Saturday, March 14, 2009

Handy Tools For Wire Wrappers--part one

Just to share with you a few handy organization tips and jewelry tools I like :)

I love these plastic organizers.They are inexpensive, stackable, and come in different numbers of cells for different sized beads.I have seen some "professional" acrylic beading organizers would love to buy them, but the price was, in my opinion, just outrageous.These little boxes I use are almost as good and I love the price :)
I also use them to carry tools when I travel.

These tiny zipper bags are great.I have them in different sizes.If you make jewelry then you probably already know that keeping jewelry in small zipper bags can prevent it from tarnishing.I use them to organize small findings as well because they are a great space saver.

In this picture you can see that I put the zipper bags in a compartment of a stationary organizing tray that I bought for next to nothing from a garage sale.

I love these sorting trays.Their shape makes it easier for you to pick up beads and dumping them into small bags or tubes.I think every beader should have some of these.They come in a set of 12, which is more than enough for me. Under the beading tray is a small "beading mat" that I bought from a bead store a long time ago.It prevents beads from rolling or bouncing away when you drop it accidentally, and I love it!(but I still drop beads on the floor, which is not covered by the beading mat, so I still have beads ALL OVER THE FLOOR...)

I bought my beading mat at a local bead store in Indianapolis, but later on I also found some blanket of the identical material.I'm not sure if it has a name, but it is somewhat like felt or fleece.If you can't buy the identical beading mat locally,I am sure either felt or fleece will do the same job.

Here comes the tools. The one at the top is a memory wire shear.I don't work with memory wire, but I use this shear in combination with my Lindstrom ultra flush cutters.Lindstrom cutters are very expensive so I sometimes use these cheaper memory wire cutters when I need a flush cut.It's very sharp and makes a super flush cut(because it was meant to be used on memory wire, which is stainless steel, a hard metal).The only disadvantage is they can't get into very small corners and are not suitable for precision work.
The little tool at the bottom is a wire rounder.This is a must for every wire worker. It's basically a file/bur to smooth the wire ends so they don't scratch your(or your customers') skin.When I first started out selling my jewelry, I used this to file the end of every wire wrapped ring I made.Then I had a dremel so I started to use just the tip(also called "cup bur")on the dremel.

Cup burs are somehow harder to find. Before I had a dremel, I also used the cup bur with the pin vise in the following picture.The one I have can hold wire or small objects very tightly.This is als0 a handy tool if you want to make twisted wire.This versatile set is now available at mysupplyshop.
Ok, so the last picture -- files. The skinny one is just a economic jewelry file.I bought the files in a set, but most of the time I only use this flat one.I also like the real nail files a lot--this one I am using has four steps and the last step is very very fine.

I will also do another post on other basic/essential jewelry tools I use as when I get some time!


Sara Kirby said...

Great and useful post! I use tackel boxes to organize my beads. Need to go get some of the files!

Have a good Sunday :)

Carol said...

Very informative post! I love seeing how others organize their jewelry-making supplies and tools. Thank you!

Shu Fen said...

hey! just dropping by ^^ nice blog you have here! :D btw i love pearl jewellery! keep up the good work! XD

tstreasures said...

Great information, I love to see what others have as essential tools. Then I have to go add them to my collection.

mu-yin jewelry said...

Sara,I love tackle boxes too! I actually have two sitting in my studio as well.When I first started out, I didn't have so many different beads so I threw everything in tackle boxes.As my inventory grow,organization also becomes more complicated..I still lay half of my beads literally everywhere.Bad,bad habit.I know exactly what to do to organize, but I'm just SOOOO lazy!!

uniquecommodities said...

Wow Great tutorial! So great to have found you through EC!

Dave Robertson said...

Hi, love to read real artists' pointers on the best tools for jewelry thank you very much for this good post.

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