Friday, April 26, 2013

No More Marring your Metal

All jewelry tools are made smooth without teeth so that they don't mar the finish of your work. But, sometimes it's helpful to have a vise with gripping teeth to hold various objects.

If you buy a bench vise at a discount store, it's not necessarily made for working with non-precious metals while making jewelry. You may need to smooth it in order to hold a piece of soft silver without marring it. So what do you do?

Solve this problem and have the best of both worlds by covering the jaws of your vise grip with copper sleeves.
  1. Anneal the copper to make it malleable.
  2. Cut two pieces of copper with the following dimensions: Width (equal to the width of the jaw) x Length (twice the height of the jaw).
  3. Place one copper piece into the vise closing it tightly.
  4. Using a rawhide mallet, hammer the copper down over the top of the vise.
  5. Repeat the process with the other copper piece. 
Viola! You have a nice smooth surface inside the vise. When you need to use the vise with teeth, remove the copper.

Until next time have fun claying around!

by Janet Alexander
Technical Advisor


Libellula Jewelry said...

I use thick cowhide with the under side (suede) upward. It grips well.

Anonymous said...

would have been easier to understand if a before and after photo was shown.

Janet Alexander said...

Sorry, the 2nd photo seems to have disappeared! It was there when the blog was published? So, I will reattach it again.
Libellula, cow hide works great too if you have it. I use cow or deer skin when I am polishing. I will write a post about it. Thanks for the input guys!