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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tools - What to buy

OK - so if you don't need 15 inches of solid stacked tools (see yesterday's post!) - what do you need? What is the minimum tool kit for someone making jewelry - stringing beads, making earrings, etc.!

Here it is:

  • 1 pair wire cutters - flush cutters - good quality
  • 1 pair crimpers
  • 1 pair roundnose pliers
  • 2 pairs chain nose or small flat nose pliers - or 1 chain nose and 1 flat nose, or 1 chain nose and 1 bent nose.
That's it. Pretty simple list, eh?

I know the tool junkies will be disappointed, but really - you can do a huge amount with this - and nothing says you have to stop here. Carry on - buy more - but if you are getting started - this will give you a great foundation.

Flush Cutters

74524812 Tools - Cutters -  Flush Cutters  -  (1)You need to be able to cut wire, the beading cable, headpins, etc. These do the job. The are called "flush cutters" because they cut the item being cut to a flush, square end on one side - the other side is not flush. If you cut a piece of wire - you will see that of the two ends, one is flat, and the other is pointed. So, if you are cutting off the wire for a wrapped loop - you use the flat side, for a flat end - if you are cutting the stringing wire to string, cut with the un-flat side - to create a point for better stringing.

Unfortunately - we aren't currently carrying these - as we were shipped a batch that we didn't like the quality of - and we rejected them. So -we are currently looking for a new source. But - they are readily available at hardware places, and electronics parts stores. Sometimes they refer to them as nippies, or nippers. Look for blades that meet all the way down, and don't cross when closed, or have a big gap at the tip. You really need to be able to cut at the tip.

helplht6 Tools - Cutters - 5 inch Memory Wire Cutters -  (1)Oh, and if you use memory wire - DO NOT USE YOUR FLUSH CUTTERS TO CUT IT! Memory wire is steel spring wire, and it is HARD, HARD, HARD! Use a pair of hardware store wire cutters, or the specialized memory wire cutters (see pic) - which are really nice and do a great job. (See - THIS is how it starts!)

Continued Tomorrow!

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