December is the month I have to move fast to keep up with never ending To Do List, which included moving a little faster when it comes to make jewelry. When I am in a time crunch and I am cranking away on wire with my jewelry tools – I tend to leave more marks on the metal surfaces I working with. I wanted to share with you what I did to stop that problem.
There are several methods that most jewelry makers use to protect their wire wrapped loops, jump rings, wire and other metal work from those annoying “teeth” marks you get when your jewelry tools “bite” into the metal.
1) One way is to use pre-coated nylon jaw pliers. You can buy round nose, straightening and various types of flat nose pliers with a nylon coating. I have found the nylon wears out fairly quickly. I’ve never really favored the pre-coated pliers. Most of the pliers that come this way are fairly inexpensive so replacing them is not that big of a deal. However, I would rather replace my tools less often.
2) Another easy and inexpensive way is to wrap some blue painters tape to your pliers – sometimes 2 layers depending on how much force you have to use on the project you are working on. The tape comes off easily when you want it off. However, I feel the tape often gets in the way.
3)* My new favorite way is to apply a coating to your tools. Yesterday, I finally got around to using a product called Tool Magic – Rubber Coating for Jewelry Tools. I have had this in my house for at least 6 months. I just haven’t taken the time to use it. Last night, I finally gave it a try.
I coated several of my inexpensive flat, bent and round nose pliers and I love it!
The neat thing about the coating is that is not permanent and can be removed without damaging your tools when you want to or if it is worn out and ready to be recoated. You don’t have to toss the pliers and buy another one. It gives you a little extra gripping capability and if you are working with some thicker gauge brass or copper jump rings then it can really come in handy.
You just dip the tool, remove it slowly and let it dry for about three hours. That is all there is to it. It costs about $10 – $13 a jar and I would say it is worth the money and the small amount of time that it takes to apply it. You can buy it here. Tool Magic – Rubber Coating for Jewelry Tools.
How do you prevent those annoying marks when you are making jewelry? Have you used any of the methods I mention above? Any other ways that work for you that I have not mentioned? Please share!