Friday, February 12, 2010

My Favorite Tools

Well, getting a bunch of us to write about our favorite tools was my idea, and then my computer went down. My husband, the miracle worker, has fixed it and so I'm back and ready for action!

First, I'm going to share with you what Lori, of LoriCitsay, has picked as "my top 5 favorite tools -- the ones I use almost every time I sit down at the bench-

1. Foredom flexshaft
2. Steel bench block
3. Mallet with a nylon head (for when I need to straighten or form the silver without marring it)
4. Really good flush cutter
5. Third hand (I actually prefer the cheaper ones. My daughter bought me a more expensive one with interchangeable pincher parts and I reach for my cheapo one over the "better" one every time.)"
Thank you so much, Lori!

I'm going off the beaten path just a little to pick my five favorites. The tools that I generally use are the usual jewelry tools: my torch, third hand, pliers, flex shaft, etc. What I've picked as my FAVORITES, though are the ones that go beyond the basics.

1. My titanium solder picks. They say you can use a bicycle spoke or old coat hanger, but NOTHING compares to titanium solder picks. I stuggled away with plain steel for probably 20 years before buying these. Solder DOES NOT STICK to them! I love them! I have a blue one for silver and yellow one for gold (just in case), and one extra, still in the drawer. LOVE THEM!

2. I don't know the name of this tool, but I love it none-the-less. It's wonderful for holding tiny things while you clean them up. This will save your aching joints.

3, I love my hot pickle! (Insert joke here.) You can use pickle cold, but you can never go back once you have a hot pickle. (I know, I know! That sounds really bad!) It just cleans your metal up so quickly!

4. My rotating bur holder. Not only can I find all my burs, but it spins! It's like a toy! I did have to alter mine because all the holes were the same size and some of my burs were larger. I used to keep all of my burs in a drawer or on my bench, which was such a mess! This helps neaten my bench.

5. My doming set. My dad got this for me for Christmas a couple of years ago. I LOVE using domes in my jewelry!

Well, those are my favorites, along with Lori's. So what are yours? Do tell!



  1. Lisa I love your idea to go with your FAVES rather than the basics. I saw that burr holder on your bench photo and immediately put one in my cart to buy, it looks SO much better than the little compartment thing I have mine in. I'm totally in love with my wooden tiny-thing-holder too, seriously cuts down on finger fatigue. Your pickle warmer looks industrial, where'd you get it?? LOVE THIS POST!!!!

  2. Great post! I need one of those small holder of things thingy too. I have carpal tunnel, and holding small things for a long time is murder! Your doming set is beautiful. I want one of those too!

  3. It's so much fun seeing what people are choosing as their favourite tools. I'll have to get busy and post mine.
    The tine-thing-holder is called a ring clamp. I just bought one recently and I love it! I definitely saves a lot of wear and tear on the hands.
    Lisa, your titanium picks are so clean and straight! Mine look like demented pretzels.

  4. Great post! I need one of those rotating holders! Where can I find one of those? I find my favorite thing right now is my husband's prized Craftsman socket set as my steel ring mandrel....(don't tell). Works great for now until I get one.

  5. oh I so need a solder pick! I am using a clay needle tool right now. funny, but it works! necessity is the mother of stealing tools for another purpose!

  6. My revolving bur holder came from Rio, and the hotplate came from my mom, I think. It's not industrial, just a hotplate for entertaining. You should watch second-hand stores for one. A mug warmer would work, too, if you only need a Mason jar sized pickle.

    Thanks for all the comments!

  7. I use a really small crockpot (found maybe at Target or Walmart for 7 or $8)- works great! I love all of these innovative ideas- keep them coming!