Our University Student Jewellery Tool Kit will form the foundations of your dependable, daily arsenal that you will come to rely upon, day in, day out. We have taken the hard work out of this painstaking task by the bringing these items together for you, curriculum approved, so you have one less thing to worry about when embarking on your new course. So having purchased your beautiful and shiny new toolkit, just what can you make with it? Let me give you some ideas….

This particular toolkit contains all of your vital hand tools; pliers, tweezers, files, snips, scribers and a saw (N.B. you will need to purchase sawblades separately – 972 060). You also have a jobbing hammer and a nylon mallet which means essentially you can measure, mark out, manipulate, shape, refine and cut sheet metal and wire to make a range of small-scale jewellery and objects.

University Tool Kit

Wire is a great starting point as it can be cut with side-cutters and shaped with pliers and files which will help you to get a good feel for how easily metal can be manipulated.

Once in a classroom environment you will have access to blowtorches, which will allow you to start soldering metal together. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities and will enable you to close loops when doing wirework which makes pieces much, much stronger. You have a borax dish and cone plus some heat resistant blocks included in the kit which are both essential for soldering. However, if you fancy having your own portable heat source you can purchase a handheld torch which is ideal for small scale soldering jobs.

Jewellers Soldering Hand Torch Butane Blow Torch

Working with sheet metal generally involves sawing which takes time to master. Following a design and sawing in a straight line are some of the first tasks you will learn at University so the more practice you can get the better. Once a shape has been cut out, it can be used in so many different ways; earrings, pendants or cufflinks. It is best to start off with simple shapes and move on to more complex designs as you increase your skill and confidence levels.

Another perfect project to practice your sawing skills is to make a simple band ring using sheet metal, ideally silver approximately 0.8mm thick or above.

  • Simply mark out a strip of metal using your dividers included in the kit, or a steel ruler and scriber. 4-6mm width would suffice.
  • Then working to the outside of your marked line, try to saw a line as straight as possible to cut out your strip of silver.  Let the saw do the work and don’t apply too much pressure. Remember, the saw cuts on the downward stroke, the upward motion simply repositions it.
  • Once cut out, any rough edges can be smoothed off with a file.
  • Anneal the metal to make it malleable.
  • Bend round a mandrel so the two edges meet, using a nylon mallet.
  • Pinching the join together and saw through a couple of times to ensure the ends are flush.
  • Flux the join and apply hard solder. If needs be, keep the ends tightly bound together using binding wire.
  • Heat evenly until the solder runs and clean in pickling solution (which you will have in the workshop).
  • Refine any rough edges using files and take out any marks using emery paper gradually working up the grades from the lowest to the highest number.
  • Finish as required. This could be using a scratch brush, polishing mops, texturing or hammering.

I still remember making my first band ring at University using all my new tools. It was such a milestone on my jewellery making journey and one I will always remember. Creating your first piece of real jewellery is such an amazing feeling and the right tools are absolutely integral to this. Our University Tool Kit will help you to do this without the hassle of finding each item individually, so it’s well worth the investment.

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Author: Joanna Varney
Written by

Joanna Varney

Joanna has worked in and around the jewellery industry for well over 20 years. She has designed and created her own pieces as a designer maker, as well as working in jewellery retail on a much larger scale, producing designs and NPD for some of the UK’s largest high street retailers