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Creative uses for Tools


I sometimes use my vacuum bell-jar to marinate meats.



I have a multi-faceted career path and have warmed my steel jewelry
stakes and incorporated them into my massage work. Mmmmmmm…



Since this is the funniest thing I’ve heard today I have to regret
that I just finished putting in this week’s equipment order.

Otherwise I might finally buy a vacuum machine for just this
purpose. Just what I need another “reason” to buy a tool/gizmo.

Thanks for the giggle. Shape recipes.


I use my silicone polishing wheels and Foredom to file my nails.

Eva Martin


Mizzy heatless wheels are good for truing up a cutoff disc, as is
the broken diamond stylus from an engraver.

Flux makes a pretty good glue for arranging settings to be soldered
in plaster, I discovered this while prying up bench flotsam that had
been adhered with spilled flux.


Hi Ray;

I once watched a metalsmith cook a steak with a Presto-Lite torch.
Frankly, the overtones of acetylene would have put me off my dinner.
When I was a kid, I used to go with my father to his work, and he’d
cook hotdogs for lunch in the pottery kiln. I expect a thread to
start on various studio/cooking techniques. Me, I’ve got a microwave
in the shop.

David L. Huffman


A sandpaper flapper with 320 grit will help expose a splinter in
ones skin.



I found that the ultrasonic cleaner works as a great dish washer,
especially on really dirty forks. I then follow up with the steamer.

Mark Nelson


Hey, Eva,

I use my silicone polishing wheels and Foredom to file my nails. 

Meee too! In fact, it’s a great way to clean up my toenails and to
(now don’t laugh!) sand off those nasty calluses on my heels!

Judy in Kansas


I got a chuckle oujt of David Huffman’s post on his father cooking
hotdogs in the pottery kiln. Some years ago when I was teaching an
enameling class at our local art center, the building custodian had
the task of starting our big enameling kiln for us an hour before
class time as it was old and slow to heat. When I arrived, I was
greeted with the acrid smell of something burning. I was puzzled as
the kiln only registered about 400 degrees. I opened the kiln
door,and there, completely charred was the residue of
something—which later was identified as a pepperoni pizza. What a

It seems the custodian had been using the kiln regularly to heat
things, but usually stood by and took them out before meltdown.
However, this time he forgot about the pizza, and was off in another
part of the building.

I was not amused, but my good natured students thought it was
hilarious. One creative student even made an enamel of a pizza on
fire. Nice piece of work.

My PrestoLite torch usually is called into service when I make Creme
Brulee for my guests .I could use my little Blazer, but the
Prestolite gives it all such a dramatic touch and adds to the
festivities of the party…



Hello David.

Heck yes. That cheapo $5 microwave from a garage sale is perfect to
pre-heat pickle, LOS, and 'sonic solution!

Other helpful non-jewelry tools:

A plug-in timer from the Christmas lights - use it to time and shut
off equipment like the tumbler & pickle pot.

StickTac - used to stick pencils, broken blades, drills, Tigertail
stringing “needles”, and such to walls, cabinet doors, etc. I always
have a glob on the inside of my cash box and it has come in handy
many times at a show.

Clothes pins - drill a hole through one side of the jaw to allow an
earring post to stick through, then it becomes a nifty clamp for
gluing half-drilled spheres to pearl posts.

Old business cards - these are my little records. I note the
components and prices with a simple sketch of a piece. Add the sales
code and retail price. File these in a card file by jewelry
description. The back of the card becomes a mixing pad for epoxy,
using a flat toothpick to mix. Leave the toothpick on the left-over
epoxy as a quick check on cure.

“Shooters” containers - at least my bar-savvy daughter tells me
that’s what they are. They are cylindrical, heavy clear glass
containers and serve to hold needle files upright.

Rimmed cookie sheets - treat them like drawers mounted under the
bench pin. Slide them under the bench for storage and pull them out
to catch filings. I have one marked “gold” and the other “silver.”

Mascara brush - wonderful cylindrical brush to clean tiny openings -
collect as many as you can get because there are several different

Guess that’s enough for now.
Judy in Kansas


I admit to torching marshmallows with my little butane torch…also
use it for a quick start on the charcoal grill.

Donna in VA

I use my silicone polishing wheels and Foredom to file my nails. 

And I use those padded nail files to polish bezels :-)!

Beth Rosengard


Hi Judy,

Your suggestions for creative tool uses is brilliant ! All ofyour
suggestions are immensefully useful. It amuses me that so many
jewlers have diverted jewelry uses to other not so jewelry oriented
applications. It almost suggests that they are not very serious about
their avocation. I would contribute a suggestion that people ought to
consider the usefulness of those wonderfull reverse pliers that the
Tiwanese produce. They are intendeded as tools for opening springs
and lock washers, but they work admirably well as bezel stretchers,
soldered loop formers. etc. etc: Time for imagination expansion !

Ron @ Mills Gem Company, Los Osos, Ca.


Many, many roasted chickens, pots of soup, and even bread cooked and
baked in my burnout oven. Even eclaires (sp) have been baked.
Something to do with temperature control, my wife says. Also, once
my girlfriend, ( now wife) had a Honda sedan and the clutch was well
done. So I took it out and put in a new one. Aligning the thing
requires Tool No $18937582918. And that was just the price. So I cut
off a small piece of garden hose pipe and fitted it over a 13mm
ballpunch from my bench. It worked like a charm and the car was
fixed.To this day since then, (1991) I have that punch with the
piece of hosepipe around it still. On my bench. I call is my KISS
punch. Keep it straight and simple. Last one… In my pre-girlfriend
days, me and my apprentices and goldsmith buds would build a
Scalectrix racing car track in my show room, after hours. Like on
Saturday night. All the track banking was done with bangle triblets.
Doming blocks were for the bridge supports and ring triblets, ball
punches and file handels were used for inclines. Then we’d come
sunday and race some more.

Hans Meevis