Bench tips

Here are a few bench tips that I sent to be published in the local
guild newsletter. Thought I would pass them along to the good folks at

  1. Tired of melting earring post when you are trying to solder them
    in place and getting them crooked besides? Check out the heat sink
    tweezers (item #60393) in the micromark catalog
    ( They are bent at 90 degree angle and are slotted
    just the right size for earring posts. I haven’t melted a post since I
    started using them and they hold the post securely so I get them on
    straight… cheap at $7.95 price tag.

  2. over drill a hole by just a bit? Take a oversize dapping punch and
    place it over the hole using a bench block or anvil or study surface
    for backing. Now tap the punch a few times. It will reduce the hole
    just a fraction so you get a tighter fit.

  3. My studio mate reminded me of this one when yesterday she asked me
    how to sharpen a #56 drill bit. Secure the bit in a hand piece or pin
    vice and use a separating disk to grind the bit so it is sharp.
    Compare it to a new bit to get the angle correct. Be sure not to over
    heat the bit so it looses its temper.

  4. polishing tip. Keep a coarse whetstone or grinding rock at the
    polishing machine to shape hard felt wheels with. I use it to square
    off the face of a wheel or else to make it knife edge. You can also
    narrow the width so it will fit in that narrow space you are trying to
    polish. It also works on rubber polishing wheels as well.

  5. sanding disks. I use the plastic backed ones which seem to wear
    out on the edges long before the centers or else they are too wide to
    fit in the space I need to sand. With a disk chucked in the hand
    piece, place it on the bench pin at the saw slot so the grit edge is
    against the left side of the saw slot. Now take an exacto knife in the
    other hand and spin the disk at high speed. As the disk is rotating
    force the tip of the knife blade through the plastic material. It will
    neatly cut the outside edge off, reducing the diameter of the disk and
    giving you a nice fresh edge like a new disk. The disk MUST be held
    firmly against the edge of the sawing slot so it does not flex away
    from the knife point. It takes some practice but you will get more
    life from your sanding disks and be able to sand in very small spaces.
    You will also ruin a few disks till you get the hang of it. Be sure
    and wear safety goggles etc.

(usual disclaimers go here).Hope these help I’m sure they will at
least stir up some interesting alternatives and other possible
solutions and uses. Frank Goss