HOBO Nickel Coin Holder

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ArtisanAttributes

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I know there are alot of seasoned Nickel Carvers and an Influx of New Nickel Carvers, what is everyone using to hold there Nickels without marring the rims? I know there has been much discussion on other forums about those with machining experience, but is anyone made one that they are willing to sell? KurtB on Lindsays forum has done alot of extensive Nickel holders, I really like the ones he has done, but not sure if he is wanting to share yet. Any Ideas? I would like one that would work with a GRS or Victor Microball.
 

Tim Wells

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#2
I made a couple of them the other day. I'll post a pic for you when I get home. I can make another if you think it would work for you. Tim
 

KCSteve

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#3
I'm just using the one that comes with the GRS 30-piece attachment set - (#003-520). If you look at the picture the two little silver plates in the lower left corner have semi-circular indents. One side fits small coins, one fits larger ones. You just drop the two pins into the upper jaw plates and tighten it up.

You could easily make one - just mill the semi circles into some flat stock and then put through a pair of pins to fit the jaw plate holes (just like GRS does).
 

KCSteve

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#6
Good point Mike!

At the class dinner we got a nice demo of ThermoLoc and one of the examples was a coin holder. Just form a 'stick' of the soft stuff, clamp it into the vise so it spreads out enough to be held steady, press the top down flat, and then press the coin into it until it's just proud of the surface. Don't forget to press something (DJ uses the tip of the fingernail file on his clippers) under the coin in one spot so you have an easy way to pop the coin back out - even though it's purely mechanical that stuff sticks things in place.

I made a split fixture for doing Zippo's and it's so snug I have to use a wooden stick to pry the finished lighter out.

Edited to add:

Coincutter: Is it the 'edge' of the thing (the transition between supported and unsupported) causing the problem or what? Mine seemed to work fine - haven't noticed a problem in either nickel. ;)
 

sam

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#7
The best nickel jigs I've seen and used are made by Bob Finlay in Emporia, KS. Here's an email quote from Bob awhile back:

" I just got back from vacation yesterday and got your message. Yes I do
have the nickel jigs for sale but do not have them advertised anywhere. I
usually machine 3 or 4 at a time to have available if needed. I get $15 each
which includes shipping. If someone wants one they can send a check to Bob
C/O BPE Inc. 890 Rd. 160 Emporia Ks. 66801 "

They're small and lightweight aluminum one-piece jigs that tighten on the nickel as you tighten your vise. I've have mine for a couple of years and am very satisified with it.

~Sam
 

Tim Wells

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#8
Here are those (bad) pics I promised you. This is the first one I made which is about an inch shorter than the one I made Saturday. It works by vise pressure so when you take the fixture out of the vise you just dump the coin in your hand.

You'll notice a recess in it with a little ledge. This is to support the edge of the coin but clear all details on the obverse so horns don't get dents and the poor buffalo's fur don't get ruffled. It is made of bronze because that is all I had but my other one is made of brass and is a little springier. I gave this one to Paul Hamler.

It works perfectly and is ENGRAVABLE :D not that anyone would think of doing such as that...

Almost forgot; to keep from marring the edges just take a toothpick and use it as a fulcrum or a piece of thin leather. BillZach taught me that.
 
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#9
My coin holder

This is what I use for all my coin carving. It is also good to hold many other objects which I engrave. The bad thing is I don't know what it is! It was passed down to me and even they weren't sure what it is. The alloy has a very low melting point- just 2 quick swipes with a low flame from map gas torch. Heck you could melt it with habanero breath! Cools slow enough to get object where you want it and is very strong.
Any ideas on what it is please let me know.
 
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Tim Wells

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#10
Most likely Cerro Safe. It's an alloy that people use in this field for various things and I need to get some of it to have on hand for whatever may come up.
 
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ArtisanAttributes

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Thread starter #11
Thanks Everyone for the suggestions and Ideas. I will make contact with those of you have the holders. Sam, Thanks also for the information on the jigs, I will have to pick one up.
 
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#13
Oh that is just the top of my vise with out the peg hole attachments! ;)
Or if your referring to the engraving then it's an Ithica receiver I'm working on for a local customer. It's my project for this week, month or year. Have yet to receive the "Concerned" phone call on it- but today I have to kick it into gear!
Thanks-Jim
 
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#14
Tube benders use a metal called cerro-bend. They use it to bend thin wall tubing so it doesn't kink. It melts in boiling water. I just remembered I have a drawer full of the stuff that my dad made into fishing lures. I think it is now destined for the engraving bench. Thanks for the reminder.
 

Bob Bullard

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#15
Cerrosafe

I have used alot of cerro-safe for making chamber castings and I melt it in a can
placed in pot of boiling water, no direct heat but there is a problem if I remember right on using
cerrosafe on something that is going to be blued if it has any inlays on it especially if is a gold
inlay. Be safe and check that out first with someone that would have more experience with using it
Bob
 

KCSteve

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I made up a quick nickel holder with ThermoLoc last night. I'll try to post pictures tonight if I get a chance.

Basically I heated up enough to make a roll about the size of a roll of quarters, rolled it into a cylinder the size of a roll of quaters, and stood it in my vise.

The vise was open wide enough to fit the roll in, then I closed it down to about 1/2" - this squished the bottom section out and made it conform to the vise. The center 'V' on the one jaw makes it so the fixture won't move around in the vise and will be easy to put back into place.

Then I flattened the top portion down and pressed a nickel into the center of it. I worked the ThermoLoc around until the nickel was sitting at the top with the rim just barely out of the ThermoLoc, reasonably flat and centered.

I pressed the tip of my burnisher into the mass at one side of the nickel until it went under the nickel - this is very important for later because if you don't have a way to pop the object out you'll have to melt it free (which makes the fixture somewhat less reusable ;)).

I spent a little time making sure the ThermoLoc was nice and tight around the edges (except for the pop-out spot). It started to get a little cool so I hit it with a small heat gun I have to soften it back up.

Then I just fiddled around with sharpening gravers and such for about 20 minutes while it cooled and set, then started work on the nickel.

It holds the nickel nice and tight - the only way to get it out is to put something into the little pop-out dent I made and pry it out. I did get it to rotate a little with a couple of cuts that put a lot of 'twisting' force on the nickel but even then it didn't move much - or come loose.

It's absolutely non-marring and if I decide I don't like it, I can just re-use the ThermoLoc for another fixture. In fact, this lump was another fixture that didn't work the way I wanted.

I don't have a microwave at my bench so I use an old coffee cup warmer that gets to about 160 degrees and a little aluminum pie pan (from our toaster oven) to heat the ThermoLoc. It's a lot slower than the microwave and it's... fun getting the hot ThermoLoc out of the hot pan (a popsicle stick helps a lot).
 

Ron Smith

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#18
Steve, couldn't you make a vise-like gizmo with the thermoloc using a steel bar, the bar seperating the two sides until it cools? It would tighten just like the jaws and right along with them. It is one piece, but you could use it over and over again for any nickle. DJ did a demonstration on this proceedure at one of those dinners. Also, you can buy a set of holding pins etc., common to any of the professional engraver's shop, but the nickle probably needs to be supported from the back side depending on how rough the engraving/sculpting process is. Thermoloc is great and there are some techniques that you might have not thought about in using it. I even made a thumb out of it..........looked like the real thing. I strapped it on with a leather strap which I made and attached to the Thermoloc., but because of the nature of what was left of my thumb, it didn't have enough leverage to be able to pick up anything that was remotely heavy, so I abandoned it, but I have made all kinds of things to try and help me engrave, but they couldn't solve the sensitivity problem that took me forty years to develope. Anyway, let me say that DJ's demonstration opened up all kinds of possibilities, and the two sided clamp (he described) can be made to work on about anything.....Hope this helps..Ron S
 

KCSteve

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#19
Ron,

For the nickel I don't think a 'split' fixture would work as well as a plain one - the things are just too darn small. But a split fixture works great for Zippos! ;)

ThermoLoc is great stuff. Never thought of making a thumb out of it, but I can see it working well.

Here are the pictures of the nickel holder I made.

First shot shows it with a nearly 'fielded' nickel in place.
Second shot shows the 'stub' that goes down into the vice to keep the whole thing in place.
Third shot shows the hollow so you can see how well the ThermoLoc molds to the object.

It's bigger than it needs to be but that's because I was melting down a fixture that didn't work as well as I wanted it to.
 

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CJ Allan

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#20
Going to have to give this ThermoLoc stuff a try...

I've tried using my GRS 30-piece attachment set - (#003-520). pieces...but when I get the vice tightened enough to hold it......it pops out......

But, I guess that's because i have what is probably the sloppiest engravers block on the planet.... :)


......cj
 

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