Our jewelry shop houses hundreds of tools that make jewelry repair and creation possible. There are countless devices that are made for one specific purpose. Since much of jewelry work is so small and microscopic, the instruments used are on the small and microscopic side.
Here is a list of the contenders running for cutest tool in the shop:
This is one of my favorites. This torch is connected to an oxygen and gas tank and is used to heat precious metals. The jobs that the torch specializes in are soldering repairs, chain repairs, and ring resizing. Jewelers use different types of solders with different melting points. We generally use a hard solder that has a higher melting temperature and a stronger hold.
There are many pieces of jewelry that cannot go near the torch, however. Organic materials such as pearls, enhanced stones with fillers, or non-precious metals can be damaged with the high temperatures. Untreated Diamonds, Sapphires, and Rubies are the only stones that can stand the heat from a torch. Pure 24 karat gold has a melting point of almost 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit!
This tool is powered by an air compressor and is used under magnification. With the press of a foot petal power is put behind the jewelers hand in very tight spaces. This mighty little tool is used when metal needs to be compressed such as tightening stones or channel set work. It is also useful for hand engraving.
This is a pretty straight forward member of the shop. It is the smallest dust pan I have ever worked with and makes sweeping very enjoyable. Like other tools in the shop it has a very specific task. After a time shaved metal flakes accumulate on the jeweler’s workspace and they need to be collected. Anything gathered is recycled and sent to a refinery.
This is a classic file on a very small scale. It comes in many shapes and sizes and is used on prongs, rough castings, and any time metal needs to be cleaned up. There is no external power source, no speeding up the process, just good old fashioned elbow grease.
This petite mandrel is utilized when fabricating findings such as jump rings and heads. The more commonly known size is seen behind the scenes and at the counter when measuring ring sizes. While it is short in stature, it is solid, heavy, and can take a beating.
Every tool in the shop has a purpose and a place. The smallest tools have some very important jobs and are often responsible for the fine detail and security we are able to put into each piece that is on the bench. Next time you are admiring your ring, bracelet, or the like, look at the detail and craftsmanship that goes into each piece. Every corner of every item of jewelry is touched at some point with the devices we have in the shop. These cute tools let us make microscopic adjustments and add details to ensure the highest quality of craftsmanship.