Traditionally trained jewelers often scoff at the idea of using glue as a joining method. However, there are times when a tiny drop of glue is exactly what you need to get the job done. Common examples are mounting a pearl on a post or bonding the end of a rubber neck cord to a clasp.

When glue is the joining method of choice, it is crucial not to apply too much or the seam will look messy. For the perfect applicator, look in your bench pan for a piece of broken saw blade. Voilà! The teeth of the blade are perfect for holding a tiny amount of glue that can be easily transferred to your work, especially in hard-to-reach-places.

A #2 saw blade holds the right amount of glue for most applications, but you should select a blade size that best fits the project at hand—small blades for tiny parts, large blades for larger parts.

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If using liquid glue, dispense a small amount of glue onto a clean, thick, glossy piece of paper such as a postcard. The glossy surface of the paper will cause the liquid glue to remain in a small, neat pool, which makes it easy to control during application. Touch the tip of the blade to the glue’s surface: Capillary action will load the liquid onto the blade. The teeth on the saw blade will then hold the glue until you touch the blade to the piece, which will break the surface tension of the glue and dispense it in the desired location.

When using a two-part glue that requires mixing, use a toothpick to mix the glue according to the manufacturer’s instructions on the same type of glossy paper. Then scoop up the appropriate amount of glue onto the tip of the saw blade. With the saw blade as an applicator, apply the glue in a wiping motion to dispense the thicker solution. No fuss, no mess, and you’ve given a broken tool a new purpose!

Christine Dhein is a jewelry designer, author, editor, and educator, as well as the founder and editor of Green Jewelry News. For more eco-friendly jewelry tips, visit

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