Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tuesdays will fluctuate between Tool talk and Techno talk .. I will be talking about tools that we use in jewelry making and the technology tools of the jewelry business. It will switch up each week but I have to warn you, I may stay on the tool topic for Tuesdays to come as I am a self professed tool junkie :)

What is your favorite tool? Do you have just one? I have a few different fav's depending on if I'm working at my bench or at my work table. I think the one that I'm always reaching for when making my beaded jewelry is my battery operated electric bead reamer, this one would be very tough to live without. Hand reamers are available, I have one and never use it. I personally think they are a waste of money.
There's always that bead that isn't drilled quite large enough or is kind of ruff around the edges, this little tool quickly and easily takes care of the job. I keep it along side my selection of pliers, cutters and crimpers. I love the portability of the battery operated one but recently saw a plug in type that looks great for those jobs where you are reaming a lot at a time or for your a stationary work area. You can also use your Foredom or Dremel with a diamond bit or the reamer bit. You want to run your speed fairly low (600 rpm'ish). If you have no control over the speed I would recommend doing this under water or with lubrication, too high an rpm and will heat up your bead and shatter it, not to mention dull your bit real fast).

Tips in using the battery operated:

~ don't try to ram it in the bead, it will stop and get stuck (even with new batteries in it). you want to gently insert the tip into the hole. Before you get all the way snug, start the speed and gently move it in and out until you get the desired diameter. Once you use it a bit you will get used to the amount of pressure you need before it will get stuck.
~ If the tip gets stuck in the bead, gently try to pull it out straight or you will snap off the very tiny tip ending (don't throw this reamer out as you can still use it, just not in a tiny holed bead)
~ For short quick reams, I don't find it necessary to submerge the bead in water while using this tool. Actually I rarely submerge in water.

If you don't have one of these tools, I highly recommend getting one.
Happy reaming!

*** Next Tuesdays Tool talk - a tutorial on making your own maple handle soldering pic ***

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Grab a coffee, tea or whatever suits your fancy and take a load off :) This blog is about, all things jewelry and the jewelry biz. Look for daily updates - Business Ideas, Jewelry Tips and Tricks, New Products, Tools, Designers Showcase every Friday (interview with a small business jewelry owner) and much more.
Enjoy your read and hope you take away a little inspiration or motivation.
- Dianne Bassett