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Most Desired Tools


#1

To all Orchid Members:

We are looking to compile a list of the most desired tools that have
not been invented yet. This is an effort for us to see what we can do
to start chipping away at the list. We can’t make any promises but
maybe something unique and useful will come out of this project.

We would be greatful if you have any opinions or ideas. Please let
us know via this forum or you can e-mail direct at
mmckinnon@whitneyworld.com

Michael McKinnon
Whitney Worldwide Artist’s Reservoir
www.whitneyworld.com/jewelry


#2
We are looking to compile a list of the most desired tools that
have not been invented yet.

I think this has been covered here before, but there is one that
seems easy yet isn’t really out there, and that is a burr like a cup
bur but which puts a sharp point on a wire.

Noel


#3

Hi Michael,

We are looking to compile a list of the most desired tools that
have not been invented yet. 

There was a thread on Orchid not all that long ago on this subject.
Check the Archives for “Things I’d like to see invented or produced”.

https://orchid.ganoksin.com/t/things-id-like-to-see-invented-or-produced

Anyway, one tool at the top of my wishlist (and that of several
other Orchidians) was something analogous to a pencil sharpener for
pin stems! Check the thread above for the full discussion.

Beth


#4

I want a wire sharpener for tapering the end of a wire before
drawing through the drawplate. I resent the time it takes by
hammering and filing to sharpen and resharpen broken or damaged
points, specially on the smaller diameter wires.

I am thinking of a pencil sharpener, the bench mounted type with a
handle, a small device that will form a nice long taper on any
diameter from 0.3mm to 3mm, and work-harden the point during the
process.

Alastair


#5
I want a wire sharpener for tapering the end of a wire before
drawing through the drawplate. 

Under the heading of “Take your triumphs where you find them”, I
want to mention how pleased I feel, in a petty way, that the tool I
first brought up in the thread about “Things I’d like to see
invented” is something that three of us jumped on immediately when
asked for “most desired tools”. Does this show a general lack of
more worthwhile satisfaction in my diet? Oh, well, it’s chilly and
rainy and I needed a little boost, so, thanks!

Noel


#6
I am thinking of a pencil sharpener, the bench mounted type with a
handle, a small device that will form a nice long taper on any
diameter from 0.3mm to 3mm, and work-harden the point during the
process. 

Alastair, maybe you could simplify it a bit. A tapered 2 piece die
you would place the end of your wire in, and then whack it with an
appropriate weight of hammer, or just smush it in the vise. It might
work for several sizes, and if made from case hardened steel, or
something like that, it might last a long time.

Just a thought.


#7

G’day

When wanting to draw sterling or fine silver wire one needs a tapered
point on the wire end with the narrowest being several sizes smaller
than the hole in the first draw die. I used a good low voltage DC
power source capable of delivering up to 10 amps, with the positive
lead attached to the wire to be drawn. The negative lead was attached
to a piece of scrap stainless steel. I was able to use a solution of
potassium cyanide as an electrolyte, but think dilute nitric acid
would also work or even a solution of a nitrate salt. Dip the wire
end into the liquid for the length of the point needed, then move it
up and down slowly so the wire end spends most time in the liquid.
This way you control the dimensions of the point accurately, and the
silver does not become work hardened, as with hammering or filing.
One is simply plating off or etching the silver gradually over the
length required. A work hard point breaks off under the stress of
drawing too easily. I used this method for years, and it took only a
few minutes to point a wire. Even strong nitric acid would taper wire
used in this fashion without an electric current. But the point would
need to be rinsed. I think a pointing machine would be difficult to
design, and might be costly, and the point produced be too hard by
the abrasive method used.

Cheers for now,
John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua, Nelson NZ


#8

Hi Alastair

I want a wire sharpener for tapering the end of a wire before
drawing through the drawplate. 

Try taking a cutting disk mandrel for the Foredom, Dremel or what
have you and mounting two disks of emery paper face to face instead
of the cutting disk. If you now set it running and hold the end of
your wire between the spinning disks, rotating it in your fingers as
you do so, you can taper the end without too much trouble.

Ian
Ian W. Wright
Sheffield UK


#9

I’ve thought about this type of thing before. I did find on the net,
a fish hook sharpener tool but haven’t had time to find one and play
with it. Also there are some nice clamps at Outdoor World which are
used to make those fancy lures (I’m not an expert so excuse my
ignorance if I’m using the wrong terms). These clamps articulate any
which way and would probably be really nice for wax carving.

Stanley Bright
A&M Jewelers
Baltimore, MD


#10
I want a wire sharpener for tapering the end of a wire I am
thinking of a pencil sharpener, the bench mounted type with
handle, a small device that will form a nice long taper on any
diameter from 0.3mm to 3mm, and work-harden the point during >the
process.

Me too!! I remember the pin-back discussion some time ago, but don’t
remember anyone having a definitive answer. I’m making some hoop
earrings out of wire, and want to taper one end without all the
filing and careful grinding required.

Allan Mason
www.silvermason.com


#11

Hi Beth,

Assuming you want to point a pin stem before it’s affixed to the
item it’s being made for here’s a fast easy way to put point on wires
or rods.

It takes a pin vise & a grinding wheel.

  1. Put the wire/rod in the pin vise with a little more than the
    length to be tapered protruding from it.

  2. Start your grinder. If needed, a cuttoff wheel in a flexshaft
    would probably work. You’d just have to use the side of the wheel,
    not the circumference.

  3. Hold the pin vise so the wire/rod contacts the grinding wheel at
    a very flat angle.

  4. While holding the wire/rod against the wheel, keep continuously
    turing the pin vise so the wire/rod doesn’t stay in one place on the
    wheel.

Depending on the finish you want, you can finish the wire/rod end on
a piece of crocus cloth.

Dave


#12

A quick operating holder for the flexshaft when bur installed. Right
now I’m channel setting some 1 mm diamonds and I’m down to one bur
the correct size, if I just let the tool hang down I run the risk of
breaking the tiny, fragile head of the hart bur. So its cut some
seats, remove tool cut seats remove tool yada yada. Deadline is
tomorrow and I have three bands to set, no time to order more burs.
So why did I stop to write this? Stress relief!


#13

To taper pins, I put the pin in a pin vise, then chuck the pin vise
into my cordless drill. The pin vise I use is the double-ended type
where one end can be removed, exposing the threaded part, which is
the only way it will fit in the drill’s chuck. Once in the drill, the
pin may be spun against a sharpening stone, sandpaper, etc. I’ve also
spun it between rotating sandpaper discs (face-to-face) in the
Foredom. This second method is a bit tricky at first, but not
impossible.

James S. Duncan, G.G.
James in SoFL


#14

The method that I was shown to reduce the diameter of a piece of
wire/ tube before inserting it into a draw plate was to crush the
first few inches in the wire section of the rolling mill. Its much
quicker than trying to file a taper on the wire and will last for the
complete drawing process provided you make the initial crushed taper
smaller than the target size. Cut the crushed end of when finnished.

regards
mike kersley


#15

Hi Stanley,

I've thought about this type of thing before. I did find on the
net, a fish hook sharpener tool but haven't had time to find one
and play with it. 

The last time we discussed this on Orchid, the same fish hook
sharpener tool came up. I ordered one, tried it and found it didn’t
work for pin stems. Plus it’s a poorly made tool. Save your money.

Beth


#16

You know, Neil the Jeweler has a good idea: “A quick operating holder
for the flexshaft when bur installed.”

Why not a cap/cover that could be snapped on over the collet end of
the hand piece and protect the bur. (Rather like the caps that are
placed over gas bottles while they are being transported.)

The other take on a protective cover, would be a stationery tube
mounted at an angle so that the hand piece could be inserted and left
in place until the next use. The tube would need some sort of inner
ring that would prevent the hand piece from slipping down. Locating
the tube would have to be carefully thought through by each jeweler
so that the flex shaft wasn’t bowed out and in the way.

I think I’m going to try the tube. Thanks for the thought, Neil.

Judy in Kansas, where it’s an “absobluminitley” lovely day - should
be outside!


#17
A quick operating holder for the flexshaft when bur installed...if
I just let the tool hang down I run the risk of breaking the tiny,
fragile head of the hart bur. 

I experienced the same headache, only I was breaking tiny drill
bits. Finally got mad enough to modify my bench.

I installed a C-shaped broom clamp on the right hand side (I’m right
handed) of the C cutout of my bench. The C-shaped broom clamp/tool
holder is something I found at a local hardware store. It’s a strip
of springy steel bent into a C profile which turns in on both inside
ends of the C for extra spring and smooth, easy entry/exit of the
broom, tool, or in my case, flexshaft handpiece. When I’m doing
flex-shaft work but need to pause, I simply slap the handpiece into
the clamp. I positioned it so cutoff wheels, drill bits, whatever are
safe from breakage. My philosophy is make the bench fit myself, not
the other way around. Anybody wants a photo, let me know.

John


#18

i’d like a press i can put a piece of fairly heavy rectangular stock
into ( about 2 1/2 mmx3mm or thicker annealed stock ) and pull a
lever with a gear ratio of about 4:1 or better and have it azured
for me when i remove it…that would be a great help.

And because i have solar and hydro power - more tools that don’t
require electricity, yet are as handy as say the gravermax! It would
be delightful to have tools that i don’t have to choose between
using on a snowy day when the panels are covered and the hydro is
frozen, and being able to have electricity without having to foray
out in the below zero cold at night to turn on a generator!

while that is perhaps a less common problem to most, i’d also love a
device that forces metal,gem, etc.,particles and smoke fumes to the
floor, or otherwise out of the air through some ion bonding process
than an air filtration system that keeps them suspended in the
atmosphere and constantly passing through near & around my nose and
eyes, and into my lungs before being removed/filtered out of the
studio.


#19
  1. I’d like to have a titanium grate for soldering. Right now I use
    little “L” shapes made of 16 gauge titanium, cut in 6mm widths. All
    the steel grates are huge heat sinks. Titanium doesn’t absorb the
    heat and you can’t accidentally solder to it. A fine grate would be
    especially nice for soldering argentium sterling.

  2. Even more than that, I’d like to have weights to temporarily hold
    stuff in place while soldering. What I’m thinking of is something
    like you use when welding, only there you use magnets. If the
    weights were zirconia ceramic with a zigzag edge, they wouldn’t draw
    too much heat, or the weight could have a loop of titanium that you
    positioned your soldering against.

  3. How about a spindle that holds the 3M bristle disks in a manner
    similar to a Geni lapidary tool. Mounted horizontally, you could
    hold your work with both hands and move from one to the next without
    remounting a bristle disk on a tapered mandrel. The spindle would
    have to be supported on both ends, with the disks separated by at
    least an inch. I have a couple of them mounted on one side of the
    little Loretone desktop lathe, but it doesn’t have enough power to
    spin 6 at a time.

  4. How about really inexpensive soldering boards that you can discard
    when they load up with glassy flux?

  5. Or a soldering board that actually sheds the glassy flux when
    bathed in water?

As you can deduce from this list, most of my work is direct metal
fabrication. I try to avoid ever heating the work from the top
because I’m putting lots of bittsy pieces into a soldered mosaic.

When teaching beginning students, it would be really useful to have
something for them to put their work on that isn’t a heat sink. Most
of them don’t have the dexterity to pick up the piece being soldered
with one hand and hold the torch with the other to heat from below.

Judy Hoch


#20

I want a set drill bits that drill square holes!

Ray