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Every jewellery maker must have the right tools to get the job done. A basic jewellery making tool kit normally consists of a pair of flat nose , round pliers, chain nose pliers and side cutters . Almost all jewellery making techniques can be executed using any of these types of pliers. Knowing how to properly care and maintain your jewellery making pliers will ensure that they last you a very long time and keep in optimal shape for future projects. Adhere to these following tips to care for your pliers for years to come.
1. Using Pliers for the First Time
When you start off with a new set of pliers, it is best to prep them first before handing your wire or any metal. Use a fine sanding stick to soften the edges of the nose or tip of the pliers. Next, shine the surface of the pliers before they make contact to ensure no marks or grease is transferred to your wire.
2. Store in a Cool Dry Place
You want to protect your pliers from conditions of extreme heat and damp. This can cause the metal to expand and incite structural problems that can damage them or expose you to dangerous operating conditions. Damp will also cause rust , get into the habit of checking your pliers and other metal items every few months. Check for rust and if you spot any rust sand it down using 1200 grit wet or dry paper and oil ( Q20 or WD40 works well).
3. Get Comfortable Grips
4. Think About Safety
Always cut at right angles. Do not try to rock your pliers side to side to bend right against the cutting tip. This may lead to you dulling or nicking the cutting edges. If your pliers are showing signs of dullness, sharpen the knives for greater leverage. Wear protective goggles for cutting wire.
5. Oil Their Joints
Lengthen the lifespan of your pliers by occasionally putting a drop of oil at the joint. This will keep them in easy operation for a long time.
6. Store Correctly
Pliers are not something you want to throw all on top of each other in a box. Keep your tools separated and stored upright. Many jewellery makers may have a wooden storage box intended to rest your pliers on top of or you can hang up a magnetic plier holder. This is a good idea for those operating in limited spaces or want their set ready for using on the go.
7. Operate Your Pliers The Right Way
Never situate your fingers between the grip and keep your wrist straight when using. Make sure the jaws and teeth stay clean. Greasy jaws are more likely to slip. Lastly, use your pliers for their intended function. Do not use lightweight pliers to perform a heavy duty job. This may cause them to become damaged or broken. Never exceed the length of the pliers handles.