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Need help with bird feet

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  • Need help with bird feet

    I'm trying to figure out how to make bird feet out of copper wire, and it's frustrating the crap out of me. Do you guys make up some sort of jig to hold all the toes in place and solder all at once? If not, how do you keep the solder from softening when you move to the next toe?

  • #2
    Jonathon there are post on you tube that will talk you thru making the feet. There also is a new book out that is titled { 50 Bird wood carving patterns} this book shows how to make the bird feet and how to feather the bird among other things and has the 50 patterns for all kinds of birds. Amazon has it for $19.95.
    Larry

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Magicman View Post
      Jonathon there are post on you tube that will talk you thru making the feet. There also is a new book out that is titled { 50 Bird wood carving patterns} this book shows how to make the bird feet and how to feather the bird among other things and has the 50 patterns for all kinds of birds. Amazon has it for $19.95.
      Larry
      Thanks Larry. I actually bought that book a couple of weeks ago and really like it. The bird I'm working on now is based on one of the patterns in it.

      I think my issue stems more from the fact that I'm just not very good at soldering and getting good joints yet. I can stick a couple of electrical wires together, but I can't wrap my mind around how to connect these joints.

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      • #4
        I don't know how small you are making these, but are you able to wrap the first soldered one in something wet, like a piece of rag or sponge?

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        • #5
          I know nothing about bird's feet but very accomplished at soldering. What type of wire? is it sanded and clean before you solder? Are you using the old good solder...with lead or the new-fangled crap?

          Good luck Jonathan.
          Bill
          Living among knives and fire.

          http://www.westernwoodartist.com

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          • #6
            Originally posted by woodburner807 View Post
            I know nothing about bird's feet but very accomplished at soldering. What type of wire? is it sanded and clean before you solder? Are you using the old good solder...with lead or the new-fangled crap?

            Good luck Jonathan.
            Thanks Bill. It’s copper ground wire that I did sand, The solder is a spool if stuff I found in my grandfather’s shed, and the label was worn off. He passed away in 2004, so it’s at least that old.

            I feel like I need to figure out a way to hold everything fast. The toes are so small and light it doesn’t take much to move them when I try to get the solder to flow.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by sappy View Post
              I don't know how small you are making these, but are you able to wrap the first soldered one in something wet, like a piece of rag or sponge?
              I can certainly give it a shot. Thanks for the advice.

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              • #8
                Sounds like you have all the basics of soldering down, Jonathan. You can buy small vises for electronics work and that might help. Harbor Freight has some that are cheap but will help you. Or a fly tying vice. I empathize with your problems.
                Bill
                Living among knives and fire.

                http://www.westernwoodartist.com

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                • #9
                  One of the essentials of soldering is flux, a chemical that neutralizes the oxidation on the wire surface. Another approach is to sandpaper the oxidation away. At your grandfather's time that flux may have come in a separate jar. Modern solder may have the flux in the core of the solder, but that may not be the case with the solder wire you found among his things.

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                  • #10
                    Now you guys are talking. I shake so darn much...Soldering went out for me, with trying to pour JUST one shot of whiskey in a glass. Truthfully I have problems just carving and use an electric shaver. Also some flux always helps, as pallin says.

                    Good luck.
                    Chuck
                    Chuck
                    Always hoping for a nice slice that won't need sanding!

                    https://mewe.com/profile/5d6f213642db757a5dfb3223

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                    • #11
                      Been using flux, but I know there's distinctions on what works best for different metals so I may or may not have the right stuff. It's water soluble flux from Lowe's, so I'd think it would be ok.

                      Just broke down and ordered a helping hands to try to hold everything. I tried to rig something up last night with clothespins and tape, but I was cussing within a few minutes.

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                      • #12
                        Jonathan, I rarely use flux and it was also thought of as something for plumbers to use for copper pipe. Not electronics. Sometimes it is in the solder core also.

                        Anyway, here is the little device I referred to in an earlier post:

                        Amazon $7.xx
                        Bill
                        Living among knives and fire.

                        http://www.westernwoodartist.com

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                        • #13
                          Thanks Bill. That's exactly the device I ordered. It's supposed to arrive tomorrow, so hopefully I'll make some progress this weekend.

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                          • #14
                            Drill a small hole in a piece of flat wood, insert the leg, place the toes where you need them and use a staple to hold the toes in place. Now all toes are touching the leg. Flux up well and solder together.

                            ​​​​​
                            ~ Dwight
                            "Hello, I am the Friggin' Happiness Fairy and I just sprinkled happy dust on you, so smile damit' this crap is expensive."

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dwight View Post
                              Drill a small hole in a piece of flat wood, insert the leg, place the toes where you need them and use a staple to hold the toes in place. Now all toes are touching the leg. Flux up well and solder together.

                              ​​​​​
                              Good idea!

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