Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Tools of the Trade

I can't live without this little doohickey. Do you other chainmaillers use one of these? It's a jump ring opener, you wear it on your off hand (left, in my case), and with a pair of pliers stick your rings in it and twist, and you have a nice, even open. I'm finding that I frequently bend rings beyond repair when I do the two-plier method, especially copper rings.

Now, I'm sure this wouldn't be handy with 12 gauge steel. It's got varying slots that fit 20 ga probably up to 14 or so? The BEST thing about it is, you're in the middle of a tricky weave, and you're holding it so the next ring goes right THERE, and then you go "oh crap I'm out of open rings...." You don't have to drop it with this, you can hold on to your work in progress, pick up a ring with your pliers, twist your hand around a little, and open a ring without letting go.

Indispensible. Paradise Beads has them. Fire Mountain has them. I'm sure Rio Grande does, but not 100%. Your craft store might even have one. I accidently picked mine up in a 'how to do byzantine' kit and have been in love with it ever since. Panic ensues when I start mailling and I can't find it, so I'm planning on buying an extra three or four, and a big ring so Brandon can try it out, too, cause my little dinky one doesn't fit his big fingers :) We're not talking major investment here, either: under $3 in most places.

Issue #2: I've worn out a pair of chain nose pliers in a month. They were $5.99, The Ring Lord brand. No, I'm not a big spender. But I figure if I'm going to be doing this on a regular basis I need to shop for 1) comfort 2) durability. Love to hear what other maillers are using. I'm planning on springing for a pair of Wubbers, or maybe even Lindstrom. Then I am going to replace the round nose and wire cutters too. Eventually.

Oh, and is anyone using Tool Dip? Do you find it necessary? I'm scratching very few anodized rings EXCEPT when I have a tight spot and can't use my handy ring thingy and can barely get 2 sets of pliers in there.. that's when I slip and scratch, which causes great sadness and trauma, because that's when trying to put another ring in there makes me say $#!#!@&(*@! And other nice things.

In other news, I have a recommendation for Lime Away for copper cleaning. That sounds like anodization eating product, to me, but I may have to try it. I may end up not being able to mix things that oxidize with things that are anodized. That would make me sad.

And that's it for this week's episode of Things That Make Me Sad. And now I want a cappuccino.


Dave Robertson said...

Yup, this is a best-selling tool. People swear by them, not at them!

Rings & Things has 'em too. (We call them "jump ring tools/devices".) In case anyone wants to compare, check out:

Cheers, and happy 4th of July,

at Rings and Things

Youvegotmaille said...

Hmmmm, looks like a very good deal. I've been browsing your shop a bit and I might have to pick these up along with some other stuff. Thanks Dave :)