We discuss tools on a regular basis on the Metalsmith Society page, if you are looking for a break down of some basic tools to get started be sure to check out my blog article "WHAT TOOLS TO BUY TO GET STARTED MAKING JEWELRY" If you are interested in torch options check out "HOW TO CHOOSE A TORCH FOR JEWELRY MAKING". This page is dedicated to tools we covered during #tooltalktuesday or that were shared by other members of the community as a tip. We always try to recommend things that people have had success with, but these are by no means the only options! I will include some links to shop (some are through Amazon which help support the Metalsmith Society page) however I always encourage supporting local whenever you can.
Spider Hold Down And Spider Mini
The Spider Hold Down is a tool developed to assist in placement of embellishments that are sometimes difficult to position while soldering. It currently comes in two sizes, the Original and the Mini. You can see my #tooltalktuesday post here, to read more about it. The creator David is generously offering our community 10% off when you shop through our link.
Whaley Sliding Hammer
The Whaley Sliding Hammer is an ingenius tool designed to hammer set bezels with control! You can also use it for riveting! You can get yours at Otto Frei and use code MMS719 to save 5% off your entire order!
GRS Benchmate System
The GRS Benchmate system includes a mounting plate with interchangeable tools to help you secure your work. We discussed the Benchmate Encore QCX, the Bench Pin (featured in the image below) and the Vise. For more info you can visit the original post.
Foredom H.15D Hammer Handpiece
The Foredom H.15D is a hammer hand piece you use with your Foredom flexshaft. It's super useful for setting bezels and pushing down prongs and you can even texture with it! There is an additional set of anvil points you can also purchase!
Pipe Deburring Tool (for rounding edges)
The use of a pipe deburring tool to create a comfort fit on the inside of a ring was shown to us by @petercat_jewelry, this tip has become an absolute hit within our community!
Ikohe Belt Sander
The Ikohe Belt Sander is an attachment for your foredom flexshaft recommended to us by @dogvioletjewelry It comes with 5 different sanding belts, each of a different grit, and a plastic tube attachment that a shop vac can fit into (shop vac not included), to remove the dust particles from going everywhere.
Refillable Watercolor Brushes (for patina application)
One of our most popular tips in 2018 was from @williamcobbjewelry he uses these refillable watercolor brushes with his patina to make his application precise. These specofoc pens are 100% plastic which you will want (some people bought ones with metal elements and they ended up breaking!)
Center Finder Tool
We discussed this handy Center Finder Tool during one tool talk. I find it so useful when I quickly want to a find the center on a piece of circular metal, you just slide the metal in and mark with your scribe.
We discussed this knife to help set bezels with tight spots. For example if you have a casting soldered close to your bezel and you need to get inbetween to push the bezel down! The original tip can be found within this blog article of stone setting tips.
Excel Blades Sanding Sticks
I absolutely love these sanding sticks. Excel sent me one in every grit to try and they have become something I reach for every time I'm at the bench. The sandpaper belts are replaceable and come in grits 600-80. You can save 15% off your order with code METALSMITHSOCIETY.
3M Radial Bristle Discs
Available at most jewelry tool suppliers, 3M Radial Bristle Discs are fabulous for polishing with a dremel or flexshaft. Prior to this year I used them almost exclusively for polishing. You will want to invest in a kit of different grits because like sandpaper you want to start at a grit that will remove whatever scratch you are working on and then work through every grit until you achieve a smooth finish.
3M Polishing Papers
Available at most jewelry tool suppliers, 3M Polishing Cloths are fabulous for sanding and polishing a wide variety of surfaces. I love their flexibility and strength. They are especially great for use on rounded surfaces.
Electric Torch Lighter
I absolutely adore my electric torch lighter! It saves time and you can basically light your torch hands free. You can get this one at Otto Frei and save 5% with code MMS719.
This wooden box was shown to us by @dangbravegirl it features shallow wooden drawers that are perfect for organizing cabochons and unfinished/finished pieces of jewelry.
Another drawer was recommended by @love_beyond_the_moon this acrylic container has the benefit of being transparent for those that want to see their collection at a glance!
Hands down the most popular organization tip in 2018 came from @rek.inc who shared her binder solution for storing her metals. Since then hundreds of people have placed their sheet, wire and bezels in three ring binders, I liked these zip storage bags that @druzytrades shared because they are more heavy duty and close securely so your metal doesn't fall out!
The Bench Guru is a precious metal recovery system, you attach it to your bench and it collects metal dust, and other harmful particles as you grind, polish and sand with your flexshaft. In addition to the Bench Shield, I recommend the Recovery Vacuum as its quiet and easy to set up and use. Once you fill the bag, send it off to your refiner for cash. Members of the Metalsmith Society community can receive 10% off their order when they use code MSS10.
To help protect yourself from the inhalation of fumes and particles while working in your studio, I use this respirator from 3M. I personally ordered a small.
3M Respirator Filters
These are the corresponding filters for the 3M respirator! I spoke with 3M and they recommend storing them in a sealed plastic bag when not in use to keep them clean. They also said they should minimally be replaced on an annual basis but this is dependent on how frequently you work and how much the filter is being taxed. For some they may need to replace more frequently! Everyone should create their own schedule for replacing their filters.
Benchtop Fume Extractor
This benchtop fume extractor was originally recommended by @melissa_gisele it's a great, affordable option for extracting fumes right next to your solder station!
HAKKO Fume Extractor System
If you are looking to upgrade your fume extraction I recommend the Hakko Fume Extractor System ( FA-430 with Duct & Rectangular Nozzle) this lightweight, quiet, powerful machine has three speeds and a HEPA filter. it's going to capture dangerous solder fumes along with any other chemical, wax, or patina fumes. You can purchase directly from Amazon.
3M Ear Muffs
If you are using a tool like a disc-cutter in your studio or you hammer a ton, do yourself a favor and protect your ears! I absolutely love these 3M ear muffs, they were originally recommended by @amywingdesigns I immediately got on Amazon and bought them and never go without now. Protect your precious ears!
Ergonomic Saddle Chair
While chairs are subjective and everyone will have their personal preference this saddle chair came recommended by @petersonmade who liked it so much she purchased two!
Elviros Light Box
I've had great success photographing my jewelry inside the Elviros Light Box. I purchased the 16" x 16" x 16" and I think its a wonderful size. It has LED lights inside and metallic walls to help reflect light. It did come with some backdrops but I prefer these acrylic ones, they are easy to clean and fit right inside. I also have placed decorative paper, books, ceramic items and other props inside to photograph.
GEM ZOOM U 10X Macro Lens
If you want to take amazing Macro photos with your cellphone or iPad you can check out the GEM ZOOM U 10X Macro Lens from Otto Frei. This clip on lens takes close up shots or videos to show off the details of your jewelry or gemstones. It has adjustable LED lights that can really help showcase the facets in a stone. However it does not capture larger pieces in their entirety because the object must be quite close to take the picture. So as I mentioned in my Instagram post, this may not be the lens you use to take the main picture of a piece of jewelry for your website but its awesome for those detailed close-up shots. It does come with an additional lens which does allow you to take pictures of your entire piece but I didn't find that lens did anything different than what my iPhone X is capable of, if you have a different phone it might enhance what your phone camera can do! Be sure to use code MMS719 to save 5%.
PRINTED MATERIALS FROM MOO
I absolutely love getting my printed materials for both Corkie Bolton Jewelry and Metalsmith Society from Moo. The quality and customer service are excellent. I use them for marketing materials, postcards and business cards. You can save 25% off your first order with this link.
Custom Printed Stickers
I have had such a wonderful experience having stickers made with Sticker Mule, they are fast and the quality is fantastic. They also create a wide variety of other products including magnets, buttons and custom packaging. You can get $10 towards your first order with this link.
Custom Klean Karat® Polishing Cloths
I include a custom polishing cloth with every online order of my jewelry. This small gesture gives my customer a solution for keeping their piece looking fantastic! These gorgeous 4” x 4” cloths are treated with ingredients that fight tarnish and inhibit new tarnish from occurring! You can order them from Stuller, they are the only company that customizes this brand of cloth.
EcoEnclose Eco-Friendly Shipping
I love this company and use their rigid mailers and bubble mailers. They also have box options I will be looking into when it's time for me to reorder. You can order a sample kit to get started and it's definitely worth it, they have all types of recycled and recyclable options to make your shipping more eco-friendly. You can save 20% off your first order.
For most of the merchandise available from the Society Shop I use Printful. They are a drop-ship company that produces custom apparel with no minimums and ships directly to your customer. There are definitely some pros + cons using a drop shipper. You have no inventory so therefore you have no ability to exchange sizes. Each order is essentially a custom, however this allows you to offer a wide variety of colors and sizing options. You don't see the orders prior to them shipping out and sometimes mistakes are made but all in all I've been really pleased with working with Printful. If you decide to sign up, please use my link. If you have any questions don't hesitate to reach out!