Friday, March 21, 2014

Tooling Around

Can you ever have enough tools in a jewelry studio? Each one opens up a new world of possibilities. For years I have been coveting disc cutters. When my new disc cutter arrived last week, I couldn't wait to punch out some discs and washers from my vintage tin collection. Prepare work area. Safety glasses - check. Circle template - check. Brass hammer - check. Lubricant - check.  Instructional video - check. Disc cutter - check.

The directions on the company website said, "This Ikohe set is made for easy separation, as the top can be removed completely by unscrewing the center hex nut.  A hex key is provided for this, and the top portion has textured grips on the sides for ease of removal." Easy separation? Nope. Those two pieces, sealed tight with oil, weren't separating no matter what I tried - twisting, prying, whacking with a brass hammer, even throwing it on the floor. That was some mammoth suction! 

After countless unsuccessful attempts, the situation began to resemble a SNL skit or one of those punked-type shows. Give a girl a new cool tool but seal the plates so she can't even open the sucker. Let's see how she reacts. My resulting temper tantrum was not a pretty picture. I whacked it hard enough a couple of times with my brass hammer that the little company label fell off of it, but the damned plates still didn't separate. Finally, I took a sharp knife, slipped the blade between the plates, and pried.  To my surprise, it opened!

A work table with a pile of tin discs, washes, and crescent shapes is a beautiful thing. I am most definitely smitten with this new tool! I can now punch perfect circles, washers, and crescents. My first experiment was a pair of earrings with a tin disc that I domed in my dapping set (another awesome tool). 

Next, I punched a disc, domed it, and glued it in the hole of an beautiful antique doorknob plate. I added other elements (aqua terra jasper, brass chain, brass gears, leather, textured and antiqued brass sheet, and a brass pin) to create the rest of the necklace.

I added another pair of earrings with some gorgeous pieces of aqua terra jasper.

Here are some wild earrings that utilize my first disc-cut crescent shapes. 

This disc cutter was totally worth the wait and the frustration. I am in new tool heaven!

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