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Video
A Modified Tool to Bezel-Set Round Faceted Stones

This jewelry bench tip is a follow-up to “Using a Split Mandrel for Finishing Fabricated Round Bezels,” which showed you how to modify a standard split mandrel to make an effective holding device to finish several fabricated…

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Avoid Stone Loss with Quality Assurance Benchmarks

Stone loss can be avoided. Inspecting each piece and comparing it against established benchmarks for signs of vulnerability in normal wear gives the jeweler/manufacturer an opportunity to address potential problems before jewelry is…

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Detail-Finish Problem Areas

Every bench jeweler has experienced the frustration of trying to sand and polish a nearly inaccessible area on a piece of jewelry. The goldsmith who can detail these small corners and crevices can bring his or her work up to the level of fine jewelry.…

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Discover the Benefits of CAD/CAM

CAD/CAM is a term that describes the two-part process of designing three-dimensional objects on a computer (CAD) and manufacturing them with a computerized machine (CAM). For many years this technology has been essential in making products…

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Ergonomics for Bench Pin Modifications

Ergonomics is the safe and effective relationship between a worker and the work environment. For the bench jeweler who spends hours working with a bench pin, it is important to make it work efficiently and effectively for you. There are many…

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Give Your Tools an Acid Bath

Bench jewelers hate to throw out used tools. By training and by nature we try to conserve the materials we use. An unfortunate side effect is that old burs and dull files tend to collect on our benches.

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How to Handle the Flexshaft and Handpiece

In the course of my 30 years in the jewelry industry, I can recall many instances of damaged equipment and potentially dangerous situations caused by how the handpiece is connected to the flexshaft. Here are a few observations that can make…

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How to Make Spiral-Cut Rubber Molds

In this installment we present a mold cutting technique called a spiral cut, which is designed to facilitate the successful release of a cage-like wax model from a mold.

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How to Modify a Goldsmith Hammer

Jewelers and metalsmiths have had to make their own tools throughout the ages to accomplish different tasks at the jeweler’s bench. One tool a jeweler can’t do without is a hammer. Today, many styles of hammers, made in a variety…

Video
How to Modify a Goldsmith Hammer

Jewelers and metalsmiths have had to make their own tools throughout the ages to accomplish different tasks at the jeweler’s bench. One tool a jeweler can’t do without is a hammer. Today, many styles of hammers, made in a variety…

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How to Modify a Wooden Ring Clamp

One persistent daily challenge a bench jeweler faces is trying to figure out the best way to hold onto tiny, delicate objects while performing mechanical operations such as sawing, filing or burring bearings for stone setting….

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How to Sharpen a Twist Drill

This installment will teach you how to sharpen the cutting edges of a fine twist drill. There are different styles of twist drill tips, but this example features a chisel tip. Let’s begin with a look at its anatomy.

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How to Use the Conduction Soldering Technique

The soldering process, used extensively in all aspects of jewelry manufacturing and repair, joins two or more pieces of metal together and when done properly, will result in a virtually undetectable seam. A better understanding of the soldering…

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Modify Your Prong Pushers to Make Them More Versatile

Many stone setters would agree that one of the most challenging aspects of prong setting is getting the prongs down tight on the stone. It’s easy to take this process for granted. If it’s done well, you might never notice. But doing…

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Notes on Lead Glass-Filled Rubies

This video provides an overview of lead glass-filled rubies and explains why it has begun to call them a “manufactured product” on reports.

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Quickly, Accurately Saw Around a Sharp Corner

Sawing is an essential skill for a bench jeweler. This article will show you a technique that will increase your sawing speed and accuracy when you need to make sharp corner cuts and reduce your likelihood of breaking delicate saw blades.

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Touchstone Method for Testing Purity in Karat Gold

There are a few scientific methods for precisely determining karat gold purity, some destructive (fire assay) and others nondestructive (X-ray florescence). Both methods require costly equipment, special procedures and a well-lit and…

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Turn an Old Brush into a Whip Burnisher

A worn-out bristle brush can easily be recycled into a useful tool called a whip burnisher or rotary hammer to improve or even eliminate minor imperfections and surface porosity in castings and other metal surfaces. Read more: Creating a Whip…

Video
Use a Split Mandrel for Finishing Round Bezels

A bench jeweler typically uses a split mandrel to sand and finish the inside of a ring. Various grits of abrasive papers can be cut to size and inserted into the slit of the mandrel, where they are held by friction during the rotary filing process.…

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Use Vector Tightening to Overcome

Gemstones that become loose in their settings can cause damage to both the gem and the setting. A regular inspection of jewelry can catch this problem in its early stages, before too much damage is done. Vector tightening prong-set stones is…

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Working on the Chain Gang

Chain repair is a set of fundamental skills and techniques every goldsmith needs to master, but the structure and design of the chain dictate what you need to do for a successful repair.