Judy Larson's Eight Maids a Milking earrings, Holiday Designs. Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder. When this song was written, milk maids would use a wooden bucket when milking and to carry the milk .
Eight Maids a Milking earrings
by Judy Larson
  • Category: Holiday Designs
  • Technique(s): Texturing, Butane Torch Techniques
  • Skill Level: Beginner
When this song was written, milk maids would use a wooden bucket when milking and to carry the milk . The wood slats of the bucket would be tightly held together with metal strapping to prevent leaking, like wooden barrels we see today. Hmmmm-metal strapping. Yup, earrings! And soooo easy, too! 

Materials

24 Gauge Dead Soft Argentium Silver Sheet - 6 Inches
H19-24SM6
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1 Inch
  • Price: $41.83
  • Gold Club Price: $31.37
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sterling posts
  • Lesson Quantity: 2.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 2.00 each
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Tools

Center Punch, 4 1/2 inches
PUN-450.00
  • PUN-450.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $2.95
  • Gold Club Price: $2.21
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Basic Soldering Kit
G15-4
  • G15-4
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $58.95
  • Gold Club Price: $44.21
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Silver Solder Paste Soft SS65- 1/4 T.O.
SOL-822.10
  • SOL-822.10
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $16.95
  • Gold Club Price: $12.71
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14mm Barrel Wrap N Tap Looping Pliers for Pattern Wire, Etc.
G2-79
  • G2-79
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $24.97
  • Gold Club Price: $18.73
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Classic Wubbers Wide Flat Nose Pliers
G2-1238
  • G2-1238
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $27.95
  • Gold Club Price: $20.96
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Fire Brick
SOL-485.00
  • SOL-485.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $15.95
  • Gold Club Price: $11.96
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NATURE'S TOUCH CITRIC PICKLE, 2LB PLASTIC JAR
CLN-163.00
  • CLN-163.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $17.95
  • Gold Club Price: $13.46
Out of Stock
Pickle Pot, 16 Ounces
CLN-584.00
  • CLN-584.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $31.95
  • Gold Club Price: $23.96
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Instructions
Step 1
Template Designs 

The first template, 2½" x 6", contains the designs that are to be cut out and assembled. The second template, also 2½" x 6",  contains size and shape approximations for those designs requiring a backing, except for number 4, which is a charm disc that could be cut out and number 3, an alternate French Hens design. The numbers on the designs in both templates refer to the day in the song and in the tutorials. 
Because any texturing will distort the metal design, it is best to texture the 24 gauge Argentium sheet metal before cutting out the design. Anneal and flatten the textured sheet before gluing the template shapes it. 
Judy Larson's Eight Maids a Milking earrings - , Holiday Designs, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, eight maids a milking earrings
Judy Larson's Eight Maids a Milking earrings - , Holiday Designs, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, eight maids a milking earrings
Judy Larson's Eight Maids a Milking earrings - , Holiday Designs, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, eight maids a milking earrings
Step 2
Cut the shapes out. Remove the paper from the metal. Refine the edges with files and sanding pads, avoiding the top area where the pin pad post will be attached. This will be cleaned up after soldering the pin pad post in place. 
Step 3
Mark a dot at the top center of each earring on the back side using an ultra fine point retractable Sharpie. Since a 4mm diameter pin-pad is being used, the mark should only be a hair further inside the end than half the diameter of the pin pad.   
Judy Larson's Eight Maids a Milking earrings - , Holiday Designs, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, eight maids a milking earrings
Step 4
Use a center punch to make a divot impression on each mark.   
Step 5
Measure the thickness of the pin pad post. Choose a bit that is the same size. A smaller bit can be used and the hole enlarged with a reamer to tightly fit the post. Centering the bit in the divot impression, drill a hole through the earring pieces. 
Step 6
Place easy paste solder over and around the hole on the BACK side of the earring. Push the pin pad post through the hole, going from front to back. Remove any paste solder on the post.  
Judy Larson's Eight Maids a Milking earrings - , Holiday Designs, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, eight maids a milking earrings
Step 7
Push pin pad post into a magnesia soldering block-the right side will be facing down. Heat with a butane torch until the solder flows. Pushing the solder post into the soldering block protects the post wire from becoming too hot and losing the hard temper.   It also helps that easy paste solder, which flows at a lower temperature than medium, is being used and the area to be soldered is small, requiring less heating time. 
Judy Larson's Eight Maids a Milking earrings - , Holiday Designs, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, eight maids a milking earrings
Step 8
Use files and sanding pads to file away excess pin pad and/or textured earring material on each earring. This area will be on the ear lobe so needs to have smooth, rounded edges. 
Step 9
Pickle, rinse, and dry the pieces. 
Use the middle step on a Large Wrap N Tap pliers to shape the earrings. 
Judy Larson's Eight Maids a Milking earrings - , Holiday Designs, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, eight maids a milking earrings
Step 10
For each earring, use a flat nose or chain nose pliers to bend the pin pad section toward the inside of the earring. 
Judy Larson's Eight Maids a Milking earrings - , Holiday Designs, Texturing, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, eight maids a milking earrings
Step 11
Tumble the assemblies for several hours.  Patina the pieces if desired. The earrings shown do not have patina added.