Monday, December 19, 2016

7 Gift Ideas for Jewelers (or yourself!)

Do tools make it easier to make jewelry? Well, not by themselves, but sometimes yes! When used correctly and at hand, a good tool can make all the difference. Here's a list of tools that make a difference. Some might even say they're life changing - when it comes to making jewelry, that is. How they change the rest of your life is up to you.

( 1 ) Miter Vise 
Can't file a right angle to save your life? A miter vise, also known as a filing block is a great friend when it comes to sawing and filing right angles and 45° angles on wire, sheet and tubing. Just slide your metal in place between the jaws and saw and/or file to the flat face of the block. Done! This is a great aid for making good joins for soldering. Just use a cheap file with the miter vise. Filing against the hardened steel of the block can wear out their teeth. $62.95

Buy it at Silvera Jewelry School. Limited time offer - 20% Discount Code HOHOHOLIDAYS good through 1/10/2017

( 2 ) Magnetic Finisher 
This tool has changed how we polish. Now you can make a ring, earrings, etc., polish it to a 400-600 grit finish (in other words get rid of scale, scratches and defects), and then drop it in the magnetic polisher. In as little as 20 minutes the super fine steel shot in this machine will render a beautiful polish on your pieces. The fine shot also gets into all the nooks and crannies in your pieces, unlike larger shot. They're pricey, but think of the time it can save you? While it's polishing, you can do other work. $470

Buy it at RioGrande.com or OttoFrei.com

( 3 ) Quick Change Handpiece 
Change bits without a chuck key! Just turn the switch to open and close the chuck, to easily load new bits. The slender handle is more comfortable and the clever design allows you to hold it near the bit for better control. Love my quick change handpiece! Works with any flex shaft brand that uses a key hole style shaft, including Foredom. $44.95

Buy it at Silvera Jewelry School. Limited time offer - 20% Discount Code HOHOHOLIDAYS good through 1/10/2017


( 4 ) Bench 
The jewelry bench is the missing tool. It's everything you need at hand, in a small foot print. Plus the bench puts your work at the right height for the best ergonomic work station. And you can leave your bench and come back and pick up where you left off anytime. Trick it out with a GRS removable bench pin and a GRS soldering station for even more jewelry-time enjoyment. $310 or more

Buy it at OttoFrei.com (or pick them up if your local at their warehouse in Oakland, CA)


( 5 ) Fine Files 
Fine files, like Swiss cut #4 files are fantastic for clean up on your pieces without leaving a coarse file texture, or to remove that coarse file texture from other files! I recommend at least a #4 Swiss cut half round hand file and a #4 Swiss Cut half round needle file (great for rounding the sharp edges of ring shanks). While you're at it, get a set of Frederich Dick needle files with handles. These are the best and really do make filing easier and more effective. I recommend either a medium #3 or fine #5 cut (these are German files, so German numbering system).  $6.95 +

Buy it at Silvera Jewelry School. Limited time offer - 20% Discount Code HOHOHOLIDAYS good through 1/10/2017

( 6 ) Pepe Disc Cutter 
Pepe has made a fantastic disc cutter that you'll love. Use it to pop out smooth edged discs. And you can get it with a centering tool for making washers. If you like circles, you'll love this disc cutter.  $189.00

Buy it at OttoFrei.com



 7 ) Guillotine 
No one is chopping off any heads, so relax. A guillotine is used to cut metal sheet. As opposed to a bench shear that cuts sheet and distorts it, a guillotine cuts evenly across the sheet for a flat even cut. Use it to quickly cut blanks wit straight edges and right angle ends. We  have a rolling mill too, but we use the guillotine 10 times more for cutting bracelet and ring blanks, and lots more.  $6.95 +

Buy it at OttoFrei.com


Bonus time! Do you have an flex shaft and wish you had better speed control with your pedal? You don't have to buy a whole new machine. Just upgrade your pedal. Lucas Dental makes a great foot pedal with fantastic speed control for just about any flex shaft. Turn your inexpensive flex shaft into a luxury machine with their Low Boy Foot Pedal for just $49. It makes it easier to use burs for settings like flush and tube, and lots more tasks.

Well, there are always more tools you can buy that are wonderful new additions to your collection. But I hope you enjoyed this list and that one or more of these make you or someone special very happy. Thanks!

- Joe Silvera





4 comments:

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