Hi there heres some things I do # Silver- When melting I stir
with a pencil the burning wood helps keep oxygen away and you
also have a carbon rod of sorts.
Bit expensive though a good stir with a chopstick helps keep it
nice. # Beer-Pop a small chilli bean in a few bottles. Fantastic
in the winter you wont notice the first glass but dont drink to
fast this is potent stuff not a great favourite on hot days.
Sanding sticks- I score each edge as im wrapping it around so it
gives a good edge its also easier to tear of strips. Then I wrap
sellotape around the ends to hold it.
Pearls-I use a 2 pot epoxy (good old araldite John) the 5
minuite is exactly the same as the superstrength with a quickset
chemical added it still takes 24 hours for full strength.I wipe
out the drill hole with some glue on a sawblade this gets rid of
dust and ensures a good join. # Valuable pearls-I use a burr to
widen the hole into a wedge shape(wider as you go deeper) Then I
cut a slot into the end of the peg and insert a small wedge, when
you insert the bottom of the hole forces the wedge into the slot
widening the pin. Very tricky to get right so the pearl is
tightYou can use a spot of glue also. To remove you have to drill
througt the pin. The best use for this is the customer who is
always knocking out the pearl.
#pliers- Have made some nice ones by grinding of the ends of
cheap electricians pliers losing the plastic handles and
spring(im old fashioned some of my pliers are 80 odd years old)
and grinding to shape good fun. I have a pair of half round I
made 15 years ago and they are still going strong.