Tool time

To All: I would like to start a new thread on some great deals &
unique tools I have come cross. If I could, I would purchase a whole
bunch and resell them to all you folks out there, but alas I don’t
want to get into the tool selling business. I have no stake in any of
these items I will tell you about. Some item are really from some
obscure sources. I will also tell you about some of the things I have

Tool time for this week. I found a source for plastic metric dial
calipers with a great price. This is a tool used for measuring stones
within a tenth of a millimeter. I also use them for measuring the
metric thickness of sheet metal. The all metal units go for between
$50.00 and $200.00 for good ones. This unit is from Model Expo at The stock number is PQ150 and the price is
$9.95. I have seen this plastic one for as much as $30.00. If you
decide to bite for the all metal digital caliper make sure you get
one with an on / off button. Other wise you need to change the
batteries way too often. The ones with the on / off button are also
always more expensive, but worth it. They also usually have a thumb
roller which is also on the more expensive ones which measure to a
thousandth of an inch or hundredth of a millimeter.

I LOVE jewelry tools. I never stop buying myself a new toy and
jewelry tools are my adult toys. Sorry to some of our international
friends, but I really know of only North American sources with the
merchandise sold in dollars.

If any of you remember my search for a height gage that looked like a
tall salt shaker, I found one and it is on my office desk. I’m happy
as can be I play with it everyday!

All the Best,
Todd Hawkinson,
TR the Teacher

Dear John & all,

I found even a less expensive dial caliper at Harbor Freight
yesterday. The number is 42317-OHKH and price is $7.99. The unit
measures in both inches and millimeters. I do have some metal digital
and non digital calipers that are excellent tools, however, I also
use the plastic ones as wax measuring gages for more delicate work
that I don’t want to scratch. I have also used them for measuring a
more delicate stone like an opal or peridot. The metal digital ones I
usually use on all metal projects. Also I seem to beat up my tools in
my work frenzy and I’m not quite so concerned about the plastic ones.
I also misplace them once in a while so having three or four at
different locations helps minimize my “look for the lost tool” time.
I think a lot of jewelers have never used expensive measuring tools
for our work. This plastic one will introduce them to measuring with
closer tolerances and yet not cost a fortune.

Tool time for this week is also from Harbor Freight. The catalog I
receive yesterday had three items worth sharing. The first is a small
set of 12 needle files. Not the best mind you but the cost is only
$1.99 for the 12. You could use them and throw them out when you are
done at that price. I have used these and they for most applications
work fine. The number is 000468-1HKB.

The second product is for anyone doing plating or working with
chemicals. They sell a nitrile work glove that protects the hands
from the vapors produced while plating. Some plating baths need to be
hot and exhausted. As you plate your hands reach over the fumes and
are exposed to these chemicals. These gloves will last longer than
dish washing gloves and be reusable also. A must for any plating
operation. 100 pack comes is three sizes . Med. - #37050-OHKH
Large - #37051-OHKH X Large - #37051-OHKH all $11.00.

The last item on Tool Time this a week is a set of files & rasps.
This is a set of 12 wood workers files I use for wax carving. In fact
I have purchased several of these sets for my own shop as well as
school. They don’t work for beans on metal, but are great for wax
carving. Like any file they will wear out clinking next to one
another before they will wear out working on wax so you can store
them in the plastic pouch they come in, or you can make a gun
slingers holster cris crossing your chest for easy access. (yea
sure!) Or if you are like me, and I know I am, throw them into the
file drawer and use them as you need. Then, beat them up and then buy
some new ones. The number is 00924-1HKH for $9.99.

Harbor Freight has a free catalog. Once you start getting them
they’ll never stop sending them. They have a toll free number.
800-423-2567 Address is 3491 Mission Oaks Blvd., P.O. box 6019
Camarillo CA 93011-6010 U.S.A. I think their web address is

Again I get not a cent for selling these folks tools but I sure wish
I did.

All my best regards,

TR the Teacher
Todd Hawkinson