Tuesday, 23 October 2018

At the Bench

A Few Essential Tools

I have been outdoors a lot, enjoying our extended summer. It is a rare treat in this part of the world to have 15 dry, sunny days in October. The colors are almost as good as folks in the east enjoy every year. It's not that none of our trees turn gold and red, it's that we can't usually see them for the rain or fog. :-(

Of course, the extended summer also meant extended gardening but I will not complain. I was, however, happy to get to my bench today. Newest project not ready to share yet, but I will share a view of some of my favorite tools.

Darlin' Dremel

I have a super sturdy work bench to the left of my main bench. I use it for heavy tasks like punching out circles, doming, or stamping words into pieces. It is also home to a Dremel on its stand. Most of the time, I have the Dremel set up for drilling pieces but it also works brilliantly as a polishing station. Here it is, equipped with a cotton buffing wheel charged with rouge. Note the plastic over the stand base. Polishing is a very  messy activity and I don't much fancy having to get bits of cotton and rouge out from under the stand.

I also have a Grobet rotary tool (only seriously successful jewelers have a Fordom!) that I use for many processes including polishing but, when a number of pieces need polishing at once, this setup is more efficient.

I'm Packing Heat

No, not that kind of heat. This kind of heat.

I am forever promising myself a Smith Little Torch, but this setup has served me well. Maybe when we win that lottery... 

My husband mounted a piece of plumbing pipe on a plywood square and notched the square to fit onto the leg of my jeweler's bench so the disposable propane tanks are totally stable. I screwed a simple, large household hook into the vertical frame of my storage cabinet/soldering station to safely store the torch when it is hot. Might not be fancy, but it works.

Pinch Me

Not really, although I have pinched myself with my pliers a few times. 

This is only part of my collection — a girl can never have too many pliers. Many Christmases ago, my husband built that rack to hold the most often used ones right atop my bench so they are easy to grab as needed. What a thoughtful gift.

In the bench drawers, I keep some of the more specialized ones. Like I said, a girl can never have too many pliers!

Other Essentials

Here are a few more tools a jeweler must have.

One of the first tools I bought was that saw. I use it every time I start a project.

Next to it, my Grobet rotary tool, used for everything from drilling holes to cutting seats for gemstones.

Next up, one of several hammers that live either on the bench at my right hand, or in the top drawer, also at my right  hand.

Next, a steel burnisher — used, oddly enough, for burnishing metal.

Finally, the small flashlight. Utterly essential when something leaves the bench and hits the floor!