Thursday, December 22, 2011

DIY tips! Make your own tools !

A flower stand re-used as file stand
One of the perks of being a jewellery artist for that matter an artist working in any medium, we all get to be pack rats and actually call all that stuff  ' Tools & Equipment' :D Just kidding, but if I look at my studio which I now have for more than a year it has changed drastically with so many more 'Tools and Equipment' than what I started out with. Not all of it is the expensive-bought-from-that-amazing-tool-place kind, in-fact quite a few of the small stuff is actually recycled form its previous existence as a mundane object into a specialty tool ! I would like to share a few such pieces with you today,  one such is my mother's old flower stand. This is basically a stand which sits inside a flower vase and individual flower stems are stuck into each groove, allowing the flowers to stand upright. Well I am not really the flower arranging type so well, I simply arrange my hand files into it and voila! they can be found at a moments notice! ( Not that my jeweler's bench is messy you understand :D )
         This next one is a bit of a DIY project , if you live in Mumbai and own a furnace, and unless your furnace manufacturer has been kind enough to provide a firing rack, you are on your own ! Well I lucked out in this case, a steel and iron mesh guy in the city had some of this perforated steel mesh scrap left over and gave it to me for about a hundred bucks and yours truly simply fit it in the bench vise and hammered the sides to create legs :) Unfortunately I have not been able to find some smaller scrap for my jewellery furnace :(

Most jeweler's I know usually use something more delicate for their soldering needs, well I not like most jewelers as you know, I am first and foremost a metal artist, so instead of a small firing pad, I use a left over fire brick from some repairing that was done on my furnace door a few years ago. :) This really helps in alleviating neck strain while soldering all those tiny findings.

    I currently own a set of jump ring dowels, but back when I had no idea that such a tool even existed this was my makeshift dowel, The sawed off portion of our old 14 " TV antenna :D Yup your read that correct, this little device really bailed me out. With LEDs and Plasma TVs antennas are out but the old devices used to have this hollow pipe set which was essentially a set of four pipes of different dimensions set in such a way that you could extend the antenna to the required height.

   Last but not least a set of DIY wooden mallets, I am particularly proud of, I made these back in my college days using believe it or not a rolling pin! My father found a really nice rosewood rolling pin and I simply cut it in three parts and had a college peon attach handles to the center of the mallet heads and there you go custom mallets ! They were such a hit one was even flicked by an old college mate :P
Now that I recall it was my professor's idea to use the rolling pin, it's been fifteen years and they are still extremely useful !

 A parting tip, can't get small enamel spoons at your local supplier's use my idea start saving all the tiny stirrers that nice coffee houses give with their take away or even cup coffees. P.S. Mc Donald's is my favorite !