I have heard it said, and attributed to Abe Lincoln, “If I had 4 hours to cut down a tree, I would use the first 2 hours sharpening the axe”. That must be one big tree…. But I get the idea.
Tool Preparation is very important!
HERE is a Quick Video
Today we will talk about refining the edges on our tools, namely our Tweezers. Most people don’t think about it, but many of our tools are an extension of our hands, and the better we prepare out tools, the easier our tasks will be. Heck, I even prep my nails with a #2 Flat Hand File once a week, but that is for another day…..
In soldering, setting, filigree work, and many of the intricate tasks in jewelry making, nothing is more frustrating than picking up a small piece of solder, or a stone, and having it “flick” out of your tweezers into the great unknown. There is nothing that will stop this from ever happening again, but today I will show you how to keep it to a minimum.
When we buy a new set of tweezers, even a quality pair, the tips will look somewhat good and clean, but if you look close, they look something like this:
When you think of tweezers, you think that you want the tips to come to a point at an angle to be able to pick stuff up, like fingers. Well in my experience, I have found that if the tips come together more parallel, the “flick-rate” is much less and they seem to pick up stuff easier. Also if the inside edge is flat and the very tip is flat, they work much better as well.
I usually file the edges with a used up #4 Flat Hand File to get the edges close, then I will run a Snap-on Sanding Disc over the filed surface to get rid of the deeper scratches. Last, I rub the edges of a piece of 400 Grit Sandpaper , flat on my desk to finish the edges flat. I also place a piece of sandpaper inside the tweezers, close them, and pull the sandpaper out a few times to make sure the two surfaces are parallel to one another.
I hope this helps you reduce your “Flick-rate” (my made up word of the day) and you can spend less time on the floor with a flashlight, and more time admiring your beautiful handiwork!
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Now, go Make something Shiny!