Just like I promised, Mr. Zazzy Fish got his sterling silver bones this week.
Rework is a 4-Letter Word:
I don’t know if you noticed it, but the rough cut ribcage bones were way off kilter, as if they came from three different fish. Returning to the saw, sandpaper and files, I pared the ribs down to look like three nesting boomerangs.
Note to self: do a better job of drawing the design at the outset!
Mr. Zazzy Fish’s skeleton side will attach to his fish side by way of prongs. The five pointy tabs are the rough cut prongs. But there’s no need to refine them until just about everything is done. If I trim them back now, I run the risk of making them too small.
Hallelujah! I soldered all three ribs onto the sterling spine in one take. Why is this a minor miracle? There is a piece of solder underneath each rib. When heated, the solder eventually melts and spreads out, like a tiny wave. Each rib can drift away from where it should be fastened to the spine. Luckily, my left hand is getting better at holding a pick and gently nudging pieces trying to float away.
With the ribcage in place, I polished off the excess solder that flowed out from underneath the ribs. And I double checked that the ribs would stay in place. Yes, a set of hands is a great tool to try to break one’s art. If I can’t break it, it should last a long time.
I checked the skeleton against the fish again. Arghhh! The sterling skeleton was more than a bit too long. The copper side of Mr. Zazzy Fish is curved, and the skeleton side is flat. Getting the two pieces lined up was a back and forth process: back to the saw, sandpaper and files. Then forth.
Note to self: re-read the last note to self.
But then: Eureka! A major milestone was achieved! Mr. Zazzy Fish’s two sides finally lined up nicely.
Getting a Nose Ring?
I soldered a sterling silver ring to the backside of the skeleton so that this handsome fish can be hooked. (That will soon be his fate.) In the meantime, it’s into the pickle pot for Mr. Zazzy Fish to wash the oxidation (black stuff) off his skeleton.
The enormous prongs and the tips of the largest rib were scored and partially bent to check how well the skeleton will attach to the copper side. Oh, it’s going to be a nice, firm fit.
Mr. Zazzy Fish is lookin’ good!
Next and LAST update on this fish: Mr. Zazzy Fish leaves the pond for good.
Thank you, as always, for listening to my stories.
P.S. Please share the Mr. Zazzy Fish story with someone who would enjoy it. Thank you!