Anyone who reads this blog will know I love buying new hammers, tools or any sort of silversmithing equipment. Rather than go on about all the expensive tools I want I thought I’d write about the unconventional tools in my workshop that I wouldn’t be without.
So here we go, my favourite uncoventional tools
- Cotton buds These are just perfect for cleaning and polishing small areas and getting into small corners. You can add some polishing compound to really bring up the shine in a small area. I also cut the top off them and use the plastic bit to get into the corners.
- Cocktail Sticks Like the cotton buds these are great for doing small detailed work. I also use them when touching up my resists for acid etching. I dot a tiny drop of nail varnish on to the tip to fill the tiny little patches where the resists doesn’t take.
- Clothes Pegs I wrote about setting pearls some time ago and my handy tip was to use a clothes peg to hold the pearl in place. The ones that I use at the moment have a cushioned edge so they don’t mark a highly polished surface yet they really do holds things in place.
- Gramophone Needles Ok I know these probably aren’t the easiest thing to get hold of but I’m lucky enough to have a father who collects everything! I use these as scribers as I can clamp them in different scalpel handles and pieces of wood. They have an extremely fine point and are very tough so perfect for marking a really fine line.
- Paper Clips and Picture Cord I’ve grouped these two together because they serve the same function. I use them to hold pieces I’m polishing on the lathe. Anyone who has polished tiny items of jewellery on a polishing lathe will know that they can often slip out of your hand and go flying across the workshop. By using the picture cord of paper clips it allows me to keep hold of the piece while still giving the entire surface a good polish.
I would love to hear what unconventional tools you use in your jewellery making and silversmithing.