The Studio – Jewelry Blog by Rio Grande

Look at What You Can Do with Bonny Doon Hydraulic Metal Forming!

Jan 8, 2014
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Shelby Chant
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What do you get when you take one of these…

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Bonny Doon 20-Ton Hydraulic Press

…and some of these…

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24-Gauge Copper Sheets

…and lots of creativity?

You get a big, bold and glorious domed copper pendant featuring a shadow-box style pendant with intricate cut-outs that’s fit for royalty!

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Copper Pendant by Ashli Brooke Taylor

Rio’s own Ashli Brooke Taylor designed and created this pendant using copper sheet and a Bonny Doon hydraulic press. She cut her own Baroque-inspired design into a silhouette die blank before shaping it in a form box in the press. And with the strong arm of machinery, she created this graceful, glorious piece of jewelry art.  Have a press already and want to create a similar pendant? Here are the steps!

Using a Bonny Doon hydraulic press and Bonny Doon tooling allows you to direct all hydraulic energy on the design rather than expending your own physical energy on forming the metal with a hammer. "The Bonny Doon is a great piece of equipment to have," Ashli says. "I am intrigued by using pressure to manipulate metal to get results that I cannot physically obtain with my hands." And with this remarkable piece of equipment, you can create anything from a small piece of jewelry to a large vessel (heck, you should see this machine turn a metal vessel inside out!).

Watch silhouette die forming in action!

How long did it take Ashli to form the domed face of the pendant? Seconds. In fact, the entire piece (pendant, cabochon-set chain and all) took a mere three hours for her to complete.

"The press allows you to create shapes in the metal in seconds—and virtually flawlessly—that, by hand and hammer, would take hours," Ashli says.

We’d love to see what you’re creating with a hydraulic press! Please share in the comments.

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“Man, That’s a Hydraulic Hammer!” Bonny Doon’s Urethane Forming Hammers

Sep 23, 2013
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Viqui Sanchez
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When Phil Poirier, of Bonny Doon Engineering, showed his new urethane hammer to Eddie Bell, vice president of manufacturing at Rio Grande, Eddie was immediately excited by its possibilities for jewelry-making and said, “Man, that’s a hydraulic hammer!” Although the Bonny Doon urethane forming hammer does rather look like a colorful plastic hammer, it is actually so much more than that! Take a look at today’s post on The Studio, and see what this dynamo can do for your metal forming!

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Education at Rio: Hydraulic Forming Classes with Phil Poirier

Jun 5, 2013
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Viqui Sanchez
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Years ago, I watched the founder of Bonny Doon turn a vase literally inside out using the ‘Old Gold’ press Bonny Doon manufactured back then. This many years later, G. Phil Poirier is still pushing the limits of hydraulic forming steadily outward—in this class I got a taste of just how far.

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Bonny Doon Small Forming Tools: The Latest Innovation in Metal Forming

Jun 18, 2012
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Spencer Baum
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At the 2011 SNAG Conference, Phil Poirier introduced his new hammer, vise, and stakes, to rave reviews. I’m happy to tell you that barely one year later…he’s done it again! At this year’s SNAG Conference Phil brought his brand new Bonny Doon Small Forming Tools, which take the innovations of his hammer and stakes to a whole new level. Check out today’s post to learn more!

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Texturing Metal with the Bonny Doon Hammer

Apr 23, 2012
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Spencer Baum
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When Phil Poirier designed the Bonny Doon Hammer, he was thinking about the ideal tools for anticlastic and synclastic raising. Since debuting the hammer at last year’s SNAG Conference, we have found that it is capable of much more than that.

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Education at Rio: Bonny Doon Hydraulic Press Class

Nov 14, 2011
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Yvonne M. Padilla

G. Phil Poirier from Bonny Doon Engineering came to Rio recently to teach us the basics of using his hydraulic presses. Join us for Rio in Motion in January and learn firsthand what makes these presses so cool!

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New Bonny Doon Hammers and Stakes

Aug 11, 2011
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Phil Poirier
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In the early 90s I created a line of jewelry which used anticlastic and synclastic shapes made from strips of gold and silver. The need for efficient hammers and stakes inspired me to develop and make a urethane-headed hammer and stakes which would form the shapes I needed. . .

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Bonny Doon Rolling Mill Pattern Plates in Action!

Mar 30, 2011
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Spencer Baum
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Phil Poirier of Bonny Doon recently paid us a visit here at Rio and we made a video to show off the popular Bonny Doon Rolling Mill Pattern Plates.
The creative possibilities are endless! Watch for a bunch of new designs on our website in April!

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Bonny Doon Tools for your Hydraulic Press!

Dec 27, 2010
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Spencer Baum
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We were thrilled when Phil Poirier bought Bonny Doon Engineering in 2006, not only because his career as both a jeweler and a tool-maker made him the perfect person to take over Bonny Doon, but also because his workshop is in Taos, New Mexico, just a few hours north of us. We’ve made a habit of dropping in on his facility every once in awhile, and we try to bring a video camera with us, when we go.

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