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Favorite tips


My wax working surface is a taped-down piece of shiny backing
paper from contact paper or frisket. Wax will stick to it hot
and peels away easily when cold. And the best thing I’ve found
to get ground-in wax off hardwood floors is Wood Preen, used
with 4/0 steel wool for the tough spots.

Janet Kofoed
fine handcrafted jewelry


My favorite handy thing is thrift store ice cube trays. Its
great for holding all the parts to a large project or different
steps of a large production run. It also makes getting things in
and out of the pickle or ultrasonic easier without mixing up the
stones that go to the specific goldwork. (we number the little
sections of the trays)

I also wouldnt be without my collection of rocks-smooth river
washed but heavy enough to lay on a tippy tweezer to settle it

Anybody have a tip for making a bracelet mandrel that is more
realistically wrist shaped (more oval less round)? Thanks


Greetings all:

One of the most useful and time-saving tips I have ever learned
for fabrication is the use of Super Glue to hold things together
before soldering using the following proceduRe:

First carefully position the elements you wish to solder in Play
Dough. Place a drop of Super Glue at the joints and use an
activator, such as Hot Shot or Fill It, to immediately harden the
glue. The activator will actually make the Super Glue somewhat
pliable and shock resistant. At this point remove parts from Play
Dough. Now clean any remaining residue off of the piece in your
ultrasonic, and the elements will remain glued, IF you have used
an activator, and as long as the parts are not too large and

If assembling gold parts paint on your fire-coat, but do not
burn off the alcohol, because this will unglue the pieces. Now
you can put your pieces into another product called Place-It,
which is used in the same way that you would use investment
plaster to hold pieces together for soldering, only you can
solder immediately without waiting for it to harden. This
soldering paste will withstand temperatures up to 3000 degrees
Fahrenheit, and there is no risk of contaminating platinum while
using Place-It. This technique is excellent for use with
platinum fabrication, since these pieces are often difficult to
hold. Unsoldering platinum can be difficult, so this method is
helpful in avoiding these mistakes.

Next burn off the Super Glue. (A word of caution: Super Glue
and related products are toxic and produce toxic gas when burned.
Be sure to use in a well-ventilated area
) It will burn off
cleanly before the boric acid turns to glass. Now flux the
joints and place your solder for multiple joint soldering. After
the piece cools, the Place It will crumble off easily.

Place It and Super Glue activators can be found at Frei & Borel
and Gesswein.

Blaine Lewis
New Approach School for Jewelers


I use Old Dutch powdered cleanser with a toothbrush for prepping
titanium, copper, bronze, etc. Very abrasive and cheaper than


TLee: Per your request for a more realistic bracelet mandrel, I
use an aged branch of an apple tree, which I carved into an
"arm" shape. At twenty years old it is still more accurate than
a baseball bat or a jeweler’s metal bracelet mandrel.

Hope this helps,
Helene S-French