Some general purpose tools bought at your local hardware store can be modified for use on the jewelers bench. Here are a few examples of pliers re-purposed as jewelry tools. The modified pliers are very handy and are used almost daily.
The other day I broke a pair of pliers, that I had modified for myself. No problem, I bought a cheap set of circlip openers at the local hardware store.
Then I use my melting torch to heat the jaws and bend it into a round shape.
I use a crucible for support and apply a strong flame to heat the metal quickly.
Both jaws bent. Check how the heat has not even started to burn the red plastic of the handles.
Problem is though, that because the jaws are now rounded, they are also ‘bigger’ so the handles are far to far apart for comfortable use.
So I do the same thing to the handles. I heat them cherry red and bend them inward.
AFTER I have removed the plastic. When that kind of plastic burns, it makes a million little blackbirds of ash, like acetylene torch. Very annoying.
The steel that pliers are made of, bends very easy when it is cherry red hot.
“Hot short” means that when a metal is bright red hot it will tear and crumble easily. Silver is like that.
Steel, titanium and brass are not, for instance.
After finishing the bending on the pliers, I re-heat the jaws and let them air-cool, effectively annealing them.
I use these pliers to hold cups and domed shapes. Very handy.
Because the pliers have been air cooled the metal is soft enought to file normally to any shape needed.
Custom piers for holding pearl cups.
These are long nose pliers modified to hold pearl cups.
These pliers are used for bird ringing or sometimes referred too as avian banding in research projects. They are useful for jewelry purpose too.
I use them all the time, particularly the one on the left for holding tubing
or select other projects from Jewelry Making Tutorials List
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