Judy Larson's Love Locks Heart Charm, Metalwork. Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder. My husband and I have a favorite vacation destination.
Love Locks Heart Charm
by Judy Larson
  • Category: Metalwork
  • Technique(s): Butane Torch Techniques
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
My husband and I have a favorite vacation destination. Every year, we can't wait to go back. The last time we were there, we noticed people attaching locks, purchased at the front desk, on a large wire form in the shape of Kukulkan. Just like the locks attached to Pont des Arts in Paris, these locks symbolize eternal love AND that the person attaching the lock will come back to this amazing place. We never got around to purchasing a lock, but knew we would be back, so no problem, right? You guessed it-the pandemic curtailed travel for everyone! I made my own Love Lock to remind me that we can find amazing places to visit anywhere as long as we are together.

Materials

24 Gauge Dead Soft Argentium Silver Sheet - 6 Inches
H19-24SM6
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1 Inch
  • Price: $28.15
  • Gold Club Price: $21.11
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16 Gauge Round Half Hard Argentium .930 Silver Wire
H19-16H
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1FT
  • Price: $5.97
  • Gold Club Price: $4.48
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Tools

Solderite Soldering Board 6 Inch by 6 Inch Soft
SOL-421.10
  • SOL-421.10
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $12.95
  • Gold Club Price: $9.71
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Magnesia Soldering Block
SOL-455.00
  • SOL-455.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $7.95
  • Gold Club Price: $5.96
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Silver Solder Paste Medium SS70 - 1/4 T.O.
SOL-822.15
  • SOL-822.15
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $18.95
  • Gold Club Price: $14.21
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Blazer Big Buddy Turbo Torch, Black
TRCH-8010
  • TRCH-8010
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $40.00
  • Gold Club Price: $30.00
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Steel Bench Block 4x4 Inch - Pack of 1
G17-10
  • G17-10
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $21.95
  • Gold Club Price: $16.46
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Steel Brush
BRS-967.00
  • BRS-967.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $8.25
  • Gold Club Price: $6.19
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Premium Nylon Jaw Pliers
G2-35
  • G2-35
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $14.95
  • Gold Club Price: $11.21
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WireJewelry Single Barrel Rotary Tumbler, Jewelry and Metal Polishing Kit, Includes 1 Pound of Jewelers Mix Shot and 8 Ounces of Shinebrite Burnishing Compound (2021 Version)
G24-1V2-KITSS
  • G24-1V2-KITSS
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $159.93
  • Gold Club Price: $119.95
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Pickle Pot, 16 Ounces
CLN-584.00
  • CLN-584.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $29.95
  • Gold Club Price: $22.46
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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: $16.95
  • Gold Club Price: $12.71
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Instructions
Step 1
Read through the tutorial before starting the project. Follow all safety precautions pertaining to the tools and supplies being used and the space you are working in.

Follow the directions in the Argentium Silver Scrap Chain tutorial for layering and fusing/melting scrap sheet. (https://www.wirejewelry.com/jewelry_making_patterns_tutorials/Argentium-Silver-Scrap-Chain_523.html)

Draw a heart shape inside a 1" square on a piece of paper and cut it out to use as a template. Place the heart template on a smooth section of a Solderite board. Trace around the template with an ultra fine point Sharpie marker.
Step 2
Place one layer of scrap pieces of Argentium sheet on the Solderite board using the drawn template as a guide.
Judy Larson's Love Locks Heart Charm - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, heart charm
Step 3
Heat the scrap pieces until they fuse together.
Judy Larson's Love Locks Heart Charm - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, heart charm
Step 4
Place a layer of scrap pieces of Argentium sheet on top of the fused heart. Heat until the pieces of the two layers fuse together.
Judy Larson's Love Locks Heart Charm - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, heart charm
Step 5
More pieces can be layered on top of the first two. Heat until the metal becomes slightly molten. Use the solder pick to tap down the metal scraps and to push in any scrap metal points around the outside edge. Be careful. Keep pulling the flame away from the heart as it is VERY EASY to heat the metal too much which causes the metal to pull in and create a round blob.
Judy Larson's Love Locks Heart Charm - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, heart charm
Judy Larson's Love Locks Heart Charm - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, heart charm
Step 6
Continue to add scrap to build a puffed heart shape, heating and fusing as you go, until ½ desired thickness is achieved. Here, 5-6 layers were used. Allow the heart to cool naturally before continuing. Use the pick to create a nugget like surface. While doing this, keep pulling the heat back. If it is hot enough, the metal can be manipulated a bit with no flame on it.
Step 7
When the heart is removed from the Solderite board, there will be quite a bit of board residue on the back of it. Place the heart on a bench block. Use a soft bristle steel brush to remove the residue from the back side of the heart.
Judy Larson's Love Locks Heart Charm - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, heart charm
Step 8
Pickle, rinse, and dry the heart.
Step 9
Place the heart back side facing up on a magnesia soldering block. Rub it back and forth a bit to make a depression for the rounded nugget side to sit. Continue until the heart flat side is almost, but not quite, level with the soldering block.
Judy Larson's Love Locks Heart Charm - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, heart charm
Step 10
Add a layer of scrap to the flat side of the heart. Heat and fuse in the same manner as the first side of the heart, using the pick to push down the scraps. Add two to three more layers of scrap to make the puff on this side of the heart. Allow to cool naturally.
Judy Larson's Love Locks Heart Charm - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, heart charm
Judy Larson's Love Locks Heart Charm - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, heart charm
Step 11
Rinse the solder brick residue off the heart. It may be necessary to use an old toothbrush with soap and water to get it all off.
Step 12
Pickle, rinse, and dry the heart.
Step 13
I keep short and long pieces of twisted wire in various gauges on hand because I never know when I might want to use it in a project. Two pieces of 16 gauge wire were tightly twisted together.

Judy Larson's Love Locks Heart Charm - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, heart charm
Step 14
If a newly twisted wire length is used, cut the end of the wire off to where the coil starts.
Step 15
Mark the heart where the twisted wire loop will be attached.
Judy Larson's Love Locks Heart Charm - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, heart charm
Step 16
Cut a 1" (or slightly longer, if desired) length of 16 gauge twisted wire. Form the wire into a "U" shape that will fit the marks on the heart.
Judy Larson's Love Locks Heart Charm - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, heart charm
Step 17
File grooves in the edge of the heart at the marks. The wire ends will fit into the grooves because the diamond file used here to file grooves at the marks is about the width of the twisted wire.
Judy Larson's Love Locks Heart Charm - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, heart charm
Judy Larson's Love Locks Heart Charm - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, heart charm
Step 18
Adjust the twisted wire loop, if needed, to fit into the grooves. File the twisted wire ends flat.
Judy Larson's Love Locks Heart Charm - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, heart charm
Step 19
Place the heart back in the depression in the magnesia block. Place a generous amount of medium paste solder in each groove. More paste solder is needed than you think as it will travel up between the twisted wires as well as hold the loop to the heart.
Judy Larson's Love Locks Heart Charm - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, heart charm
Step 20
Concentrate the heat on the heart as it is the larger of the two pieces being joined. Heat until the solder flows. Allow to cool naturally. Check the join. If needed, add more solder and heat again.
Judy Larson's Love Locks Heart Charm - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, heart charm
Step 21
Rinse the solder brick residue off the heart. It may be necessary to use an old toothbrush with soap and water to get it all off.
Step 22
Pickle, rinse, and dry the heart.
Step 23
Use files and sanding sponges to remove any sharp edges and refine the heart.
Judy Larson's Love Locks Heart Charm - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, heart charm
Step 24
Tumble the Love Lock for several hours to bring up a shine. No patina was added to this bracelet. However, the "nugget" look of the heart and the rustic nature of the links would look great with patina.