Monday, August 4, 2014

Etsy Metal Blog Carnival: A Peek Into My Studio

This month's Etsy Metal blog carnival topic is...Show us your tools! Favorites, shop setup, desires...

A metalsmith's world revolves around the many tools of the trade.

The ugly but very practical table above was in the basement of our house when we bought it. It has new legs, but is otherwise untouched. The little set of drawers was also there. I could see some faint lettering that indicated it was originally used in a store to hold spools of thread. Because this table is so sturdy I use it for tools that need to be bolted down (rolling mill, metal shear), and for hammering.

This large black tool is my sheet metal shear, like a paper cutter for metal. I love it since I work with lots of squares and rectangles. It quickly and easily cuts thick sheets of metal into those rectangles, or strips for cuff bracelets.

 I re-purposed the thread drawers to hold various forming tools--hammers, dapping blocks (to form domes in metal sheet), etc.

A drawer of hammers

 More forming tools on top of the bench.

This is one of my favorite tools, a disc cutter. Not just any disc cutter, but a really easy to use disc cutter that cuts clean discs from sheet metal.

This is a relatively new tool, a rolling mill. I've mostly been using it to emboss designs/pattern/texture onto metal. There's a little pile of stuff next to it that I've been using for the embossing. If I really wanted to, I could roll out sheet metal myself with this nifty tool, but I don't plan to do that.

Mandrels for forming hoops and bracelets.

Here's my workbench, where I saw, file, form, and finish. This photo doesn't capture one of my most useful tools, the flexible shaft, a rotary tool used for many purposes. I use it mostly for drilling and finishing/polishing.

 This bench drawer has sanding and finishing wheels for the flexible shaft, and a tube cutting jig (the thing with the red handle).

On top of my bench, some of my pliers and more flexible shaft tools for finishing.

More pliers, plus sanding pads and sandpaper.

I use my jeweler's saw constantly, for cutting wire, tubing, sheet, and for piercing out designs like this one:

On another table I have my soldering area. In the foreground are fire bricks and charcoal blocks (soldering surfaces). In the back you can see part of my ventilation system and a small crockpot that holds pickle (an acid used to remove flux from soldering). I covered the wooden tabletop with ceramic tiles to protect it from the torch flame.

My air-acetylene torch for soldering.

 Yet another table holds my photography setup and the drawers hold additional supplies.

See what my fellow Etsy Metal members have to say about their tools:

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