Frit-Happens !

Jewellery => Metal and wire => Topic started by: SilverGems89 on January 03, 2011, 12:06:25 PM



Title: lots of newbie questions
Post by: SilverGems89 on January 03, 2011, 12:06:25 PM
OK so im planning on setting myself up with a little bit of metal working equipment so i can make my own clasps/earwires etc
So on my shopping list currently is a bench block, chasing hammer and i think a nylon hammer, am i missing anything? (btw a tumbler is kind of out of my price range at the minute)
also after looking for a nylon hammer (mallet?) there seems to be a vast range and a big range in price, is there much difference in them? should i be opting for a slightly more expensive one?
and lastly who is the best (and cheapest) supplier for sterling silver wire?

im sure there were more questions but they've desserted me at the minute  ::)


Title: Re: lots of newbie questions
Post by: ScarletLeonard on January 03, 2011, 05:16:57 PM
I got a great hammer from our local tool store it is a small jewellery hammer but it has changable heads so I have a flat brass head, a flat steel head, a domed steel head and a nylon head. Fantastic piece of kit for a tenner.

My bench block is a bit of a cheat, had FiL just add a bit of left over steel into a cut off from our kitchen worktops.

What are you planning to shape the earwires on? are you buying a jig, one of those earring maker things or want to shape them on a mandrel? you will probably need one of those, I use a stepped mandrel with various sizes of circles, ovals and triangles (there are some cheap ones on ebay by fiskars)

For the last question I have no idea anymore, I think the price has just gone through a wappy moment so I'm going to be looking again in a month or so.


Title: Re: lots of newbie questions
Post by: mizgeorge on January 03, 2011, 05:56:16 PM
You don't want a chasing hammer - I don't know why mags keep showing pictures of them. They're used for chasing (hitting punches, stamps and gravers) For hitting wire, you just need a basic ball pein hammer - 4oz is a good place to start - with rounded edges on the flat face (you can do this yourself). The pein end will texture nicely for you. Any old bit of steel will do for a bench block as long as it's smooth. A nylon hammer or rawhide mallet is nice to have - and very inexpensive.

Then I'd get some micromesh sheets for polishing and general tidying up. Much easier to use than wet and dry and last for a long long time. I wouldn't bother with a jig to start with - there are lots of household implements that are great for shaping, from marker pens to kitchen utensils. Your lampworking mandrels will come in handy for lots of things too. If you're planning to make a lot of earwires, a cup burr will speed things up.

As for silver, nowhere's cheap any more. Generally the bullion dealers (cooksons, betts, rashbel etc) are slightly cheaper, but for small lengths Palmers can be competitive as well. Or the lady on ebay (celcool) if you just want bits. Make sure you get some copper wire in for prototypes and practice though!



Title: Re: lots of newbie questions
Post by: MadelineBunyan on January 04, 2011, 03:59:27 AM
I have a double faced rubber/nylon mallet...it came from a cheapy tool shop in Plymouth and cost all of 1. its fine.I have seen similar ones on market stalls. its heads unscrew so could be replaced, but I doubt you could get the replacement heads for less than 1!

my favourite bench block is the old plate of a really old iron (I have 'proper' ones too, I just like my old iron!)

I also got a ball pein hammer from the same cheapy shop, and shaped and polished it myself. again, I have other ones, but you get favourites!

I just shape earwires with ring bending pliers for the top loop, and half rounds for the attaching loop. not alot of pressure used, just easy to hold shapers!