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Cyndilee
03-28-2004, 10:25 PM
There's some gorgeous wire wrapped bracelets on here- I seem doomed to tool marks. :( How do you all avoid them or get rid of them???

Cyndi

DonnaBee
03-28-2004, 10:35 PM
I will be interested to read any answers, because I never pay any attention to this, and I am still using cheap tools. :eek: :D It will be great to hear what are the good practices and habits!

beclectic
03-28-2004, 11:13 PM
I use Tool magic "Heavy duty flexible rubber coating" on one pair of my chain nose pliers and one pair of my round nose pliers. I got the coating from http://www.firemountaingems.com (http://www.firemountaingems.com/). You just dip the jaws of the pliers in the coating and let it dry then dip it again and you have padded pliers. Once the coating becomes ragged just roll it off and do the dipping again. This rubber coating helps reduce tool marks. I've also found that you don't have to grip the wire in the pliers as tight as you can, you still have to hold the wire firmly but you don't have to sqeeze down on the pliers with all your strength.

I've found gold is especially sensitive to tool marks but using a burnishing tool to rub out the marks is easier with gold.

For colored copper wire having a little finger nail polish the same color as the painted wire helps to touch up nicks. With all the colors of finger polish, including greens, blues and purples you can usually find a very close match for the wire color.

glitterbead
03-28-2004, 11:16 PM
Yup - I use Tool Magic as well!

Aislyn
03-28-2004, 11:19 PM
Some people dip their tips in plastic coating stuff from the hardware store, but it makes the tips thick, which is problematic with the dense chains I make, so I never did that. For me, it was just practice. As my hands got stronger, I could hold the wire more gently and still control it. Now, if I slip and really scratch a ring, I just scrap it and get another one. The tumbler smooths out light tool marks. I don't mind a mark here and there, though, because I like jewelry better if I can tell it was made by actual hands. *s*

Starrr
03-28-2004, 11:21 PM
The solution to all those tool marks is to buy a tumbler, some plastic pellets and some stainless steel shot. It's the best piece of equipment for any jeweler, really a must have if you plan on making quality pieces or if you intend on selling your items. You can get a nice Lortone 3A from Kingsley North for around 60.00 or so. During my show season mine runs 24/7, it's a nice little workhorse. The first time you use it, you'll wonder how you ever lived without a tumbler. I throw all my finished pieces in except turquoise, because it's to pourous. The wire comes out nice and shiney, no tool marks, and the wire gets harder. No more polishing the silver!
Good Luck! Edie

Moth
03-29-2004, 12:16 AM
The solution to all those tool marks is to buy a tumbler, some plastic pellets and some stainless steel shot. It's the best piece of equipment for any jeweler, really a must have if you plan on making quality pieces or if you intend on selling your items. You can get a nice Lortone 3A from Kingsley North for around 60.00 or so. During my show season mine runs 24/7, it's a nice little workhorse. The first time you use it, you'll wonder how you ever lived without a tumbler. I throw all my finished pieces in except turquoise, because it's to pourous. The wire comes out nice and shiney, no tool marks, and the wire gets harder. No more polishing the silver!
Good Luck! Edie

I agree. The first time I used my tumbler I gave myself a good hard slap in the forehead for not doing it sooner. Definitely do not tumble soft stones such as turquoise, as was mentioned. I also had a bad experience with malachite and have heard not to tumble pearls or opals either, but that seems like common sense.

I do still give them a nice shine with a polishing cloth before packing the items away simply because it has anti-tarnishing compounds in it and does make it shine even more.

However, tumbling will not get out severe tool marks, so it is no remedy for sloppy work.

Tool Magic never appealed to me because I make tight spirals and small links and thought the coating would bulk up my tools too much. If I am working with an excelptionally soft metal, I will wrap the plier jaws with a layer of masking tape. Cheap. Comes off easily and is thin. There is also this green fabric tape that you are supposed to wrap your fingers with if you are prone to blisters. Before I got 'jewelry maker hands', I got blisters a lot from my pliers and would use that green tape. Now I sometimes use that instead of the masking tape to wrap my plier jaws. I got the green tape from Jewelry Supply.com.

~~Mary

Moth
03-29-2004, 12:17 AM
I don't mind a mark here and there, though, because I like jewelry better if I can tell it was made by actual hands. *s*


That's precisely how I feel about it.

~~Mary

TurtleBay Jewelry
03-29-2004, 08:55 AM
Aye to all of the above. I don't mind a small nick here and there, as I usually antique quite a few pieces and it just adds to their depth. Personally, I don't use Tool Magic, though I've heard it's quite effective. I've just learned to control my gorilla grip on the pliers. :p

And I still don't own a tumbler, but it's next on the "Need To Buy" list. ;)

~Danielle

Kerensamere
03-29-2004, 09:03 PM
Depending on what you are doing, there are "jewlers" pliers out there.

They have plastic pieces on the mouth of the pliers. BUT they do slip a lot and I've found that if I'm trying the bend an especially tuff piece of wire the plastic caps on the pliers get chewed up. I found mine by accident in Joanne's one day.

You can also find jewelry pliers that do not have teeth, some are round nose but I've also found some flat ones too.

I bought some of that tool dip stuff, I've been meaning to try it but haven't gotten around to it yet.

Best of luck!

-Jen