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Miland's Synclastic pliers?


#1

These things are so expensive and as far as I can tell, aren’t
particularly flexible (eg limited in the size of bangle or whatever
you can run through them)

For the money, would I be better of getting a couple of mini-stakes
and a hammer? Or would it take more than that to be able to form a
few bracelets?

Also, many would be woven or braided, so I don’t really want to be
whacking them out of shape when I’m trying to whack them INTO shape.
For something like that, could I manage OK with a little practice
with typical forming tools, or would these pliers really be the
better solution for this type of work?

Sojourner


#2

Hello Zen ,

Miland’s forming pliers are indeed limited to specific purposes and
are a bit pricey. BUT, the results are so speedy in comparison to
the mallet and forming tools. I recovered the price of the pliers
with the sale of the first synclastic bracelet I made… not bad.

No association with Miland, just a pleased customer… etc.

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Judy in Kansas


#3
    Miland's forming pliers are indeed limited to specific
purposes and are a bit pricey.  BUT, the results are so speedy in
comparison to the mallet and forming tools.  I recovered the price
of the pliers with the sale of the first synclastic bracelet I
made... not bad. 

Alrighty, then. I’m sort of enamored of actual silversmithing so I
guess I was looking for an excuse to get equipment I don’t really
know how to use yet.

Do you have any recommendations regarding which of the different
sizes you have found to be MOST useful in your work? Is it difficult
to make one plier work for several different widths of metal?

There’s no way I can afford the whole set. I’d appreciate any
advice that would help me maximize the utility and minimize my
immediate outlay…

Thanks.
Sojourner


#4

Re: comments that Miland’s pliers are expensive.

I seem to recall a lengthy discussion on Orchid a while back about
outsourcing, stuff made overseas, the evils of Walmart, supporting
local businesses, etc.

I also recall many many discussions bemoaning how hard it is to
convince customers or retailers of the value of our work - ie, the
right to charge a fair price for great work.

Miland makes these well-made tools in the U.S., and when you factor
in how specialty they are, they seem like a bargain to me.

After saving a couple of hours in fabrication time for a bunch of
production-line bangles, they paid themselves back in just a few
minutes AND increase the profit margin by a deliciously obscene
amount. Go Miland!

Roseann


#5
    I seem to recall a lengthy discussion on Orchid a while back
about outsourcing, stuff made overseas, the evils of Walmart,
supporting local businesses, etc. 

Oddly enough, I don’t recall saying I wanted to buy cheaper pliers
made overseas. I asked if it mightn’t be a better investment of my
resources to buy actual stakes and hammers and do the forging
myself.

But if you have any about which pliers it would be most
cost effective to invest in, I’d be glad to hear it. My resources
are extremely limited and I would very much like to make them stretch
as far as possible.

Sojourner


#6

Hi Sojourner -

I don’t think you originated this post, did you? The original post
called them “pricey” and asked for cheaper alternatives.

I think stakes and hammers are better, frankly, but equally as
expensive or actually more so - for production work. That’s what I
think Miland’s pliers are great for, when you’re cranking out the
same or similar items and need to move quickly. They only work well
for thinner pieces anyway. Nothing beats the art and skill of stake
work!

I am not sure there are many more folks who are on a more limited
budget than I am–and it sounds like you are-- and I think long and
hard before any purchase over $30, frankly!

Roseann


#7

Yup, I did originate the posting, and I did call them pricey. I know
good stakes and hammers are also pricey, but thought they might be
more versatile, since that’s where I’m headed (actual silversmithing)
eventually on down the road.

I tend not to skimp on tool quality (I’m building my own house and
its paid off NOT to buy cheapjack tools), but I also tend not to
prefer to buy tools that are of limited use when there’s a more
versatile alternative. It’s bang for the buck I’m looking for.

On the other hand, I haven’t learned proper forging techniques. On
the other other hand, I intend to eventually. It’s just tough to know
and its tough to make myself spend the money.

Sojourner


#8

Milands tools are well worth the money.

I was able to do a synclastic/anticlastic hollowform bracelet in a
few hours with milands tools; I am probably 5 years away from being
able to do that with a hammer (I have over 35 hammers in my
collection),or at least it would take 12 hours in probably 5
sittings with hammers, and would not have the smooth, even look I
achieved with milands tools.

The guy is a genious.

And he happens to be a nice guy to boot.

Mark Zirinsky, Denver
35 years gem cutting /metal working