Sunday, 6 March 2016

New Toy, New Project

The Search for the Perfect Hole

Being able to drill an accurately placed hole is an essential facet of jewelry making. Sometimes that hole will be visible (when used to attach a shepherd hook, for example) and sometimes not (when creating the initial opening for your saw to create cutouts in a piece). Either way, you do not want the drill bit to slip, making your round hole into an oval, or slide across the piece, creating ugly scratches that must be sanded out. Achieving such accuracy is tricky with a hand held drill but it's a cinch with a – Ta-Da – drill press.

New Toy

No more wonky holes for DixSterling. Of course, once I had it, I had to test it out on some jewelry.

New Project
Wandering through various rock and gem shows, I inevitably pick up a stone (or several). Frequently, I find a nice matched pair for some earrings.

In my current stash were a pair of Amazonite cabochons (oddly, although found in Brazil these do not occur in the Amazon Basin). I decided to mount them in triangular dangles with cutout centers. A perfect drill press project! In this photo, I have made the cutout and am rounding up the bezel for the stone.

A Slight Adjustment

If you are an observant type, you will instantly spot the change I made to the design.

Right. When I placed the stone on the back plate as first designed, I did not like the way it filled so much of the opening. Happily, this was a design flaw that was easy to fix. I simply cut away the original mounting circle, created full bezel cups for the stones, and mounted them lower on the dangles. In this photo, I am using dental floss to pull the stone out after a test fitting. I hope you also noticed the very precise hole for a shepherd hook at the top of the piece.

Getting Set

How would I manage without painters' tape? While a scrap of leather protects the back of the piece from any rough spots on the bench pin which could cause scratches, the tape protects the face from the steel burnisher. Stone setting made (almost) fool proof.

Ready for Their Closeup

From the design to the finished earrings, a creative process made that little bit easier with the addition of a drill press. Aren't tools great?

Tomorrow, these will make their debut in my shop <>