This article page is from a section “Favorite Tips” from BENCH Magazine 2002 submitted by readers and BENCH Magazine Staff covering polishing chains, pin tumbler, bright cutting plastic lid cutting tricks and more,
I polish chains by placing them against a leather sheet (I cut up and recycle my old wallets). I usually hold them tight and draw them away from the wheel downward keeping a tight pressure on my thumb above the wheel. Never polished chains clasped (if they get caught clasped they really make a mess).
I keep separate sheets of leather for each buffing compound and I use the back (suede) for cutting compounds and always use the smooth side for coloring compounds in case the leather scraps get mixed up somehow.
– William Pellegrini
Many of the larger pin tumblers units (and some of the smaller) are very noisy, due to all the media swirling around. This trick almost lets you forget it’s running at all. Find a box that is 2 inches bigger than the outside dimensions of your tumbler and deep enough that it clears the tumbling media container by at least 4-5 in.
Use a piece of 2 in. thick foam rubber and line the inside of the box with the foam. Double-sided carpet tape holds the foam well. Once the box is lined with foam cut a seat in the foam as if you were setting a stone I in. deep where it fits over the unit.
Make it at least ½ inchtighter than the outside dimensions of the unit so that it’s a snug fit. You will be surprised at how much it muffles the noise. The entire box can also be made of foam insulation. The foil covered 3/4 to 1 in. thick type of foam insulation works best.
This material can be taped together with clear packing tape and made to fit the unit snugly. A small inside lip can be added to the inside with double sided tape and some scrap foam. Place it so it makes the cover overlap at least ” in. over the top of the units’ housing but still clears your media container by at least I inch.
Get creative and add a trap door on the front; use packing tape for the hinge. Then you won’t have to take the cover off; just reach in and remove the media bowl. If you have a glassed in shop and it’s in view of the customer, the foil covered foam box can be spray painted to match the color of your tumbler.
– Steve Satow
When bright cutting stones in a ring mounting that is going to take more than the usual amount ofpressure, take a small piece of emery paper (maybe 11/2″ or so) fold it in halfand put it around your ring shank before you put in your ring clamp. This will help prevent it from slipping while you’re doing your work, especially if you have an older ring clamp.
– Stephen Cowan
This is the center portion of a plastic shoebox lid. I cut it out with a jeweler’s saw in just a few minutes and thermal glued it to a piece of thin rubber backed carpet. An old computer mouse pad also works well. I marked the end of each groove with a colored dot from a sharpie pen. I then mark each gauge ofwire with a different color sharpie l8GA, 20GA,22GA, and24GA, plus one miscellaneous groove for square wire of various sizes. This keeps wire and shank material at fingers reach and well organized. I have several of these on my desk.
– Steve Satow
I use a plain old-fashioned wooden clothespin (with wire coil) to clamp & hold pearls after gluing, as well as to clamp on the bottom of rings to hold them upright to dry in a remote place on my bench after applying ceramit or antiquing a ring.
I also want to add my thanks for your time & effort in making this, the most valuable tool of all, available to all free ofcharge.
– Steve Klepinger