Monday, January 9, 2012

Tools Are Not Toys (?)

I've told all of my kids and grandkids that tools are not toys. I pounded it into their heads until they had a healthy respect for them. After all, they are what separates us from (most) animals, right?

I can only imagine what goes though their heads when grandma gets all excited and giddy over a package in the mail. "Oooooo, gimme gimmee!!" I shriek with glee, as my granddaughter brings in the mail, forgetting my manners and age. I must seem like a little kid getting a new toy at Christmas to them. But, wait a minute.... I AM a big kid getting a new toy for Christmas! LOL! Yes, yes! Tools are my toys. I respect them, yes, of course I do, but what FUN! I love tools and have more than my husband does. But, we share and share nicely. We sit at the table and play nice with our toys, er, tools.

I got an allowance for tools for Christmas. DH wanted me to get what I needed. Bad move. Naw, he knows I know how to control myself, so he didn't have to worry.

Now that I have burned through my purse, I thought I'd share what I got. Only women of similar minds could fully appreciate my delight with my new... tools.

Here's the list. See if you can guess what my next big purchase will be when I get some more money:
Soldering Made Simple DVD, Joe Silvera
Soldering Made Simple: Easy techniques for the kitchen-table jeweler, Joe Silvera
Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry: A Workshop in Painting with Fire Barbara
Making Metal Jewelry: Projects, Techniques, Inspiration, Joanna Gollberg
Propane torch, fine tip
Blazer Self-Igniting Butane Micro-Torch
Vector Quintuple Refined Butane Fuel - 3 Pack
Annealing and Soldering Pan with Pumice Stone   
Kiln Brick

Sparex Pickling Compound
Copper Tongs   

4-Ounce Cross Peen Hammer
Stainless Steel Block with Wood Base
Rubber Block

Copper 22 gauge Sheet Metal, 3" x 3" piece
Copper 20 gauge Sheet Metal, 3" x 3" piece
Copper 24 gauge Sheet Metal, 3" x 3" piece
Screw Down Hole Punch

Pro Polish Pad
Zam polishing compound
I took my time getting these things and did some research. Amazon was my friend and so was Beaducation, which is a great place to learn and has good prices on some of the things that I wanted to get. I did some scrounging around the house and commandeered a few things- some graphite (as a heatproof surface), a jeweler's saw (DH never used it), some leather tools and some glass working tools, to name a few. I have a kiln, but I haven't busted that out, yet. Not sure I'll need it.

So, other than a rolling mill, which is down the line- can you guess at what is sorely missing? If you can guess, then you know what my next big adventure is. After I exploit some more fire, that is. :)

Ammolite doublet  Biding my time waiting for new tools in the mail.


  1. Tela,

    Mr. Sequin and I feel the same way about tools! We love finding new ones and make at least one significant tool purchase at the Bead and Button Show every year. :)

    I've noticed that a pickle pot wasn't on your list. If you don't have one already, an old crock pot works!

    So excited to see what you make next. Love the pendant, too.

    -- Sarah

  2. Hi Sara :) Good for you for having a like minded partner! DH and I share our tools and look out for new ones for each other. He does modeling, so we both use small tools. His brother won't go to the tool section with him! LOL! He says real men shouldn't buy small tools :) Kidding, of course. DH even has a mini lathe. He cut some mandrels for me to size.

    A pickle pot was one of my household scrounges I forgot to mention. It's the little dip kind. I measured the heated water at 140 degrees. It will work nicely. Since the SB doesn't work so well with silver, I had to get some pickle.

  3. Hi, Tela. Looks like you are making a foray into metal working. If so, hie yourself back to the tool section and look for nail sets. Usually three different to a package. These make nice little circles when stamped on metal. Don't use your nice cross peen hammer, tho. Use an inexpensive ball peen, or something akin. I use the combo brass and nylon head hammer. It's my go to hammer. Not pricey, either, and you can replace the heads if they get too worn.

    Save your money for a rolling mill. Get the economy one your friend wrote about. I have the same one and I can vouch for it. Just be careful not to over tax it by running something too thick through. You might want to consider a disc cutter set and a dapping set.


    1. Thanks for the tips John and guess what? You guessed it!! My next big purchase will be a dapping set. I am trying to get the tools together to do some cold connections. I just love some of the designs I see and I want to see what I can bring to it. I'm mostly there. I get you about the hammer. I have an old one I use a lot and reserve the nicer new one for lighter, more precise work. I want a hammer like you suggested, too. It was in my Amazon cart and I had to ditch it. :(

  4. Tela, I am so excited for your new purchases! What fun and excitement to learn and grow. My latest big purchase was the ionic cleaner. Next up is a disc cutter but then there is the wire to buy.....

    1. I need a disc cutter, too. My list grows daily! I just had to buy some new cutters and they are expensive, so the rest will have to wait for next time. :( My tool chest grows slowly, but surely.

  5. Tela - fun entry- I know exactly how you feel. My husband recently surprised me with a mini cordless dremel and I was thrilled.
    It just happened to be one item offered in a catalog of "premiums" you could purchase with credit card points.
    I've been running on a very limited budget and have so far manged to get by with just the bare basics - every one of which was welcomed like a new grandchild or a puppy. I'm gradually building my tool selection and am leaning towards a mini torch as the next one.

    1. Hi Laura, I seem to go from rag to riches with tools. When I get a bunch of extra money, it goes right to tools and then I can't buy any till next time. I know what you mean.

      The best buy on a mini torch was on amazon, at least when I got mine. I'm a bargain hunter and I always shop around.


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