The Illustrated Guide to Jewelry Making Tools

Don’t know the difference between a bench block, a mandrel and an anvil? We’ll clue you in. When do you use a ball peen hammer, a planishing hammer, and a chasing hammer? We’ll let you know – and tell you why one pro calls a well-formed planishing hammer his favorite jewelry tool of all. Want to know what chain nose pliers and round nose pliers look like, or what kinds of other jewelry pliers are available? We’ll show you. Why is a pin vise or a tube cutter a handy thing to have? We’ll explain that and much more. In this free tutorial, you’ll find everything you need to get started making your own handmade jewelry. Find out what basic jewelry tools are necessary or nice to have and what each one is designed to help you do better.

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The Illustrated Guide to Jewelry Making Tools Free eBook

The Illustrated Guide to Jewelry Making Tools Free eBook

More than 125 jewelry tools in 30 categories described – plus pros’ favorites!

You’ll find this illustrated eBook a valuable reference if you’re just venturing into
jewelry metalsmithing, and full of interesting comments from established jewelers even if you’re one yourself. From tips for setting up your jeweler’s bench to selecting top of the line jewelry tools for forming, cutting, soldering, and finishing, this jewelry equipment guide has you covered. Discover fully described jewelry tool categories with detailed photos and expert advice. Learn what jewelry tools the professionals have chosen to use and why.

Discover when to use a ball peen hammer, a chasing hammer or a planishing hammer for your jewelry.


Jewelry Pliers, Hammers, Mandrels, Stakes, Anvils, Dapping, Punching, Compression, Clamps, and Vises

A ball peen hammer is an all-purpose hammer with one round and one half-domed face… A chasing hammer has one flat face for striking other tools or planishing metal, and one round face for forming and riveting… A planishing hammer has flat or convex faces to smooth metal that has been worked by other hammers or to harden metal… A bench block is a common jewelry anvil… A mandrel is a specialized jewelry anvil. Sizes and shapes vary from a ring mandrel to a mandrel for neckpieces, bezels, or a bracelet mandrel… A rolling mill is used to change the thickness of metal sheet or ingots by compression… A dapping block is used to form domes or half rounds… Jewelry pliers are carefully selected to perform specific tasks, e.g., flat nose pliers are for angular bends, and
for drawing or pulling… Pliers, vises, and ring clamps give you strength and accuracy, and
save your hands.

Get more information on jeweler's saw basics.


Saw Frames, Saw Blades, Files, Gravers, Stamps, Drill Bits and Burs

The process of forming often starts with cutting a shape from a sheet of metal. For very thin metal, this may be done with snips; however, snips can curl, twist, and deform the sheet. Most often cutting is done with a jeweler’s saw and blades. Simple holes are cut in metal with drill bits, by hand, or with a motorized tool. Depressions in the surface of metal are cut with burs or with gravers. Stamping cuts the surface — typically in a decorative pattern — unlike a punch, which merely moves the metal. Metal files are the first step in finishing metal, and come in a range of shapes and “cuts” from coarse to fine… Needle files are used for small components and delicate
work. Cylindrical rotary files on a shaft can be used in a flex shaft motorized handpiece. Find all you need to know about jewelry cutting tools.

Learn how to properly use a jeweler's torch.


Torches and Soldering Aids

A jeweler’s torch, just like any torch, is a device that mixes fuel (natural gas, propane, acetylene) with air/oxygen to produce intense heat. It is possible to fabricate jewelry using only cold connections such as rivets. However, almost all jewelers use some kind of torch for soldering, texturing (such as granulation and reticulation), and coloring metal. Torches are also used to heat metal for casting.

Learn more about jewelry making tools for texturing and polishing.k


Hand and Motorized Finishing

The final step in jewelry making is finishing. Finishing may include texturing a surface as well as polishing. Finishing may be done by hand, with sanding and polishing sticks, with a flexible shaft motor tool, or with a dedicated polishing machine. Finishing also uses compounds. Bobbing compound or tripoli is used after filing and sanding for marks left by those tools. Jeweler’s rouge is for final finishing. Different colors of rouge are used for different metals: red for gold, silver, brass, copper; green for white gold, platinum, or nickel; black for silver; yellow for platinum or stainless steel; and white for niobium or titanium.

The Illustrated Guide to Jewelry Making Tools Free eBook


Casting, Wax Carving, Metal Clay, Stone Setting, Cabochon Cutting, Faceting, Gem Carving, and Beading

Discover all the specialty jewelry making tools you will need for casting your own waxes, using metal clays, setting gems into your jewelry, cabochon cutting and faceting gems, and even beading.

Learn how to custom fit your jeweler's saw handle!

Bonus Jewelry Tool Project

Custom Jeweler’s Saw Grip

Unfortunately, our most basic and most personal tool
leaves much to be desired in terms of ergonomics.
The problems are many. An easy way to reduce hand stress is to reduce grasping
power, so making the frame handle larger and custom fitted
achieves this. With a little bit of polymer clay, you can mold the handle of your jeweler’s saw to custom fit your hand. When the clay cools, you’ll have a sawframe that is much better balanced and fits your hand perfectly.

This tutorial is an essential resource you can turn to anytime you go jewelry tool shopping or you want to upgrade your jewelry equipment.

Download it now while you can!


The Illustrated Guide to Jewelry Making Tools Free eBook