Judy Larson's Water Cast Scrap Cross, Metalwork. Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder. It has been challenging to come up with ways to use the small pieces from the scrap melt last fall.
Water Cast Scrap Cross
by Judy Larson
  • Category: Metalwork
  • Technique(s): Butane Torch Techniques
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
It has been challenging to come up with ways to use the small pieces from the scrap melt last fall. Usually just a few bits are used in any one project, so a dent never seems to be made in the box.

This cross was made as a gift for our pastor. Since we live on a lake with rocky shores, and trees and wildlife abound, this seemed appropriate. The water cast bits look like rocks pushed up on shore after a storm. Wonderful pieces of driftwood are plentiful and there are always butterflies flitting around on the edges of the woods.

Design your own shape to use with scrap, which does not even have to be water cast scrap. Just start stacking bits and pieces left over from other projects. You will be surprised with the unique results!

Materials

water cast scrap
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
24 Gauge Dead Soft Argentium Silver Sheet - 6 Inches
H19-24SM6
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1 Inch
  • Price: $48.95
  • Gold Club Price: $36.71
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14 Gauge Round Half Hard Argentium .940 Silver Wire
H19-14H
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1FT
  • Price: $16.51
  • Gold Club Price: $12.38
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12 Gauge Round Dead Soft Argentium .940 Silver Wire
H19-12D
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1FT
  • Price: $25.73
  • Gold Club Price: $19.29
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Tools

Deluxe Soldering Kit
G15-5
  • G15-5
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $116.97
  • Gold Club Price: $87.73
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Solderite Soldering Board, Hard, 12 Inch by 12 Inch
SOL-420.30
  • SOL-420.30
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $34.95
  • Gold Club Price: $26.21
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7 Annealing Pan with Pumice
SOL-520.00
  • SOL-520.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $36.97
  • Gold Club Price: $27.73
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Instructions
Step 1
Read through the tutorial before starting the project. Follow all safety precautions for the space you are working in as well as all safety precautions pertaining to the tools and supplies you will be using to complete the project.

Sorting through small water cast pieces is not necessary for this project. Pull out a handful to arrange in no particular design within a shape.
Judy Larson's Water Cast Scrap Cross - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, water cast scrap
Judy Larson's Water Cast Scrap Cross - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, water cast scrap
Step 2
Use a Sharpie marker to trace the shape on a solderite board.
Judy Larson's Water Cast Scrap Cross - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, trace your shape onto the Solderite board
Step 3
Assemble pieces of scrap that will fit the outer edges or corners of the shape. Place the pieces inside the drawn lines on the solderite board.
Judy Larson's Water Cast Scrap Cross - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, fill in your drawing with scrap
Step 4
Heat the pieces with a butane torch until they become red, and then shiny. At that point, the pieces are fusing together. Immediately remove the heat. Allow the pieces to cool a bit. Add another set of scrap-second photo. Heat all the pieces until they are fused together.
Repeat the process with the other arms of the cross. Since heating removes the Sharpie lines, allow the board to cool before re-drawing the lines, if necessary.

Important: During all the construction steps of the piece using the solderite board, allow the piece to cool naturally on the board. Once the piece is cool to the touch, it should easily slide across the board.
Judy Larson's Water Cast Scrap Cross - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, heat to fuse
Judy Larson's Water Cast Scrap Cross - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, place the pieces within your shape
Step 5
Fill in the center of the cross and fuse those pieces together in the same manner as above. Fill in the areas between the center and the outside of the arms. Heat the entire piece until all the pieces are fused together.
Judy Larson's Water Cast Scrap Cross - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, fused scrap
Step 6
Pickle the piece. Neutralize the piece in baking soda water immediately after removing it from the pickle. Rinse and dry the piece. If any bits fall off the piece during pickling, fuse them back in place. Repeat the pickling process if this is done.
Step 7
Spread medium paste solder across the back of the cross-first photo. Use fingers to spread the solder out and press it up into the crevices between the water cast pieces-second photo.

Place the cross right side up on a solderite board and heat until the solder flows. Do not move the piece until it is cool.

Why solder if the pieces are fused? Larger fused pieces like this can have hidden fragile points as well as places where complete fusing did not take place. Since they can easily break, the solder will get into all the cracks and crevices and help hold all the pieces together.
Judy Larson's Water Cast Scrap Cross - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, spread paste solder on the back
Judy Larson's Water Cast Scrap Cross - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, place right side up
Step 8
Pickle the piece. Neutralize it in baking soda water immediately after removing it from the pickle. Rinse and dry the piece.
Step 9
Draw a line a scant 1/8" in from the edge of the original pattern. Trim the pattern to the new line. Check the fit of the pattern on the back of the cross. The edges of the water cast bits should be visible. Note: Because I was using scrap sheet for backing, the pattern was cut on the "X" in the center of the cross.
Judy Larson's Water Cast Scrap Cross - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, place the pattern on the piece
Step 10
Adhere the pattern to 24 gauge sheet-first photo. Cut the pieces out and round the outer corners of each arm (not the center points). Because the backing was cut in pieces, the cross would be fragile in the center. A larger piece (in this case, a 24 gauge circle) is placed under the seams to provide stability. The pieces are soldered together using medium paste solder. The circle also provides a surface to add an embellishment on the back of the cross in Step 19.
Judy Larson's Water Cast Scrap Cross - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, adhere pattern to sheet metal
Judy Larson's Water Cast Scrap Cross - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, cut out and solder pieces together
Step 11
With the circle facing down, spread medium paste solder on the backing. Press the backing into place solder side down on the back of the cross. Place the cross face up on pumice in a pumice pan. Heat until the solder flows. Solder flow will be hard to see, but when the solder holding the bits together (from Step 7) flashes, the solder on the backing will have flowed, securing the two sections together.
Judy Larson's Water Cast Scrap Cross - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, spread the shape with solder
Judy Larson's Water Cast Scrap Cross - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, solder together
Step 12
Pickle the piece. Neutralize it in baking soda water immediately after removing it from the pickle. Rinse and dry the piece.
Step 13
Cut a 3½" piece each of 14 gauge and 12 gauge round wire. Place the wires side by side on a soldering surface, with the wire ends touching on one end only. Place a bit of medium paste solder between the ends that are touching. Heat the wires until the solder flows and the wires are annealed.
Judy Larson's Water Cast Scrap Cross - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, cut pieces of wire
Step 14
Bend, shape, and wrap the 14 gauge wire over and around the 12 gauge wire to make a vine-first photo. While heating the piece with the butane torch until it is slightly molten but not melting, use a solder pick in your dominant hand to scratch bark lines on the piece and nudge it until it looks like a tree branch-second photo.
Judy Larson's Water Cast Scrap Cross - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, wrap the wires together
Judy Larson's Water Cast Scrap Cross - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, fuse together
Step 15
Shape the "branch" to fit the cross.
Judy Larson's Water Cast Scrap Cross - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, shape the wire to the piece
Step 16
Add medium paste solder between the "branch" and the cross on the ends of the branch and wherever the branch touches the cross. Nestle the piece right side up in pumice in a pumice pan. Heat the piece until the solder flows. Allow the cross to cool in the pumice before moving on to the next step.
Judy Larson's Water Cast Scrap Cross - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, heat the piece
Step 17
Attach the embellishments using medium paste solder. Again using the pumice and pumice pan, heat until the piece until the solder flows. Allow the cross to cool before moving it.
Judy Larson's Water Cast Scrap Cross - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, attach embellishments
Step 18
Pickle the piece. Neutralize it in baking soda water immediately after removing it from the pickle. Rinse and dry the piece.
Step 19
Hidden bails are easy to make from scrap silver. Nestle the cross in pumice in a pumice pan, back side facing up. Attach a hidden bail to the top of the back of the cross with easy paste solder. Add a few decorative balls below the bail, if desired. Oh, and that circle-add a leaf or other embellishment using easy paste solder, if desired. Heat until the solder flows. Allow it to cool before moving it.
Judy Larson's Water Cast Scrap Cross - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, attache a bail
Step 20
Pickle the piece. Neutralize it in baking soda water immediately after removing it from the pickle. Rinse and dry the piece.
Step 21
If the piece is left bright silver none of the detail will show so patina is added. Remove the patina from the raised areas using steel wool. Tumble again for 20-30 minutes to bring back the shine.
Judy Larson's Water Cast Scrap Cross - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, oxidize
Step 22
I think I may be in trouble. I still have a ton of scrap castings left from last fall, and way too much scrap already from this year to melt down! Maybe I should try for tiny broom cast pieces when my friends and I get together to scrap cast this fall.
Judy Larson's Water Cast Scrap Cross - , Metalwork, Butane Torch, Soldering, Solder, water cast scrap