This month's theme for Etsymetal's blog carnival is about tools. Since metals smith are all tool junkies this is our favorite topic to discuss.
I am constantly adding new tools to my collection. Some are just replacements for the used up things like worn out burs, teeth-less files and a constant replenishing of silicone abrasives, polishing compounds etc. Those little tools don't get me excited, they are just a necessity to get my work done.
The most used tools in my studio for sure are hammers, files, saws and a bench pin. A lot of work can get archived by those simple staples.
But then there are the bigger tool splurges that can raise the heart rate of a tool junkie like me. A couple recent tool additions have been:
A Rolling Mill
I recently overheard another metal smith mention that without a rolling mill one can't call them self a real metal smith. Well, I guess I can feel better now. However, I did survive a few years quite well without it. I haven't used it yet but hope to get into more fabrication work in a bit. The mill will come in handy for rolling down stock and wire. And I just learned to make platinum wire from scrap during the Platinum Fabrication class at New Approach School. So this will come in handy very soon.
Now I can make some molds of my most requested designs so I don't always have to carve them from wax every time an order comes in. I rarely have time to make master models and send those out to the casting house for mold making. Having the vulcanizer in the studio allows me to quickly make a durable mold without loosing precious time in the process. I got a simple wax injector a couple years ago that still works just fine.
I did a little tool purchase spree last week at the end of my platinum fabrication class. They are still in transit and should arrive tomorrow. Most were just simple things like a new third hand, some handy pliers, a degree gauge & tungsten tweezers for platinum fabrication.
I am pretty much out of space in my tiny 100sf studio. I already have things on rolling furniture so I can move stuff around and get to tools in the back. It's kind of annoying. But I am really excited to be moving into a bigger studio in a couple weeks. There will be a lot more tools I can fit into a 500sf space. So stay tuned for more tool splurges in the future.
Follow me on Instagram where a lot of my tools get shown in action and tool splurges appear first.
Here a few more tools I use daily:
My bench is my happy place.
Selection of burs
Most often used flex shaft tools, gravers & files creating a beautiful pile of mess on my bench.
I do have some quite fancy tools like this CNC mill to carve waxes form my CAD creations.
Various holding fixtures like the Bench Mate and a ball vise used to hold objects like rings during stone setting and engraving.
Feel free to take a look at the tool collection of other Etsymetal Team Members: