I spent today finally doing the twisted cage concept project that I had been looking at doing months ago.  I successefully fused both ends with the casting torch.  I annealed it thoroughly.  Then Bill gave the whole ensemble two complete twists.  I actually took a couple of minutes of video, but I haven’t looked at it to see whether it is post-worthy.  He then took the assembly and put in the vice in the vertical configuration.  He began to untwist it while tapping on the top with a hammer.  It worked really well, all things considered.  I started with a 9 inch set of wires and ended up with a 7 inch assembly and a 4 inch basket.  I figure I can easily do a 10 inch finished section with the set up we have here.  I am gonna ask Bill on Monday about putting serious Mokume education on the front burner for me.  I ultimately would like to do this with both Mokume and Damascus.  Before I do that I need to some more trial runs.  This one had 4 strands.  I would like to see how 5, 6 and maybe even 7 strands work out.  This idea can also be done with square stock, so I might try that out as well….

While I was monkeying with the basket, trying to get it more pretty than it was, I managed to break off one of the strands from its tip.  I just went back to the torch and remelted it together.  I noticed at the end of it all that a couple of the joints were showing stress fractures.  At some point next week, I will have to do some more fusion/melting type activity to correct that….

I also spent some time working on the channel waxes today.  My goal is to get them as near perfect in the wax as possible.  That is one thing I have learned very much the hard way.  Trying to correct those rings after they were cast was a GIANT pain in my rear. 

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