A passion for silversmithing

STERLING SILVER : Noun, meaning silver of 92 and a quarter percent purity.....

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Gathering my tools

I begin to gather the tools I need for silversmithing. Paul dug out a set of needle files (2) that were lurking in the shed, never used, and a rather chunky gas blow torch that will do for now. I make a ring mandrel from an old chair leg, and a bangle mandrel from a table leg. I buy a second hand leather bag from the charity shop and though tempted to keep it as a bag, I cut it up into decent size pieces. I keep my eye on ebay, and almost bagged a second hand set of silversmithing tools.

I love to trawl the charity shops, and I came across an ‘as new’ Cougar Hand Tool set (6) , which I buy assuming it must be a bargain. It has umpteen bits and will be very useful – though no instructions with it. (google it when I get home and find I paid the same as a brand new one – hey ho!)

I buy a doming block (1) for a very good price on ebay, and later a disc cutter (8) and doming punches (which when they arrive are MUCH smaller than I expected and may be a waste of money).

The toolkit is growing. 

To buy the rest of the tools I want will cost over £400 which is way too much. I decide to buy just the tools I need to get started on my first few projects. They are:- 

     1)  To make a wedding ring for Paul. He lost his in Cape Town years ago, and as this year is our Silver Wedding Anniversary I decide to make him a new ring. 
     2)  To make bezel set stone rings in silver using some of the lovely shiny semi precious stones my Dad tumbled many years ago.

cooksongold.com have everything I need and my tools and bullion are delivered the next day. It feels like Christmas, and I can’t wait to get home from work. I savour each and every tool, as I unwrap them. The only disappointment is the ball pein hammer (9) which I expected to be round and this one has a small point to it.

The little magnifier (5) is old, I can't remember where it came from but I have had it for many years. I LOVE the bench peg and anvil (11) and the doming block. MMM mmmmmm!

I spend a couple of hours ‘moving in’. I am not sure where best to put everything, but I think after a few weeks use things will find their place. 

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