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Magnification Frustration


#1

As a craftsman I am constantly annoyed by the fact that while I am
confined to using the naked eye, or 10x loupe to do my work at the
bench, the sales personnel uses a gem scope (I am guessing close to
300 power) to inspect my work before presenting it to the customer.
Does anyone else have this issue, or am I fighting an uphill battle.

I don’t mind removing the “file marks” but if I can’t even see them
with my loupe, then what’s the point of examining the work with the
scope, and sending it back. I don’t want to be a “stinker” but I’m
frustrated with the “I know the customer and you can’t see it but
there’s still a tiny scratch on the shank of this ring, that I can
see when I crank the magnification up on the scope…” mentality.

What should I do besides throw my ring mandrel at the office
manager.

T (AKA: Blind jeweler)


#2

Tim, I feel your pain. I had the same problem a couple of years ago
and opted for loupes that my dentist and other doctors especially
surgeons use, but like you I needed them to check my work for
imperfections especially with my metal work. You will require a
fitting to ensure they are correct in magnification and weight for
the type of work you are doing as well as what you are wanting to
see. Ask your dentist or doctor friend who uses them for their
vendor’s name and setup an appointment; they will be more than happy
to come to your studio. Now they are costly but worth it. If you
don’t have a contact, let me know and I will give you the name of
the company I use that is nationwide.

Sylvanye “Sam”


#3

Timothy,

If the staff is truly using 300X then they are definitely going way
overboard. On the other hand, if you would throw away the loop and
get a bench mounted microscope you find less work coming back. I use
a 5X/10X dual range scope (10X/20X without the .5X auxiliary lens
which gives you working distance). The zoom scopes give me a headache
and, despite arguments from colleagues, I don’t think deliver as
bright an image.

Les Brown
www.goldwork.com


#4
I don't mind removing the "file marks" but if I can't even see
them with my loupe, then what's the point of examining the work
with the scope, and sending it back. 

Can You use the guys gem scope? That’s what I’d do - Your not
superman with x-ray vision! Maybe they could buy You one if they want
You to see the scratches. How else would You know?

Mary Reiter


#5

T (aka Blind jeweler)

I’ve too have been there and feel your frustration, it’s best not to
screw up a good mandrel though. I would request from the office
manager that he/she level the playing field and either purchase you
a shop scope (you will love it) or that they have the sales personal
use a 10 power loupe like you are using. It’s nice to have an extra
set of eyes to check things ,but nit picking is counter productive.
When I managed a shop my solution to the problem was I had the sales
people bring me the problems I would check it out and take it to the
jeweler if necessary after a while all the nit picking seem to be
resolved.

Good luck, Ty


#6

Yea, we’ve been down that road. I’ve asked for a scope at the bench,
and even tried to sell it as something the customers might like to
"See what I see." but the store won’t foot the bill. I have talked
to my dentist about a pair of those nifty glasses she wears, but we
could never stay on topic long enough for me to find out where she
gets them. No matter which way I go I will undoubtedly end up
footing the bill, since it is my eyes that are not seeing what she is
(office manager). I do have a bit of fun on some occasions when she
comes into the shop and says she can porosity in a shank, and I hand
her my loupe and say “show me where, please.” then I watch her
frustration when she can’t find what she was looking at. I mostly use
a set of drug store reading glasses in conjunction with my
"optivisor" but I fear this is probably making my eyesight worse.
Thanks for all of your input.

Tim


#7

Hey Tim,

What should I do besides throw my ring mandrel at the office
manager. 

I’ll bet several of us can feel your pain. I have a quality control
background; I worked many years as an inspector prior to becoming a
jeweler. People used as inspectors, but without training, have no
discrimination and so they find everything they see as a problem. In
inspection, if you’re spec shows ‘0.001’ tolerance, you cannot hold
a machined piece to a ‘0.0001’ standard. And so it is with jewelry.
Common sense spec tolerance on jewelry repairs is ‘eye-visible’. QC
inspection @ 10X for loose stones is fine, but should not include
surface finishes.

So, what I did was find a piece or two of new stock with quality
issues (split-lap over polish on side of a shank; melee set poorly,
etc.) and showed that to the person that was being overly
enthusiastic about their quality checks of my repair work. I then
explained that I can find a supposed ‘quality issue’ with anything
in the case if I looked hard enough, i.e., at high enough
magnification. This, on new product.

Then I explained the following: if it’s not eye visible, or if it is
and still presents well (like the new product) it’s not a quality
issue that we need to address. So we’re not going to send the new
product back, and we’re not going to hold my repair work to a
ridiculous standard. And we’re not going to waste everybody’s time
from now on. TIME IS MONEY at the bench. I’m the goldsmith - I’ll
send it out the door with the appropriate finish. I’m glad you are
inspecting for loose stones, because that can happen after a final
cleaning. Thank you.

I wouldn’t even deal with an office manager. If you have a shop
manager, let them handle this. If you don’t, hopefully the above
will work for you.

Good luck,
Pete


#8
I don't mind removing the "file marks" but if I can't even see them
with my loupe, then what's the point of examining the work with the
scope, and sending it back. 

There is always the option of a mix of grease and charcoal dust on
the rubber eye cups of the scope. Might be your last day working
there as the racoons chase you out the door, but you will be able to
smile.

jeffD
Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#9
I've too have been there and feel your frustration, it's best not
to screw up a good mandrel though. 
or that they have the sales personal use a 10 power loupe like you
are using. 

This is the reason we have standards. I put the top quote in because
I can say that, too…

The industry standard for inspection is 10x. Generally that standard
is 10x loupe and NOT scope. The optics of a good scope far surpass a
loupe, even at the same power. In any case, everybody in the chain
MUST use the same standard. That’s why they are called “standards”.
I doubt the guy is using 300x - maybe 60x, but he just has to stop.
You’ll never get anything done with a 60x inpection, not to mention
it’s ridiculously unnecessary.


#10

Jeff- Thanks for the “grease and charcoal dust”. It took both my
sweetie Tim, and me, down memory lane.

Back in the day when the old fashioned big black plastic encased
loop, (the kind that you hold with your eye socket), was used by both
metal smiths and sales people, the grease and charcoal dust trick was
a favorite prank. We once stole a candy bar from somebodys bench and
surgically removed the wrapper with a scalpel. We then made a
substitute with wood, setters shelac and chunks of old rubber wheels
for the “chocolate coated nuts”. It took us nearly the whole lunch
hour that he was gone to make it. We resealed it perfectly. It was
beautiful.

The invention of super glue changed our prank behavior. A guyd go to
lunch and come back to find all of his tools glued to the bench.

With lasers as the new technology… who knows where jewelers
pranks can go?

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer
www.timothywgreen.com


#11

when i worked for someone else that was overly picky i decided the
problem was with the person doing the inspecting, not the work.

i started leaving the finished jobs in my own work box instead of
placing them in the done box.

Pretty soon they came looking for the work (they always know what you
are working on and when you are working on it,) they wanted to know
the status knowing full well i had gotten the work done asked me
"what is this stuff still doing in your box ? " i said i wanted to
give it a day to have a second look & inspection with fresh eyes so
as not to waste thier time pointing out careless mistakes… after a
couple of weeks of this = the hazing stopped… go figure… i didnt
change but all of a sudden my work was magically good enough

goo


#12

Although we might use magnification greater than 10X in our work, I
was made to understand that the standard for grading was 10X. I’ve
always used this as my standard in the work I do as well, and
conversely, I would expect the same of others I deal with.

There has to be some line drawn that is within reason. On the other
hand, if someone is willing to pay for the time and effort it takes
to bring it to acceptable standards at 300X… hey, job security,
right?

Mike DeBurgh, GJG
Henderson, NV


#13
With lasers as the new technology...... who knows where jewelers
pranks can go? 

Oh…the mention of pranks takes me back…I was the only woman
polisher for a chain store…there were 5 of uspolishers (those were
the days!!!) The guys would wet a buff, put it on the spindle and
wait for me to turn on my polisher and get a face full of
water…fortunately for me I have a 6th sense on pranks and leaned to
the side when I turned on my machine…the 6th sense might have also
been due to the fact that they were all watching me turn it on. One
of the bad ones we did: We had a gorgeous huge peridot set in gold
ring come in and the boss was very insistent that the best polisher
work on it and to be very careful!!! and by golly the stone looked
like an apple flavored jolly rancher…so we crushed the candy and I
took it to the boss to tell him: "remember that peridot?.."
needless to say He flipped a bit and then almost crushed the
polishers but we got a good laugh… Another thing that would happen
is when it would get quiet and everybody was concentrating and
polishing like crazy…the head polisher would take a mallet and beat
on the metal dust collector and send us all into outspace!! Ahhh!
Those were the days.

Mary
Namaste


#14

Jeff,

There is always the option of a mix of grease and charcoal dust on
the rubber eye cups of the scope. Might be your last day working
there as the racoons chase you out the door, but you will be able
to smile. 

I am so glad someone else made this suggestion. It was the first
thing I thought of when I read the original poster’s problem.

That sort of nitpicking should result in something being thrown.
Most appropriately, the person doing it. Certainly you need to do
fine work, but if you can’t see something under normal
magnification, it may as well not be there unless it could cause
problems or damage to a stone.

Just my two cents.
Frank


#15

Timothy,

I mostly use a set of drug store reading glasses in conjunction
with my "optivisor" but I fear this is probably making my eyesight
worse. Thanks for all of your input. 

It IS indeed making your eyesight worse. If you do not need
corrective lenses, stop using the drug store reading glasses under
the visor.

What is happening here is that you have two magnifiers at an
undetermined distance from each other, and they are creating a focal
problem with your eyes. If it hasn’t already, it will eventually
lead to your needing corrective lenses.

A properly constructed multiple lens magnifier has each lens set at
the appropriate distance form each other with a very specific
contour in the lens. Sometimes this is to correct distortion, and
other times it is to increase the magnification. In either case,
because your two lenses are randomly separated your eyes attempt to
make up the difference. It will cause damage.

If you are having some problems, I honestly suggest a trip to the
eye doctor as soon as you can manage it. You only get one set of
eyes, and they are surprisingly delicate.

All the best,
Frank


#16
The invention of super glue changed our prank behavior. A guyd go
to lunch and come back to find all of his tools glued to the bench. 

My brother is a working mechanic at a dealship. One afternoon, he
went out for lunch. He locked his tool chest the same as every other
day.

He came back to discover that someone had drilled a hole in the back
of the chest, installed a greese nipple and pumped almost an entire
55 gallon drum of chasis greese into his tool chest.

It took us the better part of a week to clean it out. To this day he
is STILL finding greese in the strangest places.

On a side note, the guy responsible for the prank didn’t realize
what a mess he was about to make, and actually paid for the
materials and held to clean the tools and chest. We laugh about it
now, but it was a nightmare at the time.

On the subject of superglue, I have discovered that halloween is a
great time to be a locksmith. There are a lot of rotten people who
pour superglue in vehicle locks and even house locks. That stuff is
dangerous.

Frank