What exactly can a flex shaft do?

What exactly can a flex shaft do?

The flex shaft is essential. It’s almost impossible to think about making jewellery without a flex shaft. This “workhorse of a machine” can take the place of sandpaper, files, buffing materials , even finishing or polishing and lapidary machines.

Flex shaft

Grinding :

Trim and remove metal from jewellery pieces: remove metal with a rotary motor faster than through subtler methods like sanding; grind away burs or nibs leftover from casting jewellery pieces or components, clean up excess solder, remove metal from interior spaces like inside rings, inside carved, pierced pieces or castings; remove excess stone; grind away large amounts from carving wax blocks (or remove excess wax from interiors to prevent excess metal weight during casting) . Generally remove more material (metal, stone, or wax) faster than sanding or carving; freehand stone carving.

Grinding (metal, stone, and wax)

Sanding :

Refine and smooth away file or grinding marks or metal edges in smaller increments, without removing as much metal as grinding with a moores disc, round off prong points and wire ends like ear wires for a more comfortable finish with a cup bur. File, smooth and refine dry “greenware” metal clay pieces before firing. Sand down castings or fabricated metal pieces from raw to a pre-polish state, to prepare them for polishing and finishing. Use either moores sanding discs, belts or barrels. Rubber wheels are a must to try out with various grits or profiles to choose from.

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Carving :

Carve custom-shaped stones and cabochons to use in one-of-a-kind jewellery creations with diamond burs. Try to carve your own agate burnishing tools to suit your custom needs for setting. Carve models with the utmost detail into wax models, start with a general shape and then move onto smaller burs for fine detail.



Cut wire coils into jump rings; cut grooves in bezel walls or notches/seats in prongs with separating discs, freehand stone cutting with a diamond saw discs or cut chunks or slices of stone off to work in smaller segments.

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Drilling and Piercing :

Drill holes into metal, stone, plastic, wood and wax, pierce interior designs in both metal , wax, wood or stone to create unique negative spaces. Choose from carbon, HSS or diamond coated drills for getting this job done.

Drilling and piercing

Texturing :

Create textures on metal, wax, leather, plastic and stone with various shaped burs. Create a matte, satin finish onto various surfaces with mini texture wheels or scotchbrite mops. Burnish fired metal clay pieces from the chalky white post-kiln stage to a stain finish or high shine. Finish and refine carved wax models by removing grinding and carving marks before the models are used to make rubber molds or in castings.


Polishing :

Final finishing can be done with your rotary motor and the correct polish matched up to your midget mop. Usually a felt wheel with unipol blue followed by muslin or cotton with unipol gold will give you the best high shine. A selection of pencil, cup or bristle brushes can also be used for hard to reach areas and uneven surfaces, Dialux polish is also great.

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