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Upcoming MJSA Journal Articles


#1

Hi!

I’m working on a couple of articles for an upcoming issue of MJSA
Journal, and I was looking for jewelers with stories to share. I’m
specifically interested in speaking with jewelers regarding:

  • Jeweler’s Favorite Tools

Do you have a favorite tool? If so, what is it and why do you love
it so? What makes it so special that it qualifies as your favorite
tool?

  • Something Borrowed

Have you adapted a tool or technology from another industry and put
it to work at your bench or in your shop? If so, what is it, how did
you discover it, and what does it allow you to do?

If you have stories you’d like to share on either of these topics,
pleaselet me know by Monday, July 20. If you have any questions or
concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Best regards,
Shawna Kulpa
Editor, MJSA Journal


#2

Hi Shawna,

- Jeweler’s Favorite Tools:

My small Delrin hammer. Generally when I’m at the point in a project
where I’m reaching for it to make an adjustment or such the job is
in a happy place and almost completed. Metaphorically speaking, it
is a good friend.

For REAL action I am smitten with my Smith torch. It can take me
lots of places in achieving metal forms, coloration and surface
finishes beyond that of soldering and melting… pretty much like a
magic wand with a red hose trailing behind.

My muscular Durston 100mm Combo Rolling Mill is accepting of all
comers. In with the drab or ugly and out with the shapely and
elegantly refined. It even likes to produced surprises uniquely the
result of marrying metal to organic material surface patterns. Cool
beans!

- Something Borrowed:

Occasionally I wonder if I might be nuevo neolithic in my tool
making habits. I don’t generally work with flint or antlers, but the
appeal of a throw away, purposely made for a quick need tool looms
large. Duct tape and zip ties have their place in a tool box for
quick fixes, but plexiglass and high density polymer scraps can be
great additions to metal forming tools.

For some special surface finishes I will use cabinet scrapers from
the wood working industry.

Ophthalmologist surgical scissors work great for cutting gold foil.

Box cutter blades make miniature shears for thin pieces of metal.
tap with a brass hammer.

A glaze mouth sprayer typically used by ceramists is already for
anti-ox application prior to soldering.

Cheap hammers, auto repair hammers can be modified for a job.

The list goes on. Sometimes there are repeat uses.

All the best,
j

J Collier Metalsmith
jlcollier.com


#3

Shawna,

Looking forward to the article…

Here are photos of my contribution:

My Go-To tool is my little miter box. Could not file a straight line
without it! It was affordable and is very well made and just fits in
my hand.

My “borrowed” tools are an antique flower frog for all my scribes
and small tools, and, letter holders from an office supply store to
serve as racks for my pliers. Very handy and real space savers on
the bench.

Hope you can use these ideas.



Regards,
Susan H. Maxon
Honors Gran Jewelry


#4

Hi Shawna

I have a whole system of quick changeable fittings that clamp onto
my grs ring clamp. Makes things very fast to change out tools for
bench jewelers. I have pics and vids. One is for heat like retipping
and one for engaving.

Don’t let me guilt you into using this but that last little blurb
about the flux from me you did call me a girl in print. :wink: Don’t
worry I got over it.


#5

Hi,

On the topic of something borrowed from another industry how about
cooking? Beyond the ubiquitous crock pot-The Infrared/Laser
thermometer for BBQ, melting sugar etc. Accurate from freezing up to
1000 degrees Fahrenheit. About fifty bucks for the model I got, the
Maverick. The laser is just for aiming, that way you know exactly
whats being measured.

Good for checking the oven temperature through /most/ of the range
to verify oven pyrometer/controls. Also great for getting the quench
timing just right for any cast metal. That’s critical on 18k rose
and white golds. Both quite popular right? So many things work best
at the right temperature. Hot pickle, ultrasonic solutions. Lunch!

Amazon link

Thanks for asking.
Daniel Ballard


#6
On the topic of something borrowed from another industry how about
cooking? Beyond the ubiquitous crock pot-The Infrared/Laser
thermometer for BBQ, melting sugar etc. Accurate from freezing up
to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. About fifty bucks for the model I got,
the Maverick. The laser is just for aiming, that way you know
exactly whats being measured. 

The little hand held IR thermometers are next to useless for metals.
They will lie to you all day long. They can be off by hundreds of
degrees. The reasons for this are complex but as a quick summary.
All objects radiate some Infra Red light how much and at what part
of the spectrum of IR depends on the material the temperature of the
material and the surface condition/finish of the material. The
amount of IR light at a given temperature from an object is compared
to an ideal “Black Body Radiator” which would be a perfect radiator
of IR but doesn’t exist. The amount of light an object radiates is
expressed as its emissivity which is a fraction of that perfect
Black Body written in decimal form. So a perfect radiator has an
emissivity of 1. Metals tend to have very low emissivity for example
polished copper has an emissivity of 0.02-0.05 this means polished
copper doesn’t radiate much IR energy at all. Heavily oxidized
copper has a much better emissivity of 0.78 you can look up the
emissivity of some materials here

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep81yk

Back to the little hand held units. They are by default set with a
calibration of an emissivity of 1.0 this means if you try to read a
bit of polished metal the expected energy will be off by a factor of
98% in the case of polished copper. Also these things are optical
instruments. they average everything that is within the field of
view of the lens system so trying to read objects that are smaller
than the FOV of the optics at the target will give a false reading.
Also air and other gasses radiate so trying to read in a kiln will
give you the air temperature plus the object temperature in some
form of average.

These tools can be calibrated to take into account emissivity of the
object you want to measure but to be certain you need to use a
thermocouple on the object to be certain your calibration is
correct. Basiclly if you use them in a very careful controlled
manner where you know all the parameters you are trying to measure
they can work well but if you just point it at a random object there
is no telling if the temperature you are reading is anywhere near
correct. For example I have a steamer that has a cast steel fitting
that has a cast brass pipe fitting in it that has a machined brass
nut on it. I read a difference of 150 degrees between these three
objects that are all basically is the same temperature within a
fraction of a degree. If I calibrate the emissivity to match each
item I get a reading that is close to correct as compared to a
thermocouple.

Basically a waste of money as you just don’t have the ability in
most studio situations to accurately calibrate it and you would need
to recalibrate to each different object. If you want to know what
temperature your pizza stone is they work well enough as that
material has a high emissivity but for metals forget it. You can buy
instruments that will read metals with better but still not perfect
results but they are in the $3,000-$8,000 dollar range and still
need to be calibrated to what you want to measure.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#7

Another industry/art/craft that I use things from is knitting. I
lost or misplaced my manners for my jump ringer. Knitting needles
come in tiny to large sizes and were the exact measurements I needed.
A lot cheaper than buying new mandrels.

I also have a pair of metal shears I love. They have stayed sharp
for the past 20 years. I bought them at a local nursery. They are for
cutting roses. Better than any other shears including Joyce Chen.

Age off to collect deep blue agate off my mountain.


#8
You can buy instruments that will read metals with better but still
not perfect results but they are in the $3,000-$8,000 dollar range
and still need to be calibrated to what you want to measure. 

Most of the common IR thermometers are preset to 0.95 emissivity.
However, there are under-$100 devices from people like ThermoWorks
which can be set for emissivities from 0.05 to 1.00 in 0.01
increments.

That leave the problem of knowing the emissivity of whatever you’re
measuring. There are quite extensive tables available on the
internet for various materials. Failing that, you may be able to do a
one-time direct measurement of your material by some other means and
calibrate the device from that.

In my college days, I used a hot-wire pyrometer to measure high
temperatures at a distance. Today’s methods are a lot easier.

Al Balmer


#9

Most of the common IR thermometers are preset to 0.95 emissivity.

However, there are under-$100 devices from people like ThermoWorks
which can be set for emissivities from 0.05 to 1.00 in 0.01
increments. 

I have one that you can set the emissivity on and have done some
fairly extensive testing of it in the studio. I have also had the
sales rep bring out a two color IR pyrometer that will work on
things like molten metals whan calibrated for them. In both cases
you have to know a loth about what you are measuring and calibrate
the device for that particular item.

That leave the problem of knowing the emissivity of whatever
you're measuring. There are quite extensive tables available on the
internet for various materials. Failing that, you may be able to
do a one-time direct measurement of your material by some other
means and calibrate the device from that. 

The problem with the charts on the net or from the manufacturer of
the device is that the emissivity was calculated with an ideal
sample in a lab. Surface condition can make a huge difference in
emissivity. Is it highly polished? is it matte, is it oxidized, is
it covered in flux how close is the alloy you are trying to measure
to the one listed. All these things make a difference in emissivity.
Because of the way these devices are marketed one gets the idea that
you just point it at any object and pull the trigger and you will
have an accurate (it is digital you know it must be accurate)
temperature reading. In my testing around the shop I have found them
to be anything but accurate unless you calibrate it for the exact
item you want to measure. So yes they can be useful but you have to
know what you are doing and calibrate the device for a particular
measurement.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#10

I believe the original subject was what do you use in your work that
is not usually used in making jewelry.

My tip is using magic markers! I color the switch on my crock pot
red to show the on position, the off switch on the phone to help find
it, any place to help. Some people color their sheet solder to
indicate hard/medium/soft, and of course, black markers to show
temperature changes when annealing.

O yes, and scotch tape over the wrong side of the spice jar to keep
me from dumping instead of shaking! I know, not what you had in mind.

Noralie Katsu