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My small bench


Hi Gerry,
It must have been many years ago, back in rec.crafts.jewelery
news group days when I challenged someone about just this subject.
When is information free and when is it not?Unfortunately, your comment is far to simplistic .
Knowhow, thats in the PUBLIC domain, books, videos etc, should be free if someone wishes to give it away. You just pay to have it printed out for you. Your share and learn applies in such a case.
Then there are schools like De Veere? and many others here who run seminars which you have to PAY to attend, who charge for this otherwise FREE information.
Then there were traditional apprenticships where parents paid the master to take on a young person for 7 yrs to teach them the mysteries of the trade.
That therefore in my view, is all well and good.
However, you cant be seriously saying that ALL knowhow, should be free, Are you?
IF! someone or business or Co, has developed an idea, or technique or process or formula to do something better or cheaper or something never done before that gives them a commercial advantage , that they should give it away for FREE?
Thats cloud cookoo land, if you believe that.
On a personal level, Ive techniques that fall into this latter category that give me a commercial advantage over every one
else I wouldnt dream of giving them away, nor sell them,
You tell me why I should?



IMHO you or anyone for that matter should ONLYdo what they are comfortable with. However you seem to advocate the model of servitude that existed during the renaissance. The purpose that @gerrylewy18 has been proposing does not fall into that category but rather a category you seem to be oblivious toward, the promotion of a craft that may not have a bright future without the gerrys’ of this forum.

As an individual who does not compete with you since I’m in it for the challenge and self satisfaction I would like to say Thanks to all who freely share their expertise. And I’ll say thanks in advance to those who refrain from sharing for any reason. IT HELPS MINIMIZE THE CLUTTER. All I ask is “If You Can’t Say Something Nice Don’t Say Nuthing At All”. As for me, I will continue to work toward a community arts center here in Rockwall Texas to increase the awareness of all the visual arts.

Respectfully submitted as one opinion. Thanks to Ganoksin and Orchid for providing me a venue to learn.

Regards RLW


This thread has gone off topic.
A professional gets paid for providing knowledge and service, even if they sub out
to someone who does the work.
What I believe was said, in context, was advice for someone to provide the service and
getting paid instead of referring the customer to someone.
I had a store, I had people who I sent work to, they did wholesale setting, lapidary, CAD-CAM.
I would not, and could not send customers to the people I worked with, they did not work
with the public.
Gerry teaches classes, he charges…he gives essays and setting notes for free…he is
not teaching hands on setting classes for free.
As if some people who have been in the jewelry industry, mainly the small
independents, are not having a hard enough time surviving the Internet and Costco.
When I had my store, I noticed dentists and auto mechanics charged estimates and
for services that my customer were surprised that I wanted to charge for.
It was only for skill and knowledge I acquired, and it was just for working on sentimental
gold and diamonds…


Gerry & Ted,

Share & learn is where I come from too.

The social, economic order that we live under is a money based one. It has evolved under the influence of human nature.
I have wondered over time is there another way to relate, so people can share and assist with less friction.

A few years back a friend asked would I help him add an addition to his house ?
He was in the direction of paying me. My thought was, I will gladly lend a hand, but not for money, just for the agreement that if I ever need some one to pitch in and help me, could I count on him ?
His answer was " of course " so with this agreement, we built his addition, we had a fine time doing the work, the experiance enhanced our friendship too.
Then when I needed help, he was there for me as well.
No money every changed hands, though his wife often provided lunch, sometimes dinner too.

Realistically on a grand scale could this work?
Could we in effect rise above human nature and do things differently ?
Could cloud cookoo land become a reality ?
I myself seriously doubt it, but I just recently have become aware that there is a group and a perhaps a growing movment, that is actively promoting just this, describing it as a “resource based economy”.

Here is a link to possibly some interesting reading,

Seth, I hope that this diversion from jewelry making is acceptable, because it relates to the overall scheme of relating, of which jewelery making is just one small part.



Now here’s a thought to put the cat among the pigeons.

In answer to “How do you do that?” an artist might say “Come round to my studio and I’ll show you.” but a craftsman just winks and says “Ah! Wouldn’t you like to know!"

Tony Konrath


@vladimirfrater, maybe you have forgotten the beginning of this disagreement on a different thread. This is how it evolved:

The original poster could not provide a service to a customer, and was asking our forum members for referrals.

A forum member shared the contact information of someone who could do the job.

Another forum member admonished that forum member, saying he should charge for that referral instead of giving it away for free.

Then this discussion ensued regarding how that kind of attitude is the antithesis of the purpose of this forum.

In other words, do not tell another forum member not to give away knowledge for free.


I am in no way suggesting you should give away ideas.

On a non-personal level, when some one is exposed to another persons idea
and then improves it , that is pure progress.
An example of human interaction at it’s best.
People working together in this way brings every one to a higher level.
Holding back ideas holds back & gets in the way of progress.
Perhaps in a different economic system you might enjoy giving your ideas
and techniques to other people to take further.

Now on a personal level, when some one takes my idea and improves on it, I
am thrilled, not threatened.
Of course I also acknowledge that I am retired, not in a competitive
business market.



Hi Betty,
AH!! The feminine touch!. when I read Gerry’s post, it didnt make sense when I clicked on topic, Read that in full, nothing there as you described, and replied as you read.
Your explanation resolves what I didnt know about.
And all of those who bothered to respond, can now rest assured there was this post on the small work bench topic appears to be misplaced.
Im interested in workplaces that process metals so that why I follow these threads.
Matter resolved,
Thanks Betty.


I think that often one persons approach and techniques doesn’t necessarily work for others. You get four good craftspeople together over beers and you find four different methods for each task. The joke with one of my friends is after one of us explains how we did something the other one pauses and says…well, that’s one way of doin’ it.

I’m just saying that although I believe that we should automatically share our experience with others, I’m just not sure it’s all that helpful.


That post got sidetracked. Sorry if I put out another post that didn’t belong to the original! Travelling as I just did, my posting did get off topic!

Gerry! On my Travelling iPhone!



Weather it is helpful or not who can say ?
I do not like to struggle, i don’t like to see other people struggle either.
True struggling in its self can be full of learning, but at the same time it is good to bring newbies up to speed quickly too.
That is part of what Orchid is about. Just put it out there, any one can make use of it that is great.
Over time my approach to ring making has evolved.
I’m a crafts person, this is how i do it.

The soldered ring blank is the widest width need for the ring of the moment.
Then I saw it down to a rough profile.
This is what i use.
The ring vise is home made, as is the jig to hold it and that goes where my bench pin was.
The pictures should explain it all.
If not, i am happy to answer questions and be of help


@woodpath2 , What did you use for the mouth opening of your vacuum hose?


It is an adapter to go from the 2 inch hose to 4 inch duct.
If you can’t find it this PVC fitting would work :
With a piece of 2 inch pipe cut to length and a coupling on the end to fit the hose in to.
As an off shoot i have had much success with this product it is tough and sticks to anything even most plastics and PVC


Betty Hi again, this adapter would work too, if you want a larger opening to work in to, it is 2 x 6 inch


Hello Orchid,
Just some more stuff from my bench that might be useful.
This tool modification might work for those just starting out.

Take standard cross lock tweezers, lift the arms over each other to spread them apart. Cut the tips back, then bend the tips slightly away from each other. This helps them to grip.
Both large bezels & small can be held conveniently when being worked on.
Even useful when applying patina to a ring.

Very low cost and makes working a little easier.



Some how the picture with my hands uploaded upside down.


Hi Mike,.

Are those tweezers from Harbor Fright? I buy four or five packs from there every year and just burn them up.

Actually they aren’t bad quality and not expensive.

Don Meixner

Sent from my Verizon 4G LTE Droid


Can I ask, to clarify, if the changed tweezers now spring outward instead
of spring closed?

I am slow but am trying to understand how they work.

Sharron… in cold, now, central Mexico


Got them from Rio.


Yes, you got it right, that’s how they hold bezels from the inside.