If you pay the minimum refining charge you are paying the highest price to have your scrap refined. Always accumulate your scrap long enough to get beyond the minimum charge of the refiner. Never pay a minimum refining charge; if you do, you are paying too much to get your scrap refined.
Have as much closed storage as possible. Doors on cabinets or shelves make the shop look neat and keep everything inside cleaner. The inside of the doors can be fitted with holders or pegboard for tool storage. Install strips of wood on the bottom of low shelves and cabinets. Then you will not need to constantly sweep underneath, and stones and other small parts can not roll under them.
Before placing in the job envelope, place chains in small zip-lock bag with its catch sticking out of the top. This will keep the chain from tangling. When removing, hold chain by clasp and lift out of the bag. Do not open the bag and dump it out.
Place a piece of leather or matte board in the bottom of your lap tray. This will aid you in cleaning the sweeps out of your lap tray. Pick up the leather by the corners and dump the sweeps into the container. This also helps protect stones from the hard metal bottom of the lap tray when accidentally dropped.
Organize the work in the shop so that similar items that need soldering can be soldered at the same time. You only light the torch once, accomplish your soldering tasks, and then move on to another tool. In this way, you use your time most efficiently.
Drill 3/8” hole in the center of your muslin buff wheels, then place on the tapered spindle of your polishing motor. This larger hole will move the wheel up further, allowing you to place an inside ring buff on the remaining tapered spindle. You can then use both the inside ring buff and muslin buff wheel with out stopping the motor and changing them.
Time spent cleaning the shop is not extra time you need to find. It is time you would spend looking for stones etc. if you did not do the cleaning. It is just spending your time differently. If your bench and shop are organized and you clean it regularly it does not take that much time.
When taking in a broken chain for repair, first measure and record to the nearest eighth of an inch the total length of all pieces of the chain. If its length is only 10 or 12 inches, you know—and should tell the customer— that a piece of chain is missing.
Next, measure (again to the nearest eighth of an inch) and record the length from the chain’s clasp to the break. If the customer brings the chain in again, this record shows if the chain’s broken in a new or in the repaired spot.
NEVER accept a chain from a customer wrapped in a tissue and place it into an envelope without unwrapping, measuring, and inspecting it thoroughly in view of the customer.