I made a mistake purchasing the pepe jump ring maker/grobet flex
The Pepe might not be as well made as the original, the “Jump
Ringer” from Ray Grossman.
It was sold as a set. I felt like such a great shopper, and that I
got a great deal. NOT, The flex shaft is 1/8th horsepower and does
not have enough a-s as my husband so charmingly calls it, to cut
through the rings,
I don’t think this is an issue with the power of the motor. 1/8th hp
should be more than enough (It’s worked fine for me, though I have
Ray Grossmans tool, not the Pepe one). BUT, your coil has to be
securely clamped (and the Pepe may make this trickier), AND your saw
has to be properly adjusted, both centered in the slot, and the right
depth so as not to cut too deep. The latter is often an operator
technique rather than an actual setting. Also, the circular saws
have to be sharp, and you have to be cutting in the right direction.
If you’re mangling rings, it’s most likely not that the flex shaft is
not powerful enough. Rather, it’s probably something wrong in the way
you’re attempting to cut the rings. If they shift in the fixture, for
example, that will quickly make a mess.
Now I am saving for a foredom 1/3 horsepower flex shaft, so I never
run into that problem again.
More power will help if you’re finding an underpowered motor is
simply stalling. But if you’re using the jump ring fixture and cutter
properly, even with a 1/10th hp motor, you shouldn’t be stalling it.
This isn’t to say you won’t enjoy the heavier Fordom motor. You will.
But I suspect that power is not actually your problem here. Lots of
people have fine results with motors no bigger than your Grobet.
husband says there are many things that you can get away with
purchasing less expensive items
Yes, there are many tools where less costly ones will also do the
job. But there are also a lot of them where the step up in quality,
especially in a precision hand tool, as many jewelers tools are, will
be noticably better in terms of ease of use, length of service, and
the quality of work it does. It’s been said that often, the most
costly tool was the one which you paid the least for, and the best
value may end up being the most expensive in initial price.
such as files. He claims I am wasting my money paying for
Frederick Dick files, when less expensive ones will hold up just as
That depends on what you’re filing. The FD files are harder, and
have a surface treatment that helps to keep them from loading up. If
you’re working easy to file metals like silver, then the Dick filles
are likely overkill, at least in the larger sizes. I’ve a bunch of
chinese made files I got in a closeout from MSC once. 50 files for 50
bucks. Some weren’t much use, but others, the big bastard cut heavy
duty ones, are great for hogging off a lot of metal. But when I need
to do precision work with needle files, then for most uses, I use
the best I can get. This is usually either the FD files, or fine
escapement files, or similar very high quality, and often costly,
needle files. I also have cheap ones for ten bucks a set. Great for
wax work. Not so useful on platinum.
And the FD files are noticably better on platinum, both in the
quality of the surface they leave, and the length of time they hold
up before getting dull.
So the answer is that sometimes you’re husband is right on this. But
most certainly not always. Cheap tools are fine for quick and dirty
work or jobs where precision isn’t required. But for the finest work,
you need tools up to the task.
Now, the trick is that the best quality tool is not always the most
expensive. And that takes some work to figure out what’s what.
My husband is a very talented mechanic, welder, and metal artist,
but he does not do jewelry!! Any comments out there?
One thing to note is that most likely, the scale of the things he
works on are a lot larger than what you do as a jeweler. So the
quality of a file cut on his work, may represent a fine surface,
which when translated to your precious metal, turns out to not be
good enough. And, of course, his scrap metal can go in the trash. You
have to be a bit more careful about not generating so much scrap.