Monday, September 19, 2011

Miscellaneous Monday: Cool Tools!

Hello, everyone! I'm delighted to be writing this bonus post. Today's Miscellaneous Monday topic? The tools that make jewelry making easier and more fun for me.

As you know, I have a curious brain and restless fingers. I always want to learn something new and try out a different technique! Most of the time, this is easy. I work a hair or two outside of my comfort zone, and the tools I use stay the same.

But sometimes? I want to try something dramatic, and for me, even a little bit scary. Sometimes the cost and the tools involved get in the way for awhile... and then the Perfect Tool comes along.

This was definitely the case with the Fiskars Hand Drill. I purchased it for a plexi class (that is, a class on making pendants out of plexi glass) with the talented and wonderful Tonia Davenport the summer before last. It sat in a box in my studio for a year, but I'm starting to realize just how handy it is. For drilling holes in things like wood and plastic -- you know, dice, poker chips, tiny plastic chickens, the usual things -- and as of last week...

Drilling metal!!!!

Now, Mr. Sequin has a Flex Shaft machine. He even patiently and generously taught me how to use it. The thing is, I'm terrified of it. I don't have the strength to hold the metal in place, and so it whirls around on the drill bit like a tiny, deadly little propeller. Eek! Not nice for fingers. I'd written off doing a lot with sheet metal until I realized the scrap sheet I used under my found objects to preserve my work bench... was full of neat, clean holes.

So I drilled holes in a ring band for decoration. The underside needed a little sanding, but it was quick and easy and I could control the speed of the drill. I wasn't scared a bit. This opens up a whole new world of opportunities for me! Including wire riveting. *Swoons.*

The second tool that's made my life easier is the pair of metal cutting shears I bought at the Beaducation booth in Milwaukee this year. In spite of sawing into my finger (just a flesh wound) a few years ago, I'm not all that scared of jeweler's saws, but mine is kind of wonky and no longer holds a blade. I used a pair of shears made by Eurotool in a class one year, and I loved them dearly. Ultimately, I decided on the brand Beaducation carried, because I tried them and loved them too, but either one is a good and worthwhile purchase.

I used these shears to cut my ring band, and oh, they worked fast and left me with edges that required just a little sanding. I'll probably replace my saw frame at some point so I can handle curves in metal, but for now, these babies will keep me happy.

(By the way, this is the ring I made!)

So there we have it! Two tools that have changed my life in a very good way. How about you? Which tools have made a difference for you?

Thanks, and have a sequintastic day!

8 comments:

  1. I'm armed with a Dremel drill! A drill, electric or hand sure is useful as you say!

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  2. Ohhhh, a Dremel is one thing I definitely want to purchase in the future. :)

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  3. omg, a drill!!! *is scared already thinking of the damage I would likely do with a drill of any kind*

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  4. Hee! :)

    The first thought that comes to mind is Dentistry Gone Wrong.

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  5. I have a Dremel and love it! NEED the Fiskars one - drilling metal sounds amaze!

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  6. I see Dremel tools every year at the Bead Show, and every year I covet. So much.

    Oh, I can't recommend the Fiskars enough. I'm always finding some other thing I can use it for. In fact, I suspect that if I took the drill bit out, I could use it for making twisted wire!

    Also, Fiskars makes these incredible little hand punches for paper. Hearts, flowers... and a tiny circular one I use to punch holes when I make earring cards. :)

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  7. You made this?!! I LOVE it! do you have a shop?

    Thank you so much for your kind comment you left today :)

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  8. Thank you! :)

    I have an empty Etsy shop that I hope to fill with wonderful things very soon. I just ordered the supplies to make it happen.

    http://www.etsy.com/people/SaturdaySequins

    Also, you're very welcome!

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