Green Bench Tips – Part 1

1 Minute Read

This article was originally posted on Userblogs on 7/24/2016.
By Shannon L. BrownMore from this author

This is the first in a two-part series on green bench tips shared by jewelers who are taking an eco-friendlier approach in their shops. Small changes at the bench can make a difference.

Window to the World

Jennifer Dawes, Dawes Design, Santa Rosa, California

Place your workbench next to a window. This helps the environment by using less electricity, which puts a little more green in your pocket. As opposed to fluorescent lights, natural light is easier on your eyes and won't alter the colors of your gemstones. For added color clarity, tape gems to tracing paper adhered to the window.

Painless Repurposing

Joni Kat Anderson, JKAT Jewelry, Chicago

Next time you visit the dentist, ask if he or she is planning to get rid of any old dental tools. With minimal alterations, those dental picks and scrapers can be saved from the dump and repurposed into some great wax carving tools for your shop.

Old Is New Again

Christine Dhein, founder and editor of GreenJewelry

Many jewelers are aware that they should avoid fluxes containing fluorides, which are hazardous in case of skin and eye contact, as well as inhalation. But many "non-fluoride" fluxes actually contain ingredients in the fluoride family, such as potassium fluoborate, which pose the same exposure hazards and are toxic to lungs and mucous membranes.

As an alternative, opt for a borax cone. A traditional flux used by jewelers for centuries, borax is still used widely in Europe today and poses only minor potential health risks.

Place a borax cone in a ceramic dish with an abrasive surface, add a bit of water, and rub the bottom of the cone against the dish to create a paste. Thin it with water to the desired consistency and use as flux.

Related Topic:

Green Bench Tips - Part 2

In association with

The award-winning Journal is published monthly by MJSA, the trade association for professional jewelry makers, designers, and related suppliers. It offers design ideas, fabrication and production techniques, bench tips, business and marketing insights, and trend and technology updates—the information crucial for business success. “More than other publications, MJSA Journal is oriented toward people like me: those trying to earn a living by designing and making jewelry,” says Jim Binnion of James Binnion Metal Arts.

Click here to read our latest articles
Click here to get a FREE four-month trial subscription.

You assume all responsibility and risk for the use of the safety resources available on or through this web page. The International Gem Society LLC does not assume any liability for the materials, information and opinions provided on, or available through, this web page. No advice or information provided by this website shall create any warranty. Reliance on such advice, information or the content of this web page is solely at your own risk, including without limitation any safety guidelines, resources or precautions, or any other information related to safety that may be available on or through this web page. The International Gem Society LLC disclaims any liability for injury, death or damages resulting from the use thereof.

Shannon L. Brown

The All-In-One Jewelry Making Solution At Your Fingertips

When you join the Ganoksin community, you get the tools you need to take your work to the next level.

Become a Member

Trusted Jewelry Making Information & Techniques

Sign up to receive the latest articles, techniques, and inspirations with our free newsletter.