Interesting to read your experience with the screw press, and sorry
that you and it were not to have a happy relationship.
Im of the opposite view and have embraced these presses and all the
other machines available to simplify and speed up the making process
of my products.
So to all you other metal workers, if you come across machines like
this, consider them carefully. Tools and machines open the door to
new products that a bench jeweller cannot make economically.
It has of course to start in your head.
What do you want to do with your life?
You need ideas to turn into products, somewhere to make them with
the tools to do so and finally a market for them that reflects what
For example, take a simple thing like a button. you can spend all
day making one by repousse on your pitch block, or you have a die
made in tool steel, along with a punch and die for the blanking of
Then with a press like you Brian had, stamp out at least one a
minuite, or say 100 an hour. Theres just no comparison. your press
costs and die costs will be repaid within a few months.
Furthermore your hydraulic press, despite the same tonnage, will not
match that production rate. Time is of the essence in this trade;.
We all have fixed costs whatever we make, so anything that reduces
our variable costs is just more profit, or more dollars per hour for
our time. Makes sense really.
So what else do people wear? in addition to rings, bracelets,
necklaces? well, there are cuff links, buttons, buckles and tie
I like making buckles. Its as follows.
The buckle is in 2 parts. the back, which is standard for this
shape. The front. that is also a standard shape. a 3in by 2 in oval.
Both are blanked out on a 10 ton power press, dont saw them by
hand!! However this front is of a no of different designs. For
example one series is the “great age of steam” comprising 5 designs.
The one best known is Stevenson’s rocket.
This is made with a tool steel die and can be minted in brass,
copper or s/silver. then these 2 parts are rivetted together, leather
of the right weight and quality is affixed and off it goes to a happy
To mint to coin proof quality needs 100 tons. you would need
something bigger than the current hydraulic presses offered to the
bench jeweller to make these.