Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tools on Tuesday

Good Morning,

As most of you know, I am an avid fan of continued education, and with one more course module to go, I have almost completed mine.

In order to finish out the class I required special tools to preform specific tasks in forming, shaping, and working with various other materials and metals.  Lets have a look at what it takes to make a ring or other jewelry.

Bezel Strip - This is bezel wire or strip.  It comes in a variety of metals and patterns or plain.  It is used to make ring shanks and to set the stone in a piece.  This is a "fancy" style and very small.  1.5mm x 1mm.  It can be annealed (heated), hammered into submission, bent, sawed, filed, and polished in the process of creating a ring.

These next items are magnifiers and do little else except make things bigger.  Also specific tools for specific tasks.

Third Hand with Magnifier -  A picture is truly worth one thousand words.  It is exactly what it sounds like and the photo below shows one in use.  I have always wanted one of these, and now I finally have one.  Can be used for up close and intricate soldering work, holding strands of beads while tying, or chain when clasps or other ornaments are being added.  "It's a very good thing."

Jeweler's Loop - one of the most recognized of all tools is the jewelers loop.  Of course they have come a long way from the short bolts of metal and glass held by one's eye, but the design and function is the same, and has never really changed much.  Used to inspect a gemstone or jewelry setting, they allow the user to see tiny imperfections in the stones or settings that would not be visible to the naked eye.  They magnify from 5x to 20x normal size.  Mine (just like the one below) uses 5x and 10x, anything higher is just really not necessary.

Hammers and Tongs

Yes, believe it or not hammers and other heavy or industrial tools are required to make those pretty little trinkets.  Most jewelry in its early days was created by the town's Blacksmith.  Hammers, anvils, tongs, crucibles, and yes, even fire, are all necessary elements in the process of creating jewelry, each with its own specific use or function.

Rawhide Hammer - used for shaping and hammering metal on a mandrel.

Ball Peen Hammer - used for hammering or stamping (dapping) metal.  These come in several different weights, mine is 4oz., just right for jewelry.

Rubber Mallet - Used for final or finishing techniques, usually stretching a ring shank.

Unfortunately I do not have a picture of tongs.  However, it should be noted that when working with metals or making jewelry that COPPER tongs should be used.  Other materials like stainless steel can contaminate the Pickle Solution (cleaning mixture), and cause it to discolor and ruin your jewelry.

Thank you for stopping by and having a look.

The Alchemists Vessel would like to wish you a pleasant day.

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