Micro Welding WSF

Discussion in 'Finishing Techniques' started by dhawktx, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. dhawktx
    dhawktx New Member
    I'm working with stop4stuff's mini chain maille on a 1:5 scale hauberk project, and dealing with current printing size constraints it's taking about 4 sheets to provide the basic units for the hauberk.

    I was trying to figure out the best technique for fusing the links back together during assembly, and not really interested in having my face over curing super glue for hours, when I remembered my thread fuser from my beadwork tools. It is essentially a micro soldering iron that runs on a single AA battery and gets quite hot, very quickly, then just as quickly cools down. It is an American product readily available in the US via craft stores, eBay and Amazon, though I've not found it (yet) on any EU sites.

    ] http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=bl_sr_arts-crafts?_encoding=UTF8 &node=2617941011&field-brandtextbin=Bead%20Buddy]

    A short application of the heated tip is sufficient to melt the open edge. Pressing the edges together results in a near instant bond and there is just enough time to tap down any spiky bit before it cools too much.

    tip of thread fuser by dhawktx1, on Flickr

    sheet with pen and fuser for scale by dhawktx1, on Flickr

    After working about halfway through the project, I've developed my technique to the point that I can weld the cut loop back together almost invisibly. Note that, in the sample below the bottom left has a completely hand welded chunk approx five rows tall by 20 rows wide.

    sheet closeup 1 by dhawktx1, on Flickr

  2. GlenG
    GlenG New Member
    GREAT solution! Wish it was that easy when making real iron maille :rolleyes:
  3. stop4stuff
    stop4stuff Well-Known Member
    Awesome Donna :)

    Thank you so much for sharing!

    note to self: next project... suitable casing for micro welding iron
  4. dhawktx
    dhawktx New Member
    re: stop4stuff's note to self: I want one too when you make it!

    Let me know if anyone needs one of the welding irons. I can get them reasonable at the local craft store, since I can often get a 40% - 50% off coupon, which in turn makes the postage less killer.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
  5. DOC2
    DOC2 New Member

    Exscellent tool!

    I've been searching through the link you've posted but couldn't find the micro welding tool. Could you post a direct link to the specific page?

    Thank you.

  6. stop4stuff
    stop4stuff Well-Known Member
  7. dhawktx
    dhawktx New Member
    DOC 2: Sorry, I have the worst luck getting links to work properly on the Shapeways forum (ask Paul!).

    Paul: You SO Rock!

    I was hoping there were other versions of the tool out there but couldn't seem to find the right search terms. Am so glad to know that I can get extra tips...mine is a bit crusty already and I was worrying that I'd have to buy a whole other tool. I'd recommend going ahead and ordering several replacement tips when you get yours.

    That one overpriced one? I wonder how many she's ever sold at that price?

    The hauberk is coming along nicely. I've filled in a few places with hand knit linking, good practice but tedious. I will wind up using just about every scrap of links from the $25.08 US order.

    Here's some piccies of the WIP hauberk being modeled by it's intended recipient, Jack (yes, my work areas are a mess):

    Jack and hauberk 1 by dhawktx1, on Flickr

    Jack and hauberk 2 by dhawktx1, on Flickr

    Jack and hauberk 3 by dhawktx1, on Flickr

    Jack and hauberk 4 by dhawktx1, on Flickr
  8. DOC2
    DOC2 New Member


  9. stop4stuff
    stop4stuff Well-Known Member
    WoW Donna,

    Jack's hauberk is coming on very nicely indeed!

    From the photos, I am finding it hard to believe that the maille is WSF... your colouring skills are awesome!


    @Daniel (DOC 2)
    The key search phrase seems to be thread burner - 'thread sealer' comes up with all sorts of loctite & similar products for sealing nut & bolts. The UK one I linked to is made/distributed by a US company called Beadsmith.

  10. dhawktx
    dhawktx New Member
    Thanks Paul. What's funny is, my 'rusty' base dye job shows through - the camera doesn't pick it up well. I looks like honest to God slightly rusty chain maille. Some of the links are bright metal, others dull, yet others are showing 'rust'.

    And all because I didn't read up on the dye threads first! LOL!

  11. DOC2
    DOC2 New Member
    Thank you Paul.

    Yes, under that name I've found it.

  12. dhawktx
    dhawktx New Member
    Didn't get the sleeves on, but I got his clothing done, so I know for sure how big they need to be! I've got to add a gusset in back to 'protect' his tail.

    Encore 1 by dhawktx1, on Flickr
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011
  13. lensman
    lensman Well-Known Member
    Great info, thanks... Never seen one of those before.

  14. dhawktx
    dhawktx New Member
    Happy to share! I'm a mixed media artist rather than a 3D designer, so I bring a different set of tools to the party!
  15. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    Nice armour... have you considered adding a padded shirt (gambeson)?
  16. dhawktx
    dhawktx New Member
    Yes, a full and proper kit-out is somewhere in the future, but not any time soon. His current tunic is too bulky to allow an additional layer between.