sand and polish the inside. Your ring is done!

Did you make this project? Share it with us!

I love the sound of your annealing the spoon when it is on fast forward! lol

from a spoon and a ring you get a spring lol

This is cool, but it looks like waaay too much work than Id put into a silver ring..

but juste a question I dont know mutch about silver but I know about brass copper and steel and normaly to soften theses metals you have to let it cool down slowly before forming if you quinch it its harden it and makes tapping process harder

Something to keep in mind. Silver work-hardens. That means that it gets tougher the more you hammer it. You also risk creating cracks and stress points that can effect the ring making process, if you work on hardened silver.

If the metal seems harder to move while hammering, then its time to anneal again. This mitigates possible failures that you probably wont see until near the end of the process.

OOOkay, why didnt you just use the shank of the spoon and wrap it around the mandrel? Why go to all the trouble to make a coin out of the bowl first?

There would be a gap that would need to be soldered, I wanted a solid ring. I suppose you could use the handle and have an adjustable ring.

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Jewelry Around the World Day 1 Indian Jhumka DIY Earrings

Promotion, and were so excited to share all of theseDIY jewelry projectswith you. Youll be sure to find these Indian-inspiredDIY Earringsby Divya N to be beautifully inspiring. We cant wait to adorn our ears with these pretty earrings!

When people think ofIndian jewelryit is gold jewelry that often comes to their mind because India has a rich, long multifarious tradition when it comes to creating with gold. Inspired by Indias love of gold and expertise in granulation as a method ofJewelry making, I am going to recreate a pair of traditional south Indian gold studs and Jhumka earrings using contemporary materials in this post.

Jhumka or Jhimki is a version of the ancient Indian ear ornament called Karnaphoolwhich means the flower adorning the ear.These upside down, basket or dome shaped tassels are said to be inspired by the seed pods or real flower buds worn by mythical damsels. Ancient jewelers then accentuated the domes with filigree, granulation work, enameling, or pearl dangles adding to their beauty. These domes could be wide, narrow, elongated, heavy, or light and suit almost any face shape.

Conventional Jhumkas are made of either gold or silver, but contemporary designers make them out of everything from wood, glass, paper, and clay, or makelightweight jhumkas out of fabric. They are one of the very few designs/pieces in Indian jewelry that are not region (location) bound, but have a pan Indian and even global appeal. No wonder Indian women love them and have a few in their wardrobes to suit their moods and looks!

Indian women pair them up with not just ethnic attire, but also with evening wear like gowns. If you feel that the Jhumkas are too elaborate, then you can wear only the stud and still make a great fashion statement. TheseDIY earringsrequire almost no jewelry making skills and can be made in a few hours time.

1 round 4 holed gold sequins 2

Gold tone, stud base 1 pair

3mm Quilling strips 24 strips

Gold tone flower beadcaps 2

Quilling doming template or wooden doming block (optional)

Round nose pliers, wire cutters, scissors

1. Apply liquid fusion glue to a sequins and glue the 5mm antique bead in the center. Glue 2mm beads in two rows all around it making sure that one of the 4 holes of the sequins is left uncovered. Wait for it to dry.

2. Glue the stud base at center back and wait for it to dry. Your stud is now ready, and can be worn as is. They will make a great statement when paired with anything from a simple white shirt to a dressy evening gown.

1. Take one strip of quilling paper through the edge of your quilling tool and rotate it making a tight spiral. When you come to the end of one strip, glue another one to it and continue. Alternatively, you can glue 12 of your quilling strips together, making one long length of paper before you begin.

2. Keep joining strips and spiraling until you use up the 12 strips of paper. You can make the dome smaller by reducing the number of strips to 10 if required. The color of the quilling strips does not matter as we are going to paint over them. I prefer to pick lighter colors when I want a bright gold finish and darker colors when I want an antique finish. But you can reduce this step by directly using metallic gold colored strips.

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to make another spiral. Make sure that they are both of the same size

4. Press the spiral over a quilling dome template or into a gap of the doming block to get the dome shape. If you dont have neither you can simply press the spiral with your fingers into a dome.

5. Apply Modpodge inside the dome and let it dry. Once dried flip over and coat the outside with Modpodge. This helps the Jhumka retain its shape.

6. Paint all over the dome (inside and outside) with gold paint, distressing with a little copper. You can use silver, bronze, or any other metallic color paint if you are not too fond of gold. Let it dry.

7. Poke an eyepin through the center hole of your Jhumka. This will help you hold the dome as you do the following steps. Glue the half beads to the bottom rim of the dome.

8. Apply another coat of Modpodge all over the dome (inside and outside). The half beads I have used are coated acrylic so I sealed them too, but if you use metallic findings, then do no seal them with Modpodge and glue them only after sealing. Let it dry.

9. Glue a row of topaz rhinestones next to the beads. Let it dry.

10. Add a bead cap to the eyepin and form a loop with your pliers. Cut excess wire.

To Complete the Jhumka loop the dome through the free hole in your disc. Alternatively, you can use a jump ring to connect the loop to the hole, thereby wearing the earrings in two different ways, with or without the dome by simply opening and closing the jump ring. Your statement earrings are now complete.

Plus, dont forget to share your jewelry making skills with

Keep up withJewelry Around the Worldand see our other jewelry tutorialshere!

Divya N is a fashion designer, jewelry artist, blogger and design educator who believes in creating affordable fashion for the contemporary woman. Her collections, under her brand Sayuri, are colorful, kitschy, quirky and one of a kind mixed media pieces.

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Spiral pendant

Sterling silver sheet 0.8 mm thick and 2cm square

Barrel polisher and polishing compound

Practice texturing silver sheet by heating a scrap piece before you start your finished pendant, then you will know how long it takes with your own torch

When doming metal in a doming block do not use a polished hammer to hit the punch with, use an old hammer so that it will not matter if the hammer is marked by the punch

Always use plenty of flux on silver before you solder it so that oxides do not build up on the metal and stop the solder flowing. Solder will flow towards the heat. Clean up a soldered piece in safety pickle so that all flux is removed after soldering

Texture silver sheet by heating it until the surface melts and looks like orange peel. Play the torch over the silver until it starts to turn bright red and then keep it hot until you see the surface begin to ripple and bubble. Move the torch while you are doing this to get an even texture. Quench in water and clean in safety pickle.

Draw a circle which is about 9mm radius with dividers on the textured piece and cut out with a piercing saw. It will not matter if the dividers leave a mark on the surface as this will be covered with the wire spiral.

Find the biggest depression in the doming block that the textured circle will fit into with the textured surface face down. Dome the circle with the largest punch that will fit the dome. Tidy up edges with a file.

Take 1.2mm round silver wire and carefully turn it up into a spiral using round pointed pliers. When you have turned the first little bit cut off the piece that was held by the pliers so that the straight bit has gone.

Slightly dome the spiral in the doming block being careful not to bruise the wire. Do this so that the wire will sit neatly on the domed surface of the textured piece.

Fit to the circle and adjust if necessary by either pulling the spiral open or pushing tighter with your fingers or pliers. File the end that is close to the outer edge into a taper to give a better looking end.

Solder the wire to the textured circle with hard silver solder, this can be done by feeding a strip of solder in as you heat the piece. Clean it in safety pickle.

File the top edge of the pendant to make a tiny flat edge, this ensures that it is easier to solder on a jumpring using easy silver solder. Now solder another jumpring through it. When it is cool put it in safety pickle once again.

Clean up any rough edges with a file and abrasive paper taking care to keep the circle crisp without any flat angles. Polish in a barrel polisher and then give a high shine to the wire using a polishing cloth.

Clare John has been making jewellery since she graduated from Middlesex University in 1976. She teaches jewellery and specialises in Cold Enamel and Resin in jewellery. Contact her via her websites:

EPBOT Dime Buttons

If you havent already, youll need to reference mypenny buttons postto follow this tutorial; its essentially the same process, with the key difference of aging the dimes so the detail show through.

See how nicely the detail pops on the far right? I did a lot of experimenting to find a finish that was easy to apply and would withstand machine washing. More on that in a second, though.

First, make your dime buttons using your trusty doming block, epoxy paste, and O rings:

(Again, for more detailed instructions see mypenny button tutorial.)

You could stop here, of course, but from a distance theyd just look like plain silver buttons. Wheres the fun in that?

So instead, get out your trusty Sharpie.

After much messing about with paints and glazes, I finally determined that a simple coating with a Sharpie marker was the best base coat to age the dimes. So:

1) Color your dime solid black with a Sharpie. Make sure the ink gets in all the nooks and crannies. (For a softer look, try a dark brown Sharpie.)

2) Let it dry for a few seconds, until just barely tacky. (If you start to rub before the ink dries, your finish will have more contrast, and more areas of solid silver showing through.)

3) Using a paper towel or cloth, rub off the peaks of the dime until you like the way it looks. I wrapped the paper towel around my index finger and used a twist & rub technique, but play around with it and find whatever works for you. This will also take a few minutes of rubbing, so dont panic if it seems to be taking a while to get through the ink.

4) To seal the finish, spray your finished buttons with a high quality lacquer clear coat. (Check the spray-paint aisle.) I used a high gloss, but a flat sheen would look great, too.

Arent they gorgeous? And I only had to wipe off the finishes with lacquer thinner and start all over again three times! 😀

A few more beauty shots, since these were kind of a pain to photograph well:

Initially I planned to attach these to a black and gray military-style shrug, but the buttons are a bit too dark; they dont show up all that well. So instead Im hunting through my closet for something brighter. This finish looks *amazing* against blue, yellow, or dark orange. Actually, itd probably look good on anything other than black, gray, or brown, so I have a lot of options.

Oh, and these are bigger than your average shirt buttons, so keep that in mind if you decide to replace the buttons on something you own. The lacquer finish will withstand soap, water, and scrubbing, but I havent tested the epoxy putty in the dryer yet, so no promises there. You may want to air dry, just to be safe.

Hope you enjoyed! And as always, please send pictures if you try this yourself!

Come see ALL of my craft projects on one page,right here!

Gorgeous! I enjoy your craft projects so much. However, I now have so many things I want to try but dont have time to do.

gah, what are you doing to TEH MONIEZ!!!!

Its money, Jen! Money! Spend the money, save the money, pile the money in a huge vault and swim in the money, but for the love of Mammon, stop destroying the money! Youll … uh, deflate the entire economy or something! Something bad!

Poor Moniez, come to RO, I will take care of you and treat you right good and proper, poor thing. No mean old doming block in MY house, I promise. I will save you, and spend you, and never ever make you into a button, I promises.

but the important thing here is that i had just enough tabs open in my browser that this post was shortened to dime butt!

Oh brilliant, RO, subscribe to teh comments on a Jen blog. Awesome, that.

I have a special thing with dimes, wear one on a necklace every day, actually…so my first thought when I saw the penny tutorial was dimes. Ive bought the doming block already, just not the epoxy and o-rings.

Im working on some ideas related to journals, for gifts. 😉

Once again Im in awe of your creaftivity.

I love seeing the crazy, wacky, COOL things you come up with!!! Im not a big commenter, but I read everything you post, just wanted to say thanks!!

Sa-weet!! I just added a doming block to my Christmas list. I am very excited!!

Brilliant!! I think I like these more than the penny buttons! Wait. Maybe not…

I really love both. I need a doming block, STAT!

That is so incredibly cool! I never thought about that being cheaper… I just recently started following you, but Im loving it so far!

Jen, this doesnt have much to do with dime or buttons, but this ezine was just recommended to me. You may already know about it, but if not:

kinda an FYI kinda didja try this? Magic eraser gets sharpie off, maybe if you just rub lightly only the images would be cleaned??

My grandfather used to make me jewelry out of dimes soldered to safety pins. He called them dime-and-pins (which sounds like diamond pins). This made me think of it…although your dime buttons are much more sophisticated-looking 🙂

Years ago in junior high shop one of our assignments was to dome a dime and turn it into a ring; my husband and I both have one somewhere. I love what the sharpie did to it; I may need to dig it out and try it.

@ Anony – good idea on the Magic Eraser! Ill have to give that a try next time.

I think if you wanted to use it on those other colors, it would look nice if you started cleaning it off before it started to dry, so that the relief was shiny silver with a tarnish to highlight it.

These are spectacular! Im adding a doming block to my HUSBANDS Christmas list. I dont know what hes going to do with it, but Im seeing flower centers for cards & scrapbook pages!

WOW! 70 cents can last you a lot longer than you think in this world! I also like them without the patina (of sorts)–its like you cant really tell what it is until people come up and look closer, and the its like WOW!

This would also be a great way to get rid of those damn Canadian quarters, nickels and dimes I end up with from time to time.

@Lori, isnt giving the doming block to your husband kinda like a husband buying his wife a bowling ball for her birthday when hes the one who bowls? If so, then I LIKE IT!

Once again you make me want to get a doming block and make new buttons for my pea-coat.

And you got to love that the simplest solution always works out the best. What would we do without sharpies?

I LOVE my doming block. Cant thank you enough for pointing them out to us out here in blog-land. Ive used mine more for doming jewelry pieces than coins so far, but I plan to make some buttons soon.

also, for anyone worried about washing their buttons, you could just pin them on the item, using either regular safety pins or thespecial button safety pinsThat way you can remove the buttons when its time to wash or dryclean the item.

I love these! I am curious, though: Did you notice the Sharpie running at all when you sprayed the clear sealer over it? I had a project where I spent a good bit of time writing on glass with a Sharpie only to have it run when I sprayed the protective coat.

What a very cool idea and they turned out gorgeous! I will have to look at the penny tutorial, as my last name is Lincoln! 😀

Ive seen people using bottle caps in that way and then making earrings. Very cool, I think. And I live in a student community so having Buddweiser or Black Label earrings are appropriate! 🙂 (and Ive always wondered how they do that)

PS: I even went to the hardware store today to try and find epoxy resin (for a variation on the penny table) and the dome thingy…err…anyway. They were closed! *nooooo* Shall try again tomorrow

Hi–Reading your blog for the first time (longtime Cake Wrecks reader just catching on!). A long time ago, on a Southwest trip, I bought sterling button covers with stamped designs on them. Just found these blank ones

Two nice things–they can be moved to different shirts without sewing, instead of being a permanent part of any one shirt. And since they slide over the regular button, it doesnt matter what size the buttonhole is. You probably know about this, but just in case…Im sure you could attach domed dimes to them!

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Metal Stamping + Basic Jewelry Supplies

Creativity in an hour or less with Adrianne Surian

If youre new to jewelry-making, it can be difficult to know what supplies you really need, and where to find them.  Included on this page aremy personal recommendations based on my own experience.  None of these suppliers have paid me to endorse their product, though I love these products so much that I do have working relationships with some of these brands.

When you start your shopping here, my goal is to take the mystery out of what you need to get started.  If you make purchases through these links, I make a small commission.  These affiliate links are one of the ways Im able to afford new products and supplies so that I can continue to offer free tutorials and to keep the website up and running!

If you click to buy, there is no additional cost to you.  I also want to say thank you for supporting me by allowing me to make these small commissions!

Ill be honest: I had no clue what to buy when I began metal stamping.  I spent $100 on my starter kit and as soon as I learned a little about it I replaced almost every single thing I bought with something better.  It was a complete waste of money.

Consider how much you think youll enjoy stamping this will help you decide whether to buy something economical, or something higher-quality.  I have recommendations for both!

ImpressArt is one of the largest suppliers of quality stamps, and the price point is quite reasonable.  They carry economy stamp sets of their most popular fonts at a price point around $20.  For $60, you will get stamps that are well-marked for straight stamping in a case that keeps letters from getting mixed up, falling down or getting jumbled together.  You also have MANY more font choices.  I do recommend choosing a font you really love from the start!  A utility set of letters will give your pieces an industrial look.  If thats what you want, then perfect!  It works great in steampunk and masculine designs, among others.  I started with an industrial set.  I would wager that I used it maybe ten times ever.  I would have been better off investing in a font I really loved.

To shop a variety of fonts, click here.  My favorite fonts are Scarletts Signature, Newsprint, and Bridgette. You can also click the images below to learn more about individual sets.

Some additional, optional tools may be necessary to complete certain projects.  Consider these items as well:

Beyond that, some projects may require rivets, eyelets, texturing hammers, and more but I would only worry about purchasing those if you fall in love with a certain look or technique you want to try.  The above supplies are plenty to get you started.

When it comes to jewelry blanks, I have not yet found any that I really dislike *except* the generic, silver-colored (unknown metal?) ones that you can find in local craft stores.  As long as you read the description and the product can tell you exactly what metal its made from, and usually the gauge (thickness) of the metal, then you should be able to trust it.

Soft metals include pewter, aluminum, and analloy by ImpressArt called Alkeme.  These are all great for beginners!  Sterling silver is also a fairly soft metal, but of course, its expensive, and beginners might not want to practice with pricey blanks!

Beaducationhas the most diverse selection of blanks in all metals, in my opinion.  If youre looking for silver blanks, or some very unique pewter blanks, I highly recommend them.  They are actually one of the few companies from whom I dont make any commission at all, but I still believe strongly in their products!  They have a lot of modern and trending designs, and their original design stamps are made in the US.

Hello, and welcome! Im Adrianne, an artist, author, designer, and blogger in mid Michigan. I work from home, chase my two kids, and this once-city-girl is learning how to care for chickens and adjusting to life out in the country. I have a compulsion for daily creativity… sometimes its jewelry-making, paper crafting, metal stamping, mixing and baking, or giving new life to recycled items. But with 2 young kids, time is short! My goal here at Happy Hour Projects is to share projects and tips that you can do in an hour or less. The ideas you find here are designed to add a little creativity in your day, no matter how much (or how little) time you have!