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Do you make your own tools?

As much fun as making the jewellery itself.

MAK.

I work exclusively in titanium, making tension settings, and often
have a limited budget, so I have made some pretty neat tools, my
favorite is a load cell that I made, I really dont’ want to go into
it too much, but i recently found out my load cell for testing
tension rings is actually 10X more actuate than a commercially
available one, that costs more than a car :slight_smile:

Most of my tools are machinist tools, with a few exceptions, but i
was lucky enough to be able to purchase some machinist’s toolboxes,
so for a 24 year old, I have a pretty nice supply of tools. :slight_smile:

-Chris

Do you make your own tools, and If yes what are they" 

I have handmade chasing tools, textured hammers, flush setting
burnishers, gravers, two kinds of porosity burnishers for the flex
shaft, prong pushing tools, even my sonic ring rack. Also, of course
there are tools that I’ve altered: tweezers, pliers, files, non
texture hammers.

Some are tools I’ve made because exactly what I wanted wasn’t
available fo rpurchase, or I wanted a variety of sizes not
available. I alter purchased tools to improve the finish or shape.

And isn’t is just darn cool to make work with a handmade tool" I
think so.

Alexis Romeo Steenberge
www.alexisromeo.com

This discussion got me to look around the shop and bench, to see
what too ls I have, and use that I have made or altered. It made me
realize how of ten you alter or make tools for a specific job in our
field. From burnishers to gravers, specialty pliers made from some
other pliers to special holders you create for a difficult job, the
bench is full of such creative tools, some I thought of myself, and
others that I borrowed the concept from jewelers I knew over the
years.

I often see tools that other jewelers have created, which are really
useful and sometimes make similar adaptations myself.

Jewelers can be very creative, when trying to solve a problem.

I worked as a goldsmith for 20 years and made many of my own tools.
When things were slow at the shop I would make myself hammers and
chasing tools. I would engrave and polish them just for fun. I worked
in a shop that made high-end jewelry and when it was slow, myself and
the other goldsmith would try to look busy so the owner didnt come in
and make us miserable. I made a hammer that the two of us carved and
engrave.d We even set diamonds in it. I put my name on it and he put
his. Since we made it on the shop’s time, we figured we would leave
it at the shop. Now our replacement goldsmiths have carved their
names in it and done some more work to it. The owner of the shop
died, but the family is still running it and the head goldsmith has
the hammer in his bench. I don’t know if the owners even know about
the hammer, but it is still there last I asked. I liked making tools
so much that I now make jewelry as a hobby and tools full time. Here
is a video of me making some of my tools.

Kevin
www.potterusa.com

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/1w4 

That’s a beautiful video, Kevin. Glad you had it made in black and
white.

Jeff Herman
hermansilver.com

Great shop! great video, and as a jeweler, what do you do with the
peelings from the metal? All I could see were earrings, pendants and
brooches coming off the metal. Blessings, pat

Great shop! great video, and as a jeweler, what do you do with the
peelings from the metal? All I could see were earrings, pendants
and brooches coming off the metal. 

Those chips would be razor sharp, and actually pretty brittle and
weak. best thing to do is scrap them :slight_smile:

I’ve already posted one response to this topic, but to answer the
root of Leonid’s question, I would say that there might be room in
the DVD market for a toolmaking DVD, but the approach would have to
be right. When it comes to making chisels, or hammers, or any other
tool, the goldsmith is rarely going to be as skilled at making them
compared to someone who makes tools and nothing else. So there seems
little point in a goldsmith telling us how to manufacture tools are
a full-time job.But, what might be good would be to do something on
converting a goldsmithing studio into a toolmaking facility - safe
ways of converting polishing lathe into a bench grinder, making
small vice-mountable anvils, clever ways of using furnaces for other
means, that sort of thing. But that probably isn’t what Leonid has in
mind. In fact, it’s so DIY, I imagine that there are blogs and forums
that cover it already.I’m not a DVD purchaser myself, so what do I
know, but I do wonder if DVD is the right format for toolmaking info
of this sort.

When it comes to making chisels, or hammers, or any other tool, the
goldsmith is rarely going to be as skilled at making them compared
to someone who makes tools and nothing else. 

I have to disagree with this premise. Professional machinist may
know more about making chisels and punches, but he lacks knowledge of
their usage and application as it pertains to goldsmithing. I have
never seen correctly made commercial chasing or repousse tools.
Hammers situation is slightly better, but not by much. Some look
real nice, but functionally barely useable. But if I decide to go
ahead with such a DVD, while it may include some basic info, the main
thrust would be such mundane tools like hand vise for instance.
There are dozens of hand vises available, but for handling real small
parts they all useless. Or such a simple things like center punch. I
am not sure what is the right English terminology, but we used to
call them punch 1 and punch 2. A minor thing, but critical for some
applications.

Up to now, I was avoiding these “controversial” techniques in my
DVDs. But it is getting more and more difficult, and more and more
time consuming. Any way, if this thing is going to happen, it will
be more of tool design as solution to a particular problem, which
means looking at common tools with goldsmith eye. I have another
option of simply including explanation of tool design as need
arises, which at this point looks more attractive to me.

I received a few enthusiastic emails about tool making DVD. To be
perfectly honest, I am not looking forward to it. I started my
working career as a toolmaker and I hated every minute of it. But
something rubbed off whether I liked or not. Anyway, if someone has a
particular question about toolmaking, one does not have to wait for
DVD, which may not happen at all. Your questions are welcome, either
publicly or privately. Whatever you prefer.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com

I have to disagree with this premise. Professional machinist may
know more about making chisels and punches, but he lacks knowledge
of their usage and application as it pertains to goldsmithing. 

Well that would be the goldsmiths fault, not giving the tool maker
the right specifications.

Tool makers can and will make a better tool than you or I could
make, but we have to give them all the

If I chose to employ a tool maker, I would give him all the specs of
the tool I required. His knowledge of tool steel alloys would be
better than mine, so he may suggest a better steel to use for my
tool. If I complained about a property of the tool that was absent
because I didn’t tell the tool maker, I’d be an idiot.

Regards Charles A.

Great shop! great video, and as a jeweler, what do you do with the
peelings from the metal?

Those chips would be razor sharp, and actually pretty brittle and
weak. best thing to do is scrap them :) 

What a challenge, isn’t that what this is all about? Blessings pat

I have been working on a simple wire weaving tool but in the
meantime, I’ve put up a free website called, “Unexpected Wire Jewelry
Tools” sort of documenting everyday objects that can be used for wire
jewelry making. I’m not done yet with the site but there are some
interesting ideas there. For anyone interested:

Lisa Van Herik
www.wovenwirestudio.com

Leonid,

I have never seen correctly made commercial chasing or repousse
tools. Hammers situation is slightly better, but not by much. Some
look real nice, but functionally barely useable. 

Please elaborate on this point that you make about chasing tools. I
find myself making my own crude chasing tools for texturing very
tight spaces but the results do not meet a high standard.

George

Please elaborate on this point that you make about chasing tools.
I find myself making my own crude chasing tools for texturing very
tight spaces but the results do not meet a high standard. 

That is another big subject. I cannot cover everything, but few
basics should be helpful. I am going to assume that only one hammer
is used and only natural weight of the hammer is employed. No
accelerations or any other enhancements to the strike force.

Given these conditions, chasing tools ( or repousse ) can be divided
into three categories: punches that conduct force without changes;
punches which magnify the force; and punches that reduce. Besides
that a punch must absorb recoil and vibrations due to application of
force off axis.

I make punches by taking round blank of 12 to 14 mm in diameter. My
hands are large. For smaller hands 10mm could be more appropriate. I
file round blank to square profile. Both ends are tapered toward
corresponding ends. The size (areas) of ends are of critical
importance. If face ( business end ) is larger than striking end,
such punch will be a reducer, and vice versa. Most of the punches are
magnifiers. It allows to use hammers of lesser weight, which are not
so tiring. Tapers must be pronounced. The larger the taper, the
better vibration and recoil control. Both ends must heat treated.

For texturing I would reduce the face to square with 4mm side; the
striker would be square with 8mm side; and the center of the punch
would retain it’s original dimensions. Striker would have area of
64mm^2 and the face would be only 16mm^2. That is 4x magnification of
force. Cross-section of the middle would be 36 * 3.14 = 113mm^2,
almost twice the striker. That means that if vibration will be
initiated by hammer, traveling towards the middle, the amplitude
would increase due to change in diameter and frequency would
decrease. 4mm square face recoil would be completely absorbed by the
middle as well due to large mass differential. Such punch would
produce sharp and even texturing; squarish profile means easy
manipulation and control of the punch; lack of vibration and recoil
would insure quality and ease of working.

Heat treatment should follow the same idea. The middle of the punch
should be dead soft; face is tempered to light straw and striker to
straw. It is much harder than recommended, but made possible by
heating the end and instead of plunging the whole thing, touching end
to brine and holding until cold. It produces thin layer hardness
gradually softening towards the middle. In that way pattern of
hardening follows and emphasizes general logic of tool design.

This is a small example of what is involved in making functional
chasing punch. A punch with different function would have different
dimensions and relationships. Working set of punches is a really big
job, which can take much longer than may appear and simply not
available commercially. The proper way to acquire a set is to do it
slowly, making one punch at a time, as required.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com

That is another big subject. I cannot cover everything, but few
basics should be helpful. I am going to assume that only one
hammer is used and only natural weight of the hammer is employed.
No accelerations or any other enhancements to the strike force.

Uhmm…what are you talking about! "No acceleration or any other
enhancements…"Sorry, but from that comment it sounds like you
have misunderstood the basics of physics/mechanics big time.

What you call strike force depends on two things, mass and
acceleration. No acceleration only means hammer is not moving —> no
force.

F = m x a ( Newton’s second law)
Force = mass times acceleration.
In this case mass is represented by the hammer.

Very tiny blows with the hammer only means that the mass(hammer) has
been accelerated a little. Want to hit hard - just accelerate the
mass(hammer) alot more. Simple.

Leonid,

I have never seen correctly made commercial chasing or repousse
tools. Hammers situation is slightly better, but not by much. Some
look real nice, but functionally barely useable. 

So I confess to being quite curious as to whose tools you’ve
seen??? Pauline Warg of Warg Enamels makes great (IMHO) chasing and
repousse tools, as does Victoria Lansford. Guess you haven’t ever
seen their tools… NC Black has dynamite hammers, as does Fretz…
never seen those? Or you just don’t agree with their definition of
quality?

What is it about these, specifically, that you find incorrectly
made? Huge sweeping statements don’t help much. actually imply you
aren’t cognizant of facts, rather than implying you are. To be
actually helpful, you need to be very specific about what is not
"correctly made".

Thanks - always trying to learn more!

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio
http://www.bethwicker.com

What you call strike force depends on two things, mass and
acceleration. No acceleration only means hammer is not moving --->
no force. 

No accelerations means no artificial accelerations. Any body with
mass would always be under the influence of Earth gravity, which
induces acceleration equal to 9.8 meter per seconds a.k.a free fall.
I thought, it is quite obvious from the context of the posting.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com

For texturing I would reduce the face to square with 4mm side; the
striker would be square with 8mm side; and the center of the punch
would retain it's original dimensions. Striker would have area of
64mm^2 and the face would be only 16mm^2. That is 4x magnification
of force. Cross-section of the middle would be 36 * 3.14 = 113mm^2,
almost twice the striker. That means that if vibration will be
initiated by hammer, traveling towards the middle, the amplitude
would increase due to change in diameter and frequency would
decrease. 4mm square face recoil would be completely absorbed by
the middle as well due to large mass differential. Such punch would
produce sharp and even texturing; squarish profile means easy
manipulation and control of the punch; lack of vibration and recoil
would insure quality and ease of working.

No, Leonid. There is no way that a punch, suddenly out of nowhere
will “magnify” force when you hit it with a hammer.We are not talking
about a lever so there’s no “magnification” here at all. In your
example where you compare a punch with a 16mm^2 face area and the
striker area of 64mm^2 only tells us that the striker area is 4 times
larger…

I’m sure you know how to make punches and how to work with them, but
what you now are doing is- confusing FORCE with PRESSURE. A common
mistake.

Pressure = Force / area (The “striker area” is of no importance here)

P = F / A

Let’s compare Leonid’s two punches, one has a face area 16mm^2 and
the other 64mm^2. We hit both punches with the same amount of force
and the force is transfered to the “business end” of the tool. The
face end. Go figure which one goes deepest into the material and
why?? (It’s got nothing to do with “force magnification”)

Of course the punch with the smallest face area will enter deeper.
That’s because the PRESSURE(where the face area meets the metal)
will be higher due to the smaller face area. In this case 4 times
higher.

What is it about these, specifically, that you find incorrectly
made? Huge sweeping statements don't help much. actually imply you
aren't cognizant of facts, rather than implying you are. 

I think I answered this in my last posting. If questions still
remain, we can discuss it further.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com