Online Jewelry Training Classes for Metalsmiths

Jewelry Tutorials Logo

Modified Pliers - Jewelry Tools

Modify General Pliers for Jewelers Bench Use

Keep up to date with the latest metalsmithing news and release of new jewelry making tutorials
Modified pliers for jewelers bench use

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.

Modify circlip pliers for jewelry bench use

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.

To modify pliers heat jaws

Then I use my melting torch to heat the jaws and bend it into a round shape.

Modified pliers bend jaws round

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.

Modified pliers bend handles


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.

Modified Pliers for Jewelers bench to hold cups and domed shapes

I use these pliers to hold cups and domed shapes. Very handy.

Modified Pliers for Jewelers bench to hold pearl cups

These are long nose pliers modified to hold pearl cups.

Modified Pliers bird banding used on the jewelers bench

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

Projects Using Modified Pliers

or select other projects from Jewelry Making Tutorials List

If you have any questions or wish to be notified of any new tutorials that are posted, email me.