Personally I would just love a list of tools that a beginner
should invest in.
Ask and ye shall receive. Here’s my list that I wrote up for
students, since it’s a question I get a lot. This is just my opinion,
others may suggest other tools.
Beginning Tool kit for Metalsmithing
by Elaine D. Luther - All Rights Reserved
Beginning metalsmithing students often ask me, what’s the minimum
amount of tools I need to get started? What should I buy and
where? The choices are overwhelming, so I’ve written this short,
easy to understand (I hope) list.
Propane only torch with short hose, from home center Handy or
Batterns flux (I prefer Batterns)
Sparex pickle and glass or ceramic container, preferably with lid,
to put it in (Spa Down may be used instead of Sparex);
Copper or bamboo tongs for pickle Charcoal or magnesia block
Tweezers with wooden handle
Quality sawframe (German made, for example) “Bench pin with
V-slot,” the kind that clamps on to your table
Sawblades - Herkules brand quality or better, size 2/3 or 3/0
Beeswax or Bur Life for lubricating saw blade.
Sandpaper: black wet/dry sandpaper from the hardware store Grits:
180, 320, 400, 600 1500 grit is available from some auto supply
Nice, but optional: 3M sanding pads, 3M polishing papers
Pliers, Hand tools:
Needle nose pliers (aka chain nose)
Round-round nose pliers
Flat nose pliers
Raw Hide Mallet
Ball pien hammer
Flexible Shaft Machine*
Foredom CC Flex Shaft system
Mandrels, grinding and polishing wheels
Cheaper choice: buy a not-a-name-brand flex shaft from
Tumbler [ Optional, or, plan to get one later.]
“Rio Grande Mini Rotary Tumbler” plus media, such as stainless
steel shot. This is the little red tumbler sold elsewhere as the
Cheaper choice: check out discount tool supplier Harbor Freight.
The quality is not as high, but the prices sure are low.
Where to buy:
http://www.RioGrande.com, request a Tools and Equipment catalog.
They have everything you need, in an easy to shop, educational
There are also other choices, you can find them via ads in your
favorite jewelry magazines or by checking the listings at
Where to find Elaine Luther:
You may visit me on the web at
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay