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Thread: Tool magic

  1. #11
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  2. #12
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    Well all I can say to that is I had a very good teacher !!!!! and I have cut hundreds of jumprings between finger and thumb like my teacher showed me. My main problem is with my lack of depth vision, (with one eye life itself is a challenge), try closing one eye and picking up a small jumpring and then close it satisfactorily, its harder than you imagine it to be. Making chainmaille is a bit of a test anyway and I thought that by having rubber on the pliers, it may enable me to hold them while fumbling around trying to coordinate the pliers and jumpring to close the jumpring. It is a good idea to sand down the edges of the pliers though, they are Zuron ones, so not bad quality, the best I could afford at the time anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by mizgeorge View Post
    It's popular with some people Pat - but I have to admit it's a workaround for bad technique and badly finished pliers rather than anything else.

    The main reason jump rings get marked is because of the tendency to develop a 'death grip' on pliers, which will inevitably lead to marks. The other big problem is hard edged pliers. A little bit of effort with some micromesh (the manicurist style buffer is ideal for this) to just round off the edges and smooth up the faces a little will make a huge difference.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizgeorge View Post
    That's interesting Elaine - I've not seen that technique before.
    When I first started making chainmaille I tried all sorts of plier combinations (limited by what was on the workbench) and that's the one that felt most comfortable for me and had least slippage. Now it just doesn't feel right using any other combination. I use the "knee" of the bent nose to hold the ring, with the point facing outwards.
    Elaine at Mead Moon
    Mead Moon
    My Etsy shop

  4. #14
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    Thanks for explaining Elaine. Does the rest of the plier not get in the way as you thread rings through? I just tried it and couldn't see where I was going!

  5. #15
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    Interesting...

    I use two pairs of pointy nosed (don't think this is the right term, but mind has gone blank) parallels. Have sanded the edges but still always end up with marks in the jump rings. I use quite heavy gauge rings for pendants/charms - would I be better off with a different type of plier then? Was taught at college to use parallels for jump rings, and never thought to try it any other way.

    The Tool Magic works only briefly before tearing and needing replacing. It's more bother than it's worth really.

  6. #16
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    i used to use one pair of flat nose and one pair of snipe - part of cookies value range which I got in a kit for xmas and my rings marked horribly when I made chainmaille. Then I discovered three things. 1. Micromesh the pliers to smooth down the machine marksand harsh edges on them. 2. stop holding them with a vice like grip - although this helped with the marking, I did find that I kept dropping either the chain I was holding, or I dropped the jump ring I was adding which was a bit frustrating. Then my third find - my mother made jewellery at day class as a hobby many many years ago and we found quite a few of her old tools when she downsized a couple of years ago. In with her eclectic mix of "stuff" I found some small snipe nose pliers without the spring in them. I now use these in my dominant hand and find I get on much better with these than the sprung ones. I drop far fewer rings now and find them easier when I need to adjust the grip to coax the ring through awkward spaces.

    I think my biggest contribution to marked rings though was definitely gripping too hard!

    My main problem now is that sometimes my rings just don't look flat - even when closed properly they have a slight twist to them. I did try for a while closing each one after I made them and hammering them slightly on a block with a plastic hammer to get them to lie flat, but although they looked better, I lost the will to keep going after the first 50. I do wonder if I'm managing to get a twist into the wire as I wind them into jump rings. Practice practice practice I guess.

  7. #17
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    Susie, rings that are not perfectly flat are usually due to the coil being slightly uneven - it needs to be really tight and closely coiled or you will get wobbles every now and again in the finished rings.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizgeorge View Post
    Susie, rings that are not perfectly flat are usually due to the coil being slightly uneven - it needs to be really tight and closely coiled or you will get wobbles every now and again in the finished rings.
    Thanks George - I do try to wind as close as possible but obviously not close enough sometimes! I have an old hand drill which I put in a vice and then secure mandrel in the drill. I buy ordinary silver wire from cookson - fully annealed, but pull shortish lengths between two parallel pliers to straighten it. I find this makes rings which mark less but am wondering whether this stops the wire from being tight enough to the mandrel.

    Currently I'm trying to get my head around jens pind - managed it with coloured enamel rings but when I go to one colour silver the weave escapes me. It didn't help that I had a calculator malufunction when working out the AR though

  9. #19
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    Gosh George, you're really making me think about something that I do automatically, so I did a small section of maille and saw that I am using the point of the chain nose pliers except where it's large, thick rings in a loose chain (where you want the extra area against the ring for leverage and to avoid marking). I also noticed that I am just as likely to close the ring by moving it with my non-dominant hand as with my dominant. Is that ambi-dexter-closure? Sorry for the confusion!
    Elaine at Mead Moon
    Mead Moon
    My Etsy shop

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