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Favorite Tools


#1

I would love to hear from everyone, what there favorite tool is.
That they can’t live without and how they use it.

Sue


#2

Favorite tool: the Foredom. How do I use it ? Every way possible
(and that’s a lot of ways).

Brian Corll
Vassar Jewelers
1002 East Simpson Street
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
Tel.: (717) 691-0286


#3

Sue, et al

My favourite machine that is always in use is a “Foredom-Micro
Motor”. It’s a bench top motor but without the need of a post on
your bench that the ‘flex-shaft’ uses. It is “Manual”, as well as
"Foot" activated. The actual motor is in the handle, its about 95%
silent, it also has a reverse but with a ‘twist’-release mechanism.
With this gadget, it has a coil cord leading directly from the
bench-top base, again this alone is detachable, for traveling
purposes. It can be used for right or left handed setters, hence the
reversing method. Did I say that you can also supply your own speed
for long-term activation, overheating is a thing of the past. It has
its own fan also in the handle. Is it my favourite “toy”?..you betcha
it is…:>)

Gerry Lewy!


#4
I would love to hear from everyone, what there favorite tool is.
That they can't live without and how they use it. 

Sue, this is a great topic. Of course I love all tools. However, a
new one found its way into my toolbox. It came from the plumng
department at Home Depot. It is a swedge (swage?) tool. It goes from
3/4" cylinder to 1/8" with many between and has replaced so many of
my dowel rods. They use it for opening the ends of pipe (I think),
but I get to use it to get my curves at whatever size I want. Cool
tool for $6.95.

Louise
http://www.fine-wire-jewelry.com/showcase


#5

What kind of Foredom machine? describe it for ‘us’, as you know
"Foredom" is the company name…gerry!


#6

Favorite tool.

Hey Brian I agree with you. My Foredom is by far my favorite tool. I
don’t know how I could get anything done without it. I use it for
everything.

I use it: in no particular order:

  1. to turn wax into pottery. I can turn blocks of wax up to 3.5
    inches in diameter and about 4 inches tall.

  2. to texture wax with small burrs. A small burr mounted in the hand
    piece is bounced on the wax surface which produces a texture on the
    wax.

  3. to drill holes in silver and wax.

  4. to carve wax with various burrs.

  5. to cut, shape and polish small stones.

  6. with a hammer tool to set bezels, texture and engrave silver.

  7. to remove epoxy from the top of bezels where stone are set in
    epoxy. I use 18 gage wax or metal to form bezels then epoxy stone
    in. Epoxy flows over the top of the bezel.

  8. to grind away sprues from castings.

  9. to smooth irregular surfaces on castings with an abrasive wheel in
    the hand piece.

  10. to polish areas on castings that the large polisher can not get
    to.

  11. to mill wax to various thicknesses with a large burr mounted in a
    hand piece mounted in a Foredom drill press.

  12. to sharpen my drill bits with cut off discs.

  13. to drill holes in stones with a diamond drill.

  14. to do about another thousand things I cannot think of at this
    time.

I still have my original Foredom I bought in 1975. Its in my rock
cutting area and is still working.

Go Foredom.

Lee Epperson


#7

Dear Brian, I know that I live in England but what the heck is a
Foredom?,

Sam


#8

my smith air acetylene torch!


#9
Of course I love all tools. However, a new one found its way into
my toolbox. It came from the plumng department at Home Depot. It
is a swedge (swage?) tool. It goes from 3/4" cylinder to 1/8" with
many between and has replaced so many of my dowel rods. 

I looked this up on line, and it is called a “copper swedge”, though
it is made of steel. Essentially a stepped mandrel, but with a taper
between each step. Looks very cool-- I’ll go look for one. Thanks
for the tip!

Noel


#10

If I had to choose a favorite tool, it would have to be my torch, of
course, and second, my flex shaft, but in the last year or so I’ve
had some good luck buying used tools on eBay. I found a Kagan ring
stretcher, and I just love it. It quickly and easily rounds out ring
shanks (without significant enlargement, if you use a light touch),
as well as, of course, stretching them. Admittedly, my students get
more use from this last than I do.

I also bought a lapidary set-up and trim saw pretty cheap, and I
really enjoy cutting stones. The real joy comes, though, when I need
to adapt a stone to fit in a bezel, repair a chip, polish a
stone-back that I want to have show, or otherwise save a situation
with a cabochon. If I never scewed up, I wouldn’t love these tools
so much, maybe, but now you know the dark truth.

Beyond that, I get a ton of use out of my belt sander. It is a
cheap, hand-held Black & Decker model ($30 or $40) that cleverly
comes with a pair of clamps to hold it belt-up to a workbench. (It
is gratifying to see even a low-end object like this encorporate
good design features such as this!) Very handy for quickly
generating a straight edge on silver sheet.

I was trying to think of something I use that isn’t on every
metalsmith’s bench, but it’s all pretty standard. The only "novelty"
has been covered here a few times, so if you’re new, look in the
archives for “titanium V’s”. I still use them nearly every day.

Noel


#11
I would love to hear from everyone, what there favorite tool is.
That they can't live without and how they use it. 

I like my Modelmaster CAD/CAM system and ArtCAM. It has greatly
increased the range of my jewelry designs, especially the charm line
that I produce.

As far as hand tools- Lindstrom pliers, the short chain nose ones,
are a constant favorite tool. 4 inch #2 cut barrette files are a
close second.

Rick Hamilton


#12

Gee favorite tools is a tough one, because I love all my tools. But
if I have to pick a couple then it would be my Smith Acetylene Torch
and a pair of round nose pliers I got 30+ years ago from Swest. They
never rust even from a fire. I also love my chasing tools, kilns,
oohh enamels and I could go on and on. But I better stop.

Jennifer Friedman


#13

At the bench, it’s the flex shaft, no question. In lapidary, it’s my
Genie cabochon grinder/polisher. It has been a faithful companion
for many years. And where the Gemie can’t polish into little nooks
and crannies of stones I want to carve, the flex shaft fills in with
diamond points and cup brushes with successive grits of diamond
paste.

One of my favorite tools to use with the flex shaft is the rotary
hammer. I wrote a short “step-by-step” type article for Orchid on
how to make this little tool which can be found at:

http://www.ganoksin.com/ftp/how2makeARotaryHammer.doc

Basically, it is a handy tool to be used with a chuck-type
handpiece, such as the #30, for burnishing, especially porous
castings. It applies glancing blows that move the metal sideways and
helps compact the metal crystals at the surface.

I also submitted it to Karen for the Making the Most of your Flex
Shaft book but, as I haven’t yet seen the book, I don’t know if it
was included. I’l wake up and order my copy soon…

James S. Duncan G.G.
James in SoFL


#14
I know that I live in England but what the heck is a Foredom?

What you call a pendant motor. A flexible shaft hanging motorized
hand-piece.

Rick Hamilton


#15

Sam,

Hmmm…no Foredoms in England ? Gosh, how do you all survive ? :wink:
It’s a flexible shaft tool for drilling, grinding, polishing,
hammering (never use it that way myself), lathe turning, you name
it. Check www.foredom.com for more info.

Brian Corll
Vassar Jewelers
1002 East Simpson Street
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
Tel.: (717) 691-0286


#16

Yep, it’s used for flaring copper pipes to join them together prior
to soldering. Should work well on silver tubing too. I could see it
being used to make some nifty flared tube settings.

Brian Corll
Vassar Jewelers
1002 East Simpson Street
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
Tel.: (717) 691-0286


#17

Good question Sue. My can’t-live-without tool is a 30 year-old pair
of pliers with one round tapered jaw and one flat tapered jaw. They
came from Swest and I’ve tried unsuccessfully to duplicate them. It
will be a sad day if they are ever lost!

Judy in Kansas


#18

Gerry,

I guess you’re referring to my post about my favorite tool. I use the
basic CC motor with a #30 handpiece. Nothing fancy, but it does every
job.

Brian Corll
Vassar Jewelers
1002 East Simpson Street
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
Tel.: (717) 691-0286


#19
Hmmm....no Foredoms in England ? 

Brian, yes I use a flexible drive tool and would not be without it,
it was the name that threw me.

Its a bit like still calling any make of vacuum cleaner a Hoover.

Sam


#20

My set of pliers that I got from my parents 33 years ago. My folks
totally encouraged my “habit”. Thanks mom and dad! :slight_smile: What I love so
much about these pliers is not only that they feel and work so great
in my hands, but they have teeny tiny teeth marks in the turquoise
colored hand grips. For some reason, every cat that I have owned has
loved to lay on one of my work tables and gently bite the ends of
these things! Maybe I’ve had the same cat 9 times since they do have
9 lives! Also, I have a big heavy anvil that I bought at a flea
market, (swap meet to some people). It produces a herringbone kind of
pattern on the back of my silver when hammering. I love the texture.
Oh, then there’s the tiny ball peen I got at Tom’s Cigar store…the
list goes on & on.

Keep your eyes open, “tools” are all around us!

Karen