Tools

I have mentioned it earlier I know, but I love good quality tools!

As a general approach I totally understand that it is not the tool that does the job and you can’t blame poor results purely on the tools.

Having said that, though, I do believe that you will get much more joy out of your jewelry work if you choose to invest in the best possible tools from day one. And generally speaking, most work does become a lot easier to do well if you have good tools. Actually, more correctly, if you have the RIGHT tool for the job. No point in trying to use a flat-nose plier to create round objects!

Unfortunately, with tools there are hardly any upper limits on the cost front. So it is probably more correct to say that you should buy the best tools you can afford.

On the jewelry tools and machines page I have outlined which tools I believe you should aim to get initially so I’ll skip that part here, but what I wanted to touch on was more my general approach to buying tools.

So as said, I like tools but that does not necessarily always translate into buying the latest and the greatest new tools I can get my hands on. I don’t have an issue buying tools secondhand or at flea markets. Actually, I have quite often found that buying an old tool from a time where tools were made to last a lifetime is a lot better option than going for the same tool new but produced with poor quality materials overseas.

I get a lot of my tools on places like eBay and Toolexchange.com but I quite frequently scavenge around on markets etc. where many fantastic deals can be found.

Even tools with a bit of wear and perhaps some minor pitting (small rust marks) I don’t shy away from. Restoring a good quality tool is a lot easier than it may seem at first.

Obviously there are certain things that I may not go for unless I have inspected them closely. An example could be dapping blocks and some hammers that generally should have a mirror-polished surface so as not to transfer marks onto the work piece. But again, if you go through the same sort of sanding and polishing process you would with a normal piece of jewelry, any metal can be restored to a perfect shiny surface.

One thing that I put a lot of emphasis on is the tool has to fit my hand and be comfortable to use. No point in buying a massive sledgehammer that gives you a sore wrist after 2 minutes…leave those for the blacksmiths!

To round it off: buy good tools, don’t be afraid of going for old and secondhand, buy tools that fit you or modify them till they do.