Thursday, March 31, 2011

For the Metal Heads--Shop Tips

After apprenticing with a jeweler, I inherited a few bench tips from him. I've also had a fair share of bench tips from Ganoksin and the Orchid Forum. In that same spirit, I pass these on to those who work in metal. They're not a tutorial of any sort, and consider this the usual disclaimer for any misuse of the information.

Keeping the stones visible

First up is watchmakers' tins from Lee Valley. 101 uses, from stones, findings, bolts and nuts, small tools, or just organizing some of the household junk, like rubber bands, screws, paper clips, that seems to migrate down the bottom of the drawer where you can't find it.,43326&p=44948

2 ways to polish small parts

Have you ever had to polish a small part on a bench polisher? You know how you grip the part tightly so the buff doesn't grab it out of your hand, and go flying across the room? If it has a hole, a bail or a jump ring, you can use a paper clip threaded through that part. It makes it easy to keep control of it and you don't get the hot fingers.

I clip off a bit of the paper clip so I don't have so much to thread the part through.

If you don't have a handy attachment point, an alternative is to use a backer board. Mine happens to be a wooden paddle. A wooden paint stick or one of your doctor's tongue depressors works well too.

You'll notice there's also a small hole on the left for the little stud earrings. Stick the post through the hole, and it's a lot easier to control your earring while polishing.

Hmmm...can you tell I've had a few experiences with these kinds of things?

Look for other postings like this in the "For the Metalheads" sections.

Copyright 2011 by Katherine Palochak

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