Well, I know it is Wednesday, but the roofers are still at it. Luckily, they are almost done. The weather has set them back a little bit. I have not been able to get in to film yet. And then to add to everything, I am the featured artist this month at a local studio and have had to concentrate on actually making something to put into the gallery of the studio. I have determined that I need three more of me.
So for this edition of Tool Time Tuesday, I am re-sharing a post that I did for iCreateFlix.com a while back.
As a jewelry artist, and more especially as a teacher, I am often asked which tools I feel are necessary to be successful in metalsmithing or jewelry making. The answer to this really depends on the techniques you are using. I also thought it would be interesting to see what other metalsmiths felt were their top 10 tools. Obviously there is a lot of overlap and their answers reflected their expertise level as well.
When I was coming up with “My Top Ten” I created the list based on someone who is just beginning and does not have any tools yet but would like to get started. I will give you my Top Ten and then I will also share with you the “big hitters” from my colleagues.
- Pliers: Round Nose, Chain Nose, Flat nose. Okay, I know that is three, but I cannot make my jewelry without them.
- A really good pair of cutters. I actually have multiple pair that I use depending on the thickness of the wire I am cutting.
- A good pair of hand shears or my guillotine shear. You want to have a good way to cut bigger pieces of metal and sheet.
- Good files: Some files can get really pricey, but I believe they are worth every penny. Of course, I also have quite a few inexpensive files that i cannot live without.
- Flexshaft or drill press: These tools are indispensable in my studio. They will do everything from drilling a hole to buffing and polishing. If I had to pick just one, go with the flexshaft.
- Jewelers saw and LOTS of saw blades.
- Torch and basic soldering set up. Okay, again, this one is more than one tool and warrants its own list. But I cannot make the type of jewelry I do without it.
- Hammers: At a minimum I need my raw hide mallet, planishing hammer and riveting hammer. The rest are just icing on the cake.
- Bench pin/Anvil combo: Some people will have just a bench block they can hammer on. This tool combines a bench block with a bench pin. The bench pin is necessary for sawing and piercing for me.
- Sharpies: I gave this last one a lot of thought. I use sharpies for everything from marking cutting lines and designs, measurement lines, and even as a resist when etching.
I believe that with the items in my list I would be able to be very successful with jewelry making. So what other tools made the “Top Ten” for other metalsmiths?
- Rolling Mill
- Hydraulic Press
- Polishing Machine
- Mandrels (ring and bracelet)
- Good set of lights
And then, of course, there are those tools that go without saying:
- My 10 fingers – Can’t do a thing with out them
- My eyes
- My creative brain
- A good dose of caffeine
- Good music
Do you use any of these tools? What are Your favorites?