Friday, May 20, 2011

New Tools - jury is out.........

First up Week 12 at Tafe: I still have to solder last week's jumprings into a bracelet but this week we started working on the clasp. A hollow form padlock clasp - it's still a work in progress. Once again we rolled our silver sheet down from a little section of bar ingot.

It's satisfying learning to fabricate materials on the spot as needed instead of keeping all the different gauges of sheet and wire on hand. Although if I was doing it this way at home I'd definitely need to get quicker at it...oh and I'd need a better rolling mill, oh and draw plates etc etc -He He :)

In other happenings - The Aussie dollar is pretty healthy and the silver price dropped back from it's near $50 high so it was time for a bit of internet shopping.
Apart from materials that I actually needed, I also splurged $20(aud)on a new tool.
Rocket wire twisting pliers :)

They held a lot of promise but alas, I was a tad disappointed after giving them a test run! Check out the video instructions on how they work.
I tested them on 16 gauge square copper wire but I found it impossible to close the handles to secure the wire. I had to squeeze the handles in my vice, as I didn't have the wrist strength, hmm - what a weakling! Anyway I did twist a few 13cm (about 5 inch) lengths of wire. They twisted evenly and I soldered them into rings to make this pendant.

Next up - some square silver 18 gauge. A 60 cm (2 feet)length just didn't twist evenly. You can see a couple of the pieces in the photo above next to the pliers. I ended up cutting it into shorter bits to try and salvage it. That did the trick (sort of) and I made this:

My conclusion: I should have googled a bit more before I bought these. Apparently the pliers are good for wire up to 18 gauge (1mm), so it was no wonder I had trouble with the 16 gauge copper. I haven't tried twisting 2 strands of round wire to make twisted wire yet but the video makes it look easy.
I think I'll use them occasionally in the future but honestly a hand or power drill and a vice will do the same job, so I probably could have lived without these and saved my 20 bucks. However these pliers do get a 10 out of 10 for their good looks.
They look pretty damn cool in the tool drawer.

I don't think I've experienced "tool remorse" before - LOL ....What tools have you purchased that have underwhelmed you? Pin It


Crystal Flair said...

Hmmm Pam do I admit that I have two of these in differing sizes and that I have never actually used either one! Oh boy I have to stop shopping for all the gadgets and start doing, I get stuck behind a computer too many hours a day. I love what you have done though Pam and now I see how easy it can be the instructions were always wanting a bit cheers Y ;)

GetSilvered said...

Thanks Yvonne, Yes, the video does make it a lot easier to work out - the instructions on the box leave a lot to be desired :)

JaZazz said...

I was going to buy these pliers, but after your comments on it you have just saved me between $20 and $25 plus postage. So thank you.

GetSilvered said...

Thanks for visiting JaZazz. The postage can be the dealbreaker can't it? With mine I purchased other things too so that spread the postage cost out.
Now you can go to the next tool on your wishlist instead :)