As you saw, blow away metal filings that accumulate. Then the cutting line remains visible for more accurate cutting. Always pull the lap tray out beneath the bench pin. This will catch the filings from sawing. Collect them and send them to a refiner for recovery.
When bending metal, use your fingers as much as possible. This will avoid unnecessary nicks and marks in the metal. Wood or rawhide tools should be considered next. Steel tools such as hammers, pliers, and mandrels should be used only when absolutely necessary.
Rings with by-pass shanks are right hand and left hand specific and are not interchangeable. When creating a ring with a by-pass shank, the side of the shank closest to the hand should come from the side of little finger. The ring will then sit straight on the finger. This is because the skin joining the fingers together is lower between the little finger and the ring finger than between the ring finger and the middle finger. If the ring is created with the shank going the other way, the shank will contact the hand on the middle finger side first and cause the ring to twist while wearing it.
Drill a hole large enough to accommodate an earring post or tie tack post, centered in the curved area at the mouth of the clip. When epoxying beads, simply insert the post through the hole and allow the clamp to close over the bead until dry. For rings, simply omit drilling a hole. With this method, you can also place the entire apparatus into the job envelope to allow curing overnight. Use enough epoxy for a good bond, but not too much to overflow the cup and adhere to the clamp!
Imagine you must apply a sand-blasted finish to a surface, but have neither a compressor nor a sand-blasting tool. The solution? Get a piece of PVC pipe! Simply close one end of the pipe permanently with a cap, attach a removable cap to the other end, and fill the pipe one-third of the way with beach sand. Drop your jewelry inside and tape the removable cap to the pipe. Now shake the tube vigorously for a few minutes. Remove the piece from the tube – and enjoy the even sand finish you have just applied!
You can also achieve a nice sand finish by putting the piece in a rotating tumbler one-third filled with sand and running it overnight.
When you want to glue an earring post to the pearl you can use the new clamp I told you about last week.
Simply cut a slot in the front end of one of the clothespin jaws, wide enough to fit the new post. Then open the clothespin, rest the pearl between the jaws, and fit the post through the slot. Once closed the clothespin will again apply enough pressure to secure the assembly and ensure that the glue affixes properly.
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It is important to use a vise to secure a pearl while drilling to avoid the pearl slipping and accidentally drilling into your fingers. A wooden spring action clothespin can be easily modified to do this job.
First, with a large ball bur, carve an indentation into the interior of each jaw. The indentations should be just deep enough to keep the pearl from slipping out during drilling. Now all you have to do is insert the pearl into the clothespins jaws, and allow the pins light pressure to securely hold the pearl during drilling.
To hold a wedding band securely for soldering, try making a small modification to your tweezers. Using a pair of concave round forming pliers, bend the ends of the tweezers outward. This will make it possible to hold the ring securely for soldering. The natural tension of the tweezers will keep the ring in position. However, be sure to use tweezers with little tension, as too much can spread the ring open during soldering operations.