Here at Christmas, many student’s friends and significant others are calling asking what to buy for their favorite jeweler. I have put together a list of what I think all beginning studios need. For the advanced jeweler, I have added some fun stuff, which are wonderful toys to own. This list if for a metalsmithing studio, not for someone who beads, does PMC or wirewrapping, though the tools may overlap. Because my friend John asked, I will list the sources, and for special, hard to find tools, I will list the supplier with the tool. Whatever you do, please buy the best tools you can afford. They will last longer, and are safer. I hope this helps. Remember, this is just my opinion of what I see my students using and need the most. Prices are approximate.
Stocking stuffer: How about a year’s subscription to Lapidary Journal, the country’s oldest magazine dedicated to stones and art jewelry? http://www.lapidaryjournal.com
1 set Habilis Files, Cut #1, set of 5 files–$55.0
1 set of 6 Craftsman needle files, they come with a lifetime guarantee. Great Deal! $25.00. Available at Sears.
#2 Grobet half round 6 inch hand file–$30.00
1 set of pliers, 1 chain nose, 1 flat nose and 1 round nose. Prices vary on quality. Allcraft carries the very popular German ergonomic set, probably the best pliers on the market, in my humble opinion, and not hard on your hands, either. Whatever pliers you choose, they must be jewelers pliers and not have teeth.
1 4 inch saw frame, German, the one with the wingnuts–$18.00
Several dozen Pike sawblades, size 2/0, 4/0–$3.95 per dozen
1 burnisher, and 1 bezel prong/pusher–$5.95 each
chasing hammer, 25mm–$38.00 Get a good quality one, cheap ones will be poorly constructed, and have loose/broken heads–$38.00
1 bracelet mandrel–$40.00+
1 ring mandrel, non-grooved–$34.00+
1 rawhide mallet, 1.5 inch head–$17.00
1 Smith Handi-Heet acetylene torch with #1 head–$220.00 For setting up the torch, print out these instructions: http://www.ganoksin.com/borisat/nenam/set-up-your-torch.htm
Small Crock pot and 2 lbs of PHDown, which is the same thing, but less expensive than pickle. Crock pots available from Target or Walmart for $10-15.00. PHDown available from your local pool supply, 2 lbs, approx $7.95
Copper tongs, for the pickle pot–$5.00
Firebricks–$8.00. Be sure and get the kiln firebricks from a ceramic supply shop, not fireplace firebricks.
Flex Shaft–Fordham is the best known, and if anything breaks, they are easily repaired. But they hardly ever break. $200.00-350.00+
Make sure they come with a #30 handpiece and a foot pedal.
Allcraft has a great economy flexshaft we have been using (abusing?) at Coyote Creek Studio Arts Foundation for over a year. $150.00.
Various buffs, white muslin for rouge , yellow treated muslin for tripoli, felt, different shapes. $1.00+ each
1 dozen 3/32 inch mandrels for the buffs
tripoi, rouge/Zam finishing compounds
Fun Toys for More Advanced Jewelers
Anything made by Bill Fretz. The Fretz hammers are a dream, along with the tiny jewelers stakes. You can’t go wrong with these. My favorite is the large silversmithing hammer, because it leaves such beautiful strike marks. These are wonderful for textures.
Set of 6 3M Radial Bristle Disks. I call them “spiders” because that’s what they look like, They are great for firescale removal, detailed polishing, and textures. Buy 5 extra mandrels so you won’t be switching out spiders all the time.
Lucas Foot Control–the ultimate foot pedal for any flexshaft. You can go 3 rpm with this thing! It’s fabulous!
Valtitan Needle Files Set Cut 0
Grobet 4 inch half round and 4 inch Barrette, cut 4 available and in stock at Allcraft
Grobet 6 inch cut 6 half round finishing file–will become one of your favorites
1 set of Tube Set burnishers in stock at Allcraft
Joyce Chen Kitchen Shears–available at kitchen shops. Great for Keum-Boo.
PePe Guillotine cutter, 6 inch. The most used tool in my studio. Also available in 4 inch.
PePe Dapping and Die Set, 21 daps and a dapping block
PePe Disk Cutter–various sets, different prices, sometimes hard to find
PePe 110 mm rolling mill
Lexi’s Safety Soldering Station–keeps all your soldering operations in one safe, fireproof place–available from firstname.lastname@example.org
Allcraft solder picks, won’t bend under heat and pressure–available at Allcraft
3M Finishing Film, the best “sandpaper” around–9-40 micron sheets–try your local auto supply store for this, and the jewelry supplier
Don’t forget, we always like a nice 6×6 inch sheet of silver, or if we’ve been very good, gold! 20 gauge, please.
Almost every tool listed here is available at a local jewelry supply shop.
Allcraft, 135 W. 29th Street, NYC, 10001–1-800-645-7124
Otto Frei Tools and Equipment, 126 2nd Street, Oakland, CA–1-800-772-3456
Indian Jeweler Supply, 601 East Coal Avenue, Gallup, NM 87301-6005, (505) 722-4451
Filed under: Uncategorized |