Category Archives: Get the Most from Your Tools

Dressing Pliers – “Fashioning” Your Tools

This is an authentic Peruvian llama finger puppet. Only the finest and most exotic dressing for my pliers! Why do pliers need dressing? They don’t, actually, need clothing, but what almost all pliers DO need is a bit of specialty … Continue reading

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The Elusive Tam O’Shanter Hone… Mourning the Loss… Seeking a Substitute.

Many years before I ever saw one, I had heard of the mystical Tam O’Shanter Hones (also called Water of Ayr Stones, Snake Stones, or simply Scotch Stones). Touted by old hands in the jewelry business as the best no-fuss … Continue reading

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Pickle Tags

In a couple of weeks, I’ll be teaching another silver stack rings class, so I made pickle tags for my students. Nothing fancy, but SO useful (like that horseshoe nail in the adage). If you need to pickle a bunch of similar but … Continue reading

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Wind & Cut Jump Rings Simply & Efficiently

Do you need a lot of wire rings that are consistent in size, but you don’t have an expensive pendant drill and jump ring cutting system? Read on for the simplest and least expensive ways I have found to achieve a big pile … Continue reading

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Wire Gauges – Why They Are Useful

Though the tool pictured above is called a wire gauge (or gage), it is also used to measure the thickness of sheet metal. For a metal disc with holes in it, its price ($30-$50) can be a bit surprising to those new … Continue reading

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The Secret Power of the Sliding Gauge

The humble brass sliding gauge is a powerful tool, and no self-respecting Shoebox Studio should consider being without one.  I have two.  When one goes with me to teach classes, the other stays at home snug on my bench, just … Continue reading

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