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Cleverwerx Soldering Set

For Orchdians attending SNAG;

I swear, really I swear I was going this year. Next year, promise
for sure. Have fun everyone. Check out the Cleverwerx Soldering Set
at Allcraft. All opinions are welcome. The site should be up soon.

Have fun, soak it all in. I wish I was going, too much elder care
put me away from home way too long.

I’m looking at snow and wishing I was in warmer climes and
surrounded by my friends.

Karen Christians
Waltham, MA

Hi All,

A very nice person pointed out that from my temporary page on the
soldering tools for the website, it looks like you have to purchase
the entire set. They are priced as an each basis. Apologies if this
arrangement is confusing, but you can purchase them separately.

The kits which are mentioned on the website will be for the
Cleverwerx Basic and Deluxe Flexshaft Kits, Photoetching and Resin

For those of you who like EL Wire (Electroluminescent Wire),
Cleverwerx is now an affiliate with


Karen Christians
Waltham, MA

Hi Orchid folks,

I’m writing to tell you about Karen Christians’ soldering tools that
have been the topic of many Orchid posts a short while ago.

I was one of the skeptics of her tools, not because of quality but
because of price and I think I was the first to say “hang on a
minute, you can buy a titanium soldering pick for much less money”.
However, Karen emailed me and explained the ethos behind her products
and made me an offer I’d have been daft to refuse. Karen said that
she had a pair of cross lock tweezers that had failed quality control
because they were rubbing and that she’d send them to me for no
charge. She also offered to let me try her personal solder pick
saying that if I liked it I could order my own and send hers back. I
agreed to try them out and so she duly sent the tweezers and her own
solder pick. I received them last week. The “reject” tweezers were
indeed rubbing where they cross over, but I used a pair of pliers to
hold them open and filed the edges where they were rubbing. They are
now as good as new and obviously any tweezers ordered that pass
quality control would not need to be “altered” in any way.

There have been many posts on Orchid about the huge difference
between cheap tools and more expensive, better quality tools, and
that nine times out of ten, one is better off investing in quality
tools as it’s worthwhile in the long term. Buy cheap, buy twice, etc,

Prior to having Karen’s tools in my possession, I was using an
inexpensive (read cheap) pair of steel cross lock tweezers and a
cheap titanium solder pick. After a year of use, my steel tweezers
are getting to the point of needing to be replaced - the fibre
insulating handles are falling apart due to being repeatedly burned
and the tips are really bendy and I’m forever having to realign them.
My cheap solder pick also bends for fun so that you can’t put any
pressure on it.

Karen’s tools are in a completely different league to what I was
using before. The solder pick is well-balanced and feels nice in the
hand, and if a piece of metal decides to be unruly (as they often
do), you can use the pick to hold something in place, confident in
the knowledge that it will NOT bend under pressure. Due to its shape,
it can’t roll off my soldering tray - something my old one used to do
virtually every time I put it down! There’s no worry about it
getting too hot to handle either. The cross lock tweezers are a joy
to use too. The ends meet in such a positive and precise manner that
I can pick up the tiniest of jump rings without it pinging across the
room - I’ve lost many jr’s that way with my old tweezers. The tools
are made of a thick gauge of titanium, which makes them really sturdy
but still lightweight at the same time because they are titanium.
However, although they are really substantial in thickness along
their whole length, the tweezer’s tips come to a really sharp point
in the other dimension, making picking tiny things up really easy. I
will definitely be ordering another pair of cross lock tweezers and
throwing away my steel pair. I’ll miss Karen’s soldering pick when I
return it to her and can’t wait to order my own asap.

Sorry for going on for so long but I have to express the difference
in performance of these tools. Remember I was using my husband’s
Dremel? Then I bought my Foredom flexshaft? Well the difference in
performance and feel of Karen’s tools compared to my cheap soldering
tools is as vast as the difference in performance and feel of my
Foredom and the Dremel. I have a cheap bench vice which I use for
stone setting (among other things), which I fully intend to replace
with some sort of engraver’s ball or GRS Magnablock (or whatever
it’s called) - because I have learned that it is worth the investment
to buy quality tools which save you both time and money in the long
run. Karen’s tools are definitely in the quality tools category and
if people try them they’ll be very happy with the experience - they
are well worth the price being asked for them.

I’ll shut up now - sorry - but well done Karen! :wink:

Helen Hill

Hi All,

Because many of you have asked for photos, while my website is being
worked on, I have uploaded some photos on my Picasa web server:

If you have any questions regarding usage or in need of a soldering
tip, which are in the archives of Ganoksin, I am here to help.

Learning the tools of web design are daunting, but in the end, it
will be worth it. As I learn, so do you. That’s my job as teacher and
I am happy to have a venue such as Orchid to learn what you need, to
make our lives easier, for the mission of Orchid is not that
different from mine.

Email me offline for specific questions. Thank you all for your
patience. The response has been amazing and the more I learn about
soldering, techniques, tricks, tool design and helpful hints, I will
post and I will answer your questions the best I can. I am here to
help and I am here to learn.

Karen Christians

Hi Karen,

Good to hear from you and I’m pleased to know that things are moving
along. I’ll respond to the questions you asked later but for the
moment I have a question for you.

For the sales to-date, who are you finding to be your customer? Or
more exactly who do you think your customer base is going to be in
the future?

My perception of the people you are trying to reach is the
individual craftsperson who works for him/her self…people who are
bench jewelers in NYC would not be your target customer, I would

I think your customer perceives him/her self as a highly skilled
artist who wants quality tools that left her/him work at their
highest level and is willing to spend money to have the finest tools.

I’d contrast this with someone who sits in a row of bench jewelers
working for someone else who is, practically speaking, a production
worker. In this case a lower cost tool might be “good enough” and the
jeweler would be unwilling to spend beyond that point.

This is important because it influences the way I describe my
product. For example, while most torches will work with standard
pressure natural gas if you read the instructions that come with the
torch it will actually say the recommended pressure is 3-5 psi. Using
a lower gas pressure may light the torch but doesn’t yield maximum
performance. A jeweler who works at the highest level of his or her
skill will want a torch that functions at its maximum performance
level and a G-TEC system lets them do that. So I would describe the
G-TEC in terms of giving the jeweler maximum ability to realize
his/her artistic vision.

So how would you describe the customers you want to sell to…I
want to be able to describe my product in a way that makes them want
to buy!


grabbed it without looking, before it fell off and ended up picking
it up by the hot end just after having used it! 

I like the wooden handle idea. Peter mentioned using a dowel but I
recommend a square dowel! Cut a piece of pine to make a ‘rod’ about
25mm x 25mm for the handle. That’s an inch square. It doesn’t roll.

ALSO keeps the pick itself off the benchtop.

B r i a n A d a m
e y e g l a s s e s j e w e l l e r y

Hi dear all,

I just want to share my happy experience with Cleverwerx here: I’ve
bought a titanium soldering pick and straight tweezers from Karen
last month. First of all, they are so light and beautifully made. (I
think especially female jewellers will find them ergonomically

And the soldering pick is amazing! The solder ball attaches to the
pick easily and firmly - so no more solder dropping away before
finishing the soldering process. No oxide around the tip anymore
(probably why the solder ball alway runs up to the tip quickly) Only
that there may be a layer of boric glaze enveloping the tips after a
while; but as it’s safe for pickle solution, I just give it a bath

I wasn’t quite use to the soldering tweezers at first - as it is 1/3
shorter than my previous steel tweezers and the grip is therefore
harder. I wrote to Karen and she suggested me to give it some time
before I exchange it with their crosslock tweezers (and they offer
postage free for that!). But after several projects with the titanium
one, I don’t think I can go back to my previous tweezers any more -
once my hand gets used to it, I can feel that the grid is firm and
steady and I really enjoy working with it.

Indeed I would really like to get the crosslock tweezers as well, if
my budget allows. And about the price, to be honest, they are really
not cheap. But considering that the soldering pick and tweezers are
probably the 2nd most frequently used tools after the jeweller’s saw,
I prefer to be serious on their quality, instead of the price.

Just a usual disclaimer: I am a jeweller working far away in Hong
Kong so this is for sure just a sharing review from a happy customer

Hi All,

The newest issue of Art Jewelry has a great review on the Cleverwerx
soldering titanium tools. MJSA Journal gave a us a nice review as
well We have 60 happy customers due to the wonderful responses from
many of you. Thanks for all your comments and helpful suggestions.
Overall the response has been fantastic!

We have a few tools left, but many are on reorder and shipments will
go out after April 12.

Thank you everyone!
Karen Christians