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Needing your help ☺️

Hi I’m new and pretty much self taught (self teaching) with the aid of YouTube etc…
Anyway, I pretty much need everything! I’m looking for a jewelers workbench, storage, crucibles, rolling-mill, gravers and I love the GRS equipment from what I’ve seen.
I just bought a smith silversmith torch with #3 and #5 tips and two melting (or burning tips?)new and used hoses, gauges,a vice, small table for a rolling mill and a dremel with a flex shaft.
Can anyone tell me exactly what I need as of now to actually get started? What tools and materials did I buy right now and can anyone tell me if someone has these second hand? Thank you in advance :grin::slight_smile:

jewelers workbench - Can be any fairly heavy bench table or self made piece. My original bench was an old picnic table that a tree fell on, then it was piece of shuffle board that my father gave me. The shuffle board is still my main bench.
storage - Try to incorporate the storage of frequently use tools into your bench. Otherwise look for a small set of drawers that you can keep nearby.
crucibles - Only if you plan on casting.
rolling-mill - work up to this purchase. Even then, buy an econo model to figure out of you really need it. You will eventually figure put that you need it and some casting equipment and then crave a Durston or Pepe.
gravers and I love the GRS equipment from what I’ve seen - Good to have but not when you are just starting out.
I just bought a smith silversmith torch with #3 and #5 tips and two melting (or burning tips?) - Your torch should reflect the size of the work that you plan on doing. If this is a Little Torch, great. The bigger Smith torch is for heavy duty work.
new and used hoses - Buy new hose and regulators.
gauges - Don’t know what you mean.
a vice - Important, look for a small 2" - 4" vise that can be securely mounted to your bench.
small table for a rolling mill - You need a heavy bench surface. This can be incorporated into a bigger bench that is used for other operations. Be careful about the height.
a dremel with a flex shaft - Yes, yes, yes…spend the money on a Foredom if you can.

You don’t mention hand tools - Pliers, files, picks, pickling, optics, lighting and whole lot more. These are the tools that you will use all the time.
You also don’t mention finishing other than a flex shaft. Think about a polishing lathe.

Look at pictures of other shops. The Bench Exchange is a good place to start. You can also look at my shop at my website www.robmeixner.com. Feel free to ask questions.

Please know that it doesn’t all happen at once. My shop represent nearly 50 years of work and many iterations. What you decide to make will also heavily drive what you have in your shop. The reverse is also true.

Others will likely chime in.

Good luck…Rob

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Saw frame and selection of blades. Clamp on bench pin, or GRS mount and bench pin depending on your bench.

Complete Metalsmith by Tim McCreight covers a lot of territory simply. The Student Edition, bound, $20.
http://www.brynmorgen.com/CMstudent.html.

$14.99 for the digital professional edition.http://www.brynmorgen.com/CMpro.html.

Professional Jewelry Making by Alan Revere covers a lot of territory in much greater depth, well worth having, as little as $9.99 for a digital version http://www.brynmorgen.com/PJM.html

Tutorials by Hans Meevis, many free. https://meevis.com/

Neil A

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I agree with the suggestions already given. I wouldn’t buy a lot of stuff right away. Just enough to get started. Complete Metalsmith is a great read and I would read it and a few other books…it is like reading cookbooks…once you look at enough recipes, you start to see the similiarities and can design your own. There are loads of books on jewelry making at your local library and most of them have simple projects in them. They teach the use of a jeweler’s saw and soldering and finishing. So you need some needle files, even a cheap set would do for starters, some grades of emery paper, a good jeweler’s saw (I like the Swiis model, easier to clamp and just a little more than a basic saw), some silver and silver solder, and any kind of torch…it could be one of the small butane torches or even a standard propane torch that screws onto a 1 lb can.
If you want to see what can be done with very simple tools, get the W. Ben Hunt on Indian silverwork. I think you can work with a bench pin that clamps on a table for starters. I’d make some stuff and see how I liked it before becoming a tool junkie.
Yes, look on here to see what a complete bench or workshop looks like, but realize many of these took years to take shape. Haunt ebay and your local craigslist looking for torches, benches and rolling mills. Your first big purchase, I agree with Rob, should be some kind of dremel or better yet, a Foredom or similar. Even a Chinese knock off.
Bench is only necessary if you are making a lot of stuff and have room. Rolling mill is for later, at first just order what you need in the gauges you need it. Many projects can be made with the simple $25 or less butane torch. Only casting and big stuff needs something more. Gravers are for later. Files do all the setting work and other things, at first.
From what you mentioned, you already have a torch, a vice, a table and a dremel. Maybe you need a bench pin that can be clamped to the table…a slightly more expensive one has a small anvil attached for hammering…get some small jewelry type hammers. Harbor Freight has some small hammers with multiple heads that can be screwed on. You need the jeweler’s saw. Perhaps some blue, pink, black and white silicone polishing wheels for the dremel in various shapes and the mandrels for them. The sandpaper…maybe some rouge and tripoli and some small wheels for the dremel to use that (altho’ the silicone wheels will do all the polishing. Some silver and solder. If you look at some projects in the books there is usually a materials list…if you follow the stepsfor the project mentally you will see if there’s anything you’ve forgotten. You don’t want to make big purchases now and find out you got the wrong rolling mill or the wrong bench and have to find a buyer for them at a loss. HTH, -royjohn

Is it possible to take an adult enrichment course at a local campus, high school, craft co-op? If you can you will likely have all the tools you are asking about and you can try them out and see what you need or are most likely to use. Rob and I both think of a rolling mill as a required subject in our shops. But our Dad never owned one to my knowledge in 55 years, more or less, of smithing.

Any good ball peen hammer will work if the weight suits you and the surfaces are well polished. Less than $10.00 gets set of 6 stainless tweezers at harbor Freight. Two of which are overlock tweezers. My pickle pot is a small crock pot from a lawn sale. Rob and I use sections of train rail for anvils. Some are ground smooth while at least one in each shop has patterning grooves of various shapes.

Tim McCreight has a great book on Metalsmithing with bench plans.

I wouldn’t “Go Cheap” on some tools. A Foredom Flex shaft and Swiss files are some. Durston is the workhorse of rolling mills but Pepe makes a decent tool as well. Baldor polishing lathes are great.

The point is you don’t have to search very far for a tool that will do the job. very often, tools purchased for just temporary have a 50 year life time.

Don Meixner

In a thrift shop I found an old half round writing desk with massive legs, which makes an ideal workbench with everything at hand. $45 cost, plus $50 for a mover!