Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lots of Toys

We all do it.  We get excited by all the "toys" AKA tools out there.  And of course we think we have to have them all (which we often find out later is not really the case.)

A good example of this is the "measuring sticks" for rolling out the clay.  All people who work with metal clay know that the clay is rolled out between two level surfaces to create the desired thickness.  This results in a slab of clay that is even the whole way across it's surface.  (This is a technique that comes from the ceramic world, although a slab roller works so much better than two sticks.)  In metal clay the depth of the clay is referred to as so many cards thick.  Three cards thick is a typical thickness for earrings and pendants.  Rings and bracelets are usually thicker, around six cards thick.   One can buy many different sets of "measuring sticks" (and I have.)  But for me nothing beats taking the actual cards, gluing them together with a glue stick (make sure the number on the top reflects the thickness of the stack) and cutting them in half.  Cheap and effective.

I do have many tools that are very useful and I couldn't live without them, like my flex-shaft.  (My tumbler hasn't seen the light of day since I started relying on the flex-shaft. )

But my usual method is to buy the tool and wait months (maybe even years) before I try it.  That's exactly what I did with the flex-shaft, even though I had a great book to use as reference.  I know there are still many things yet that I haven't learned about the flex-shaft. (Give me time!)

Yesterday I finally got around to using another "I just have to have this" tool.  That would be my drill press.  I was trying to line up two pieces of metal clay and drill them (in the exact same place) so I could sandwich them with rivets.  It didn't happen.  My sense of direction in the world and on the golf course is bad.  It's no better when it comes to drilling.  Keep the drill straight?  Yeah, right.  Needless to say that piece did not work out.  Hence the need for the drill press.

Since this takes me into a whole other story I'm going to stop talking and save that one for tomorrow night's post.

Stay tuned!

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