Underneath all the problems to complete these keys is a great joy in making keys and making progress! Last month I vamped up a display case and ended up with an abundance of metal rods that are proving to be just perfect for key making. Last summer (or was it the summer before that?) I collected several old Singer sewing machines from garage sales. Finally, I am using the lovely sewing machine bits to make keys and I’m pretty happy with the result.
For reasons unknown to me February found me implementing many (many!) ideas all at the same time – and not just ideas for the 5000 key project but ideas in my work and personal life as well.
- Make keys with all these metal bits at the same time as trying out new key-making methods in an attempt to revisit your childhood? Sure – why not!
- Buy six different types of supplies for when you get to that childhood-revisiting key making? Sure – why not!
- Try new apps and ways to present your photos? Sure – why not!
- Decide to rephotograph, re-inventory, and catalogue all your keys? Sure – why not!
- Find a look you like better so that you can rephotograph the rephotographs? Sure – why not!
- Keep going even though the sadness is so bad your husband is worried about you? Sure – why not!
- Work overtime to try and make a dent in the office to-do list? Sure – why not!
- Get a new tablet because yours breaks so now you need to transfer everything over? Sure – why not!
- Plan a big engagement project at work in the same month as your two most stressful meetings? Sure – why not!
- Say yes to four new projects at the office? Sure – why not!
- Investigate different websites because you think you really should make a change? Sure – why not!
- Go on a diet because you’re fat and that’s just getting you down? Sure – why not?
- Try a new photo booth set up for your keys and rearrange parts of the basement to accommodate it? Sure – why not!
I suppose it’s not really a surprise that I made so many mistakes when I tried to finish off these keys…
I’ve been using waxed paper under the keys when I resin them. This is usually great because the resin doesn’t stick to the waxed paper. I’ve also been heating the resin after I put it on – this takes all the bubbles out and makes the resin very clear. The heat also melts the wax on the waxed paper. This is OK if the paper is only used once. This is a mistake if the paper isn’t changed out…A mistake I made (naturally). The paper didn’t stick everywhere on the keys but it did stick. I got out the trusty Dremel tool and sanded. And sanded. And tried a few different attachments while trying to figure out which one was best for sanding not-yet-cured resin.
Usually I put two coats of resin on a key – one on one side and one on the other. Occasionally I add a third coat to touch up places that might have been missed. These keys have a total of five coats and possibly six. Resin is created by mixing equal amounts of resin and hardener. One 6:30 am “I can squeeze in a coat of resin before I go to work session” I found myself wondering why I had the bottle of hardener in my hand – I must have done this in the wrong order I thought and grabbed the bottle of resin instead. I did notice that the resin seemed strange when I mixed it. I dutifully coated the keys, heated them up, got ready for work, came back and wiped up the resin drips, and headed out for the day. When I got home some 10 or 11 hours later I didn’t understand why the resin hadn’t hardened. I washed off the keys (a very messy endeavour I can assure you) and started the resin process all over again. It wasn’t until later that I figured out I had mixed resin with resin…
The brassy patina on parts of some keys is a result of the waxed-paper-needed-to-be-sanded-off-here process. Perhaps they have more character than if they were plain silver? Perhaps I would make fewer mistakes if I wasn’t trying to do so many things at once? Sure – why not!