Jewelry Making Tools

Part of the mystique of jewelry manufacture is the tools. I admit it, I love new tools. I love good tools. Finely worked tools that have special and often obscure purpose. Sometimes I just go through catalogs looking at stuff and wonder what the hell a person does with such a gadget. I remember spending a lot of time as a little girl at my dad's workbench, messing with his tools (lord help me if I misplaced any). A while back while on a visit to my folks' house I spied dad's coping saw (frame saw/jeweler's saw) in his workshop and told him I coveted it. He laughed and said I could buy one for about $10 at Lowes. He's right of course, but that old one looked sweet.

My own tool collection is modest and consists largely of the inexpensive variety. Until this craft starts to pay off, I can't justify the expense when money is put to better use buying materials (Christmas is coming and you never know what Santa will bring – Lindstrom, hint hint). But every once in a while I succumb to the lure of a new tool. After hearing about these things on a certain website and watching them be used, I thought I'd give them a try, especially after it was pointed out that using these specialized pliers would cut down on wire waste. Love that.



With these I can standardize coil and loop sizes more effectively. I can make a single ring without having to waste precious inches (even though I often use scraps to make clasps, hooks, eyes and charms I still hate it). They're also easier on the fingers when bending half-hard or heavy gauge wire. They look a bit ungainly, but you use them like ordinary round nose pliers with the wrapping jaw furthest away from you (I've shown them here at an awkward angle so you can see the wire looped inside). The inner jaw, the holding jaw, is shielded by thick plastic on the large ones to avoid marring soft wire like pure silver. A thoughtful touch.



I bought them in 3 sizes, the two largest primarily to make rings for fusing, and the smallest to make jump rings and split rings, so often needed with heavier pieces and sort of a pain to make with round nose pliers.


The largest makes sizes 20mm, 16mm and 13mm, the medium makes rings in 10mm, 7mm and 5mm increments, and the smallest 5.5mm, 3.5mm and 2mm. So far I like working with them and keep finding new uses for them (like earwires). Those Sharpie markers might just go into retirement.

Comments

  1. I agree - I'm an avowed tool junkie! :) I do tend to go for Best Quality when I'm buying round-nosed pliers, because I have found that the inexpensive ones aren't very "round" :(

    I'm currently lusting over a set of Fretz hammers (http://www.ottofrei.com/store/home.php?cat=3086), flat/half-round pliers, and a rolling mill! Unfortunately it'll be some time before I can afford them :(

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  2. Ooh hammers. I just bought a new chasing hammer because I didn't like the one I had. Also have a hammer that belonged to my husband's grandfather. It's only suitable for texturing as it's all banged up, but it's a stalwart and I love it.

    May Santa bring you those hammers this year!

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  3. I love my wrap & taps (I also have all three sizes) and use them regularly. I love tools in general and am always on the hunt for the newest, better way to do things. Fretz just came out with a new chasing hammer that I have my eyes on. I'm also drooling over a quick change handpiece for my flex shaft - that's on my Christmas list.

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  4. I do not own any piers like that, they look wonderful!

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