Archive | Safety

Nice and Relaxing Day, Let’s Talk More About Jewelry Safety


Yesterdays post on safety was quite the reminder on how dangerous jewelry making can be if you do not pay attention to what you are doing and the warnings of the equipment and the warning of others. Although this incident was about 4-5 years ago, it still is a lesson I remember every time I use my Vacuum Machine and something I bring up to others when I see them investing.

Bell Jar Safety (1) Bell Jar Safety (6)

One of the other safety things I have learned in the jewelry and I am a stickler to is Safety Glasses. It is something that is easy to forget, and something that can cost you your jewelry making in an instant.

I have never injured my eyes making jewelry, but I have had flying metal hit my safety glasses a few times.

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Last item I always have handy next to my jewelry bench is a Fire Extinguisher. I have never had to use it, but I have heard stories and it only takes one mistake or accident to have a bad day.

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That’s enough on safety for now, I am going to enjoy the rest of my day!

Thanks again for following along on this journey.

Now go be safe.


Jewelry Investment and Casting Safety Lesson

I was doing a little work this morning and it reminded me of an incident that happened a few years back that I still think about often and helps to remind me of a safety lesson I am grateful for.

Bell Jar Safety Header

I was investing a flask a while back, and my vacuum machine wasn’t pulling the vacuum I was used to (26-27 inches of vacuum) so I added a little water around the bottom seam, which usually helps. this still didn’t give me the results I wanted, so I pressed down on the bell jar to see if I could get a better seal. The moment I did this, the bell jar exploded, actually “Imploded” and my hand went straight into the inside of the jar. Many, many tiny shards of sharp plastic went flying around my shop, some 20-30 feet away, and I had little cuts all over me. The luckiest part, which I am still grateful for, was the top of the remaining bell jar was very, VERY, sharp, and my wrist went right into the edge, not real hard, but if I was 1 inch closer, or added a little more pressure, this edge would have cut my wrist very badly, and I was working in my shop alone. I still consider myself blessed.

I have added a picture of the bell jar, look at the edges of it……

Bell Jar Safety (3) Bell Jar Safety (4)

Bell Jar Safety (6) Bell Jar Safety (1)

So there is my reminiscing tip of the day, the safety labels are there for a reason, and even if they don’t make sense at the time, they should be heeded.

By the way, I now wear safety glasses when I invest and when I cast…..

Bell Jar Safety (7)

Now go do something fantastic!

Happy Jewelry Making


Day 50 Jewelry Safety, Community, and Thanks!

Jewelry, a Story of Community, Friendship, and Perseverance.

BHRT Doug08 Cropped

               There is something about the community of jewelry makers that defies definition. It is as strong as family and its roots go as deep as oaks and blood and waters and history. The friendships I have made in this “family” over the years will last for the rest of my days, and the people who make up this community will stop at nothing to help one another. I was reminded of this fact this week when I posted a blog post where I had images of me polishing with gloves on, and the community came out in force. I have always harped about safety in jewelry making, that one mistake or lack of attention can be devastating. Polishing with gloves on was something I started doing a few years ago, always knowing that it was risky and paying particular attention to where my hands were at all times, but y’all have convinced me to toss the gloves in the trash and figure another way of keeping my fingers cool and clean.

This group is Awesome, thank you for your “calling me out”.

Thank you all!



Day 5 Safety (Torch Setup)

Day 5 is here and time to talk about something more important than jewelry making, more important than jewelry design, more than tools or beauty or comfort….. let’s talk about  SAFETY.

Sizing 10

Safety should be THE #1 thought that is the foundation of every task, every job, every day. You can mess up a piece of jewelry, you can melt a ring or break a stone, this is replicable, but if you do not wear safety glasses EVERY TIME you sit at your jewelry bench, you are risking something irreplaceable. If you do not tie back your hair when you are working, you are risking injury with fire or machinery. Get into the habit of having a few pair of safety glasses at every work station you have. If they are easily accessible, you are more likely to put them on.

Fire is something else to be cautious of and if you have a torch in your workspace, make sure the floor is not a material that is flammable. Also make sure you have a fire extinguisher handy, within arm’s reach of your bench. When hooking up your torch to your tanks, it is a must that you check the fittings for leaks. It is also a good idea to check them on a regular basis. There are 3 ways to tell if you have a fuel or an oxygen leak. First, if you have a fuel leak, you will be able to smell gas. Oxygen has no smell, but gas always does.

Second, check your gauges on your regulator. A regulator is a MUST to have between your torch and your tanks. If you turn off your tanks, the gauges should hold their pressure. I set my oxygen pressure at approx 30psi and my fuel (propane) at approx 10psi. Turn off the tank by turning the knob on the top of the tank all the way to the off or closed position then watch the gauge to make sure it does not slowly lose pressure.  Also, when using the torch, turn the tanks all the way to the on or open position.

Gauge2 Gauge1

The third way to check for leaks is to get a soapy solution and spray the fittings and watch for bubbles. I use a mixture of Simple Green and water (8 parts water : 1 Part Simple Green), it is biodegradable, smells great, and is good for cleaning just about everything imaginable. Even if there is a slight leak, it will bubble slowly (or quickly). If you see this, you will need to tighten the fittings. If you have them really tight and there is still a leak, you will need to find new fittings. Check both fittings on the regulators of both tanks as well as the fittings for the gauges.

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Fitting2 fitting1

 Also check the fittings on the torch. I use a Smith Mini Torch and have never had a problem, but it is good to check. Also dip the very tip of the torch in water and look for bubbles. If you see bubbles there, the valve on the torch is either not tight, not adjusted correctly, or just worn out.


Here is what to look for if you have a leaky fitting. (bubbles)

Bad Fitting

Thanks for stopping by and have a safe day!