Showing posts with label tools. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tools. Show all posts

Thursday, November 10, 2016

TBT- Dad's pocket knife

As far back as I can recall my Father owned a pocket knife.  One of his knives, the one I specifically remember, is this Buck knife, which is a USA company, purchased between 1967 and 1972.   I have had it rattling around in my studio for quite sometime and today finally decided to sharpen and clean it up a bit.
A friend gave me her Father's sharpening stone which is in a beautiful wooden box.  Love it!  This was my first experience sharpening a knife using this technique.  Did a pretty spot on job, pretty proud of myself.
He also had a sharpening stone pretty much like the one Chris gave me of her Father's

photo bomb by some pretty amazing hammers, lol :)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

What is on Your Jeweler's Bench Wednesday

Well, yes, 'TIS not Wednesday , but I was really excited about the new techniques being used at SDAJ this new year and yesterday was a bear.  With the additions of some new equipment such as a hydraulic press, rolling mill and coping saw making this jeweler's life tons easier, the ideas and pieces are rolling off the bench like butter.
These photos were shot just before dark which always brings in a blue cast so hard to edit the way I want but, here they are in all their blueness.

Stump bench with new saw pierced tree pendants, press formed extra wide bangle and branch examples
Good quality tools, honest to Pete, make all the difference in the studio and on your body.  You will never regret paying a bit more for them, one of those things you should not scrimp on.  If you can't get the best tools, get the best you can afford at the time.
sawing station with Knew Concepts jeweler's coping saw and placement of flexshafts
Group Description
Every Wednesday or a Wednesday that you happen to remember post to your blog or other social networking venue that you frequent, a photo of what is on it for that day and link back to this group.
You might want to describe what you are making or not it is up to you :) Just call it 'What is on Your Jeweler's Bench Wednesday' and you are good to go.
This group will be a collection of those photos which we all need and love for I am hungry for all the eye candy I can gather up.
New found tip for the week
This day, while punching out 4 sizes of copper discs, I had a notebook on the bench with an eraser floating there also.  While punching nothing was moved off the bench top on this day, after the first punch hardly any marks were left on the sheet of copper.  Hoot, hoot it was a super day in the studio!
Usually I saw or cut strips off of the large metal sheets to not get indents when hammering, which is a b**** just to let you know, lol.  Sometimes being lazy pays off.  
I am sure all of us would love a bench shear or guillotine shear for this purpose, am I right. 

Not oxidized as of yet or even tumbled.  I am in LOVE! More about the designing in a future post.

Monday, November 24, 2014

List Monday- BIG list of wants and maybe some needs thrown in

Every once in a while putting it out there for the Universe to take note of that crazy list carried around inside of you for far too long is necessary. This is getting it out of your head and on paper (more or less) helping an obsessed type, like myself, see what is doable or perhaps logical in the real world.

THE list:
  1. A hydraulic press with all the accessories or as many as are attainable 
  2. Arbor press 
  3. Rolling mill, preferably the Durston brand
  4. Metalsmithing workbench
  5. Large, very, very large steel anvil
  6. Pepe Guillotine shear to perfectly cut sheet metal
  7. Knew Concepts jeweler's saw with the swivel handle
  8. Fretz hammers and stakes that I am always hammering away at, lol
  9. Exhaust for a soldering station like this wonderful set-up from Connie Fox
  10. Bench Mate system 
The hydraulic press is CHECKED off, there are still accessories such as more pancake dies or texture plates to be bought over the next few years.  The press is going to be here at some point in the next couple weeks.  Today I am having an argument with myself about the jeweler's saw, watched the video a few times today falling head over heals in love.  Brilliant design.

 Lost the argument-   been using Knew Concept Saw in the studio for the last week LOVE IT!!!  

Studio since 2011, WOW I need more room


 black & white 2014

Thursday, February 20, 2014

What is on your jeweler's bench Wednesday, well on mine is a commission for author and activist John Schlimm!!

On today’s bench is a commission piece for author and activist John Schlimm. The 1-inch cuff will bear the words “embrace compassion,” which is a personal mantra for John and the title of the popular and inspiring speech he delivers across the country, including his recent keynote address on Capitol Hill.

John is the international award-winning author of such books as Stand Up!: 75 Young Activists Who Rock the World, And How You Can, Too!, The Cheesy Vegan, Grilling Vegan Style, The Tipsy Vegan, and his forthcoming cookbook, The Ultimate Beer Lover’s Happy Hour. Also a Harvard-trained educator and artist, John collaborated closely with me to create the simple and poignant design for this special cuff, which will also include several “prana birds” that I have used in my other pieces and which are also particular favorites of John’s.

typeset of mantra, initials, symbol and maker's mark/brand
Taking the time to set up a typeset is truly a necessary step when metalprinting.  This step saves time and keeps you on task while stamping.

this is the side against the wrist where embrace is stamped out  in the center with a typewriter font 
Tools used will include assorted stamps, sharpie, ruler, brass hammer, bench block, chasing   hammer, bracelet bending pliers, steel bristle brush and polishing cloth.

just finished forming the cuff and just before polishing

Specifics of piece:

-1" wide, 6" long to be sized in studio when finished
-small typewriter font
-top 'compassion' center
-against wrist 'embrace' center
-no blackening with any printing or stamping
-7 small birds near opening right edge organically placed topside
-John's initials JES II  in uppercase typewriter font near the opening underside against wrist
-artist SDAJ mark and PA Wild's brand underside
-satin finish

Created from 1100 pure 14 gauge aluminum (food grade, hypoallergenic, tarnish free) so, the wearer never has to worry about a reaction to the piece.  1100 aluminum has a lower chance of skin reaction than sterling silver!
an organic gathering of 'prana birds', John so loves, as well as part of his mantra 'embrace' printed inside center of cuff

you see here, top center, the partial mantra 'compassion'  with also the view-able then SDAJ mark as well as the PA Wilds branding left and right inside of cuff with John's initials
~For more information about John's books and appearances, and to follow him on social media, please visit

Friday, November 08, 2013

On the bench- new favorite tool, the steel bristle brush

My favorite new tool is a beautiful little steel-bristle brush from Germany, distributed by Euro Tool.
Four rows of 0.10mm steel bristles in a 8-5/8" wooden handle has become my go to bench tool.  After oxidizing the metal and also for a quick polish up when brightening inventory for shows or when sprucing up inventory in shoppes, galleries & trail stops.
bristle steel brush, wet/dry mechanic's sandpaper and branded copper charms on the bench

I ordered this great bench tool from Beaducation recently after NEEDING to find another way to clean up oxidized jewelry without killing my fingers and wrists while working into those small spaces.  I still take a larger grit wet/dry sandpaper to remove the high points and then go over the metal with the brush creating a soft look and feel to the jewelry.

the new and improved time saving 3 steps to finishing metal after oxidizing
When the metal is prepped and ready, it is then dipped in Liver of Sulfur blackening it, then secondly sanded to expose the high areas and then third brushing over all surfaces creating a lovely satin appearance/feel.  You can truly see how rough the #2 charm in the middle is compared to #3 on the end, where the brush evens out the charm's surface creating my desired finish. 

What surprises have you had lately that changed your way of creating?


Tuesday, November 05, 2013

On the bench- keeping tools clean

Keeping your work area clean and somewhat picked up is important when making jewelry.  This is true for feeling creative and making quality work, for I don't or can't work in a hot mess of a studio but, creative clutter is another thing :) When filling inventories in stores, galleries and trail stops or filling custom orders organized clutter is best.  Well.... I have no choice since the studio is 11'x10'.  I often describe the space akin to a cooks galley kitchen.... for when working on the stump bench I can either reach what I need where I presently am working or a couple rolls of the chair wheels gets me there snagging what is needed.
I will write a post talking about 'studio move' in the near future.  Plans have changed from originally building off of the existing studio, to upcycling our existing back screen porch into a super area for SDAJ.  This change makes the dh happy and also adds another living area to the house and increases the studio's possibilities when hosting open houses, classes and artisan trail events... + makes me smiles too! HOOT, HOOT!!  The finished studio will be 7 times what I have now.
hammers here at the ready allow the artist to freely move from one technique to the next
Simple is best not needing much effort with keeping the floor swept, benches free of metal shavings, tools in their homes and surfaces ready for that next big project.  If your tools are where they normally are at all times, you tend to be more productive, which decreases stress  when you reach for that lost riveting hammer and time, when in a crunch reaching for that brass mallet for your punches.
files on a magnetic strip at the ready

 Files should be free from bits of filed metals, steel wool and rust to file properly lasting for years.  The magnetic strip is a pain with magnetizing so all your steel wool floaties get picked up...grrr
Files can't be touching each other for it damages the teeth so the strip works great for that but, you can also have them in a single layer in a drawer.  I won't have them on the front of this work bench again but, attached to the back wall for these crazy things fall every where from just the slightest bump. 
antique hammers or old school work horse hammers for texturing here an old ball-peen....see my fave texturing hammer in the background, an old cobbler's hammer.

just a simple cleaning up
Hammers are an artisans bridging between them and the metal being formed.  I feel hammers are my favorite tool as you can see from the photos hammers live on the stump bench, tool boxes around the studio and are seen featured in many photos when even featuring my jewelry or metalprinting.
HAMMERS are the heart and soul of the 'work' screaming their existence in and out of the studio, making themselves heard. 
Yesterdays Instagram post was the above photo showing 4 of the hammers in the collection that I wanted to start using regularly but, could not with rust and crud covering each. The ball-peen, cross-peen and a tack hammer were first sandpapered with 400 grit wet/dry mechanics paper and then steel wooled.  I also took a punch to my favorite texturing hammer tightening the handle once again, pictured above the Instagram shot.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

February Studio Tour

corner with workbench and tools by Stephanie Distler
left corner of the working studio with pliers, dapping set, disc cutter, sheet metal, hammer collection, anvils, etc.  I am not that excited about the Dremel and can't wait to invest in a Foredom hand drill.
I have closed up the gallery as of February 1st in preparation for opening up my own studio and shop in the gardens at our home. An addition is in the planning stages with being completed by the end of May, is what dh is telling me anyway. I believe him though for I know that he is quite frightened with all the gallery 'stuff' that is now hanging about our home.  He made room for the larger pieces such as the antique furniture and display pieces including a fab, very large, case for the jewelry and the gorgeous horse hair couch and carved velvet chairs.   
more organized 'stuff' everywhere
beading section and wirewrapping along with a dvd goodstuff

I still have space to move about and not pull my hair out trying to be organized even though I have been adding more to the mix from the gallery.  Here is the set from the beginning if you want to see it a bit more spare.

This is a portion of the semi-precious and Czech beads stash for future work

I can come in during the day to work getting lost until my youngest comes home from school.  It is a dream come true having it all at home and will have to pinch myself all the time when the addition is finished and actually out my back door.  What is really going to blow my mind is having 'Claire' our vintage travel trailer as part of the experience also combined with the working studio, artisan jewelry and fiberware shop and her, our Shasta Compact, to sell atomic vintage from or lunches when openhouses or receptions are scheduled.

HOOT, HOOT!!!!! :) :) :)

butterfly bracelet
Yesterday I also assembled this bracelet more on the way along with quotes and riveted rings.


cat and new find

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Studio Organizing

It has been since November that I added a kiln and torch to the mix of tools in the studio and finally am now able to get the space workable. The walls are lined with benches and tables along with a bead board cupboard and center stump for when a good hammering is called for :)
The building is only giving me a 10'x10' studio which is actually a comfortable space except for a wishful sink and extra outlets.
We are replacing the door with a wooden one that has a window and great hardware and putting a small porch off of the front between the peach trees. I can't wait to set some brightly colored Adirondack chairs under the porch roof, they are actually coming off my house porch ;) The chairs are kiwi, tangerine and them!!!
Perhaps in a couple years a small addition will be built where the greenhouse window is now at such time a sink and heavy equipment station can be added ;)


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