Recommend Your Favorite Tools!

by Kristin Moore.

I have recently started learning how to solder which of course has opened up a whole new world of jewelry making!

Sharing a picture of my very first project, warts and all!

First soldered creation, by Kristin Moore  - featured on Jewelry Making Journal

My First Soldered Creation

So I would love to hear your favorite brands or other tips for the following tools that I am needing:

  • Heavy duty flush cutters (would like to cut 12g or higher!)
  • Textured Hammer
  • Dapping Block
  • Third Hand Tweezers

I already have the torch, kiln brick, soldering paste and picks, pickle pot, jeweler’s saw etc.

Any other pointers as I get started?

Kristin Moore
Flair and Moore
Flair and Moore on Facebook

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  1. Kristin, I just have to say that I love these earrings and the way you brought together different metal techniques in the design. I’d never have guessed it was your first project like this – and I didn’t see any of the warts! 🙂

  2. Judy Bjorkman says:

    Kristin, I have no particular brand to recommend, but consider getting a double flush cutter sometime. It cuts a piece of wire so that it is flat on both ends, not just one. The (single) flush cutter is also useful.
    You can make your own textured hammer by finding an old hammer and filing a design on its face.
    All the best, Judy Bjorkman

  3. Catherine E Franz says:

    Kristin, love those “warts”, chuckling. Good job. Keep up the creativity. And I so agree, when I went into metalsmithing after teaching and making wire jewelry for over 5 years, the doors flew open and so did all the windows. I’ve loved the journey ever since, every project, every creative thought. Thank you for sharing with us!

  4. Catherine E Franz says:

    Oops, forgot. My learning lesson over the years is not to become a tool-a-holic. When I went to S. America and worked with those metalsmiths there I learned its the jeweler, not necessarily the tools, that make jewelry. Yes, some tools simplify the process. For years I wanted a hydraulic press and saved for it. Then I began thinking how would it really help me. I went to a class in it and discovered I didn’t like it. I took the money and went to California to study metalsmithing — a much better investment it turned out to be.

  5. What a pretty design, Kristen, it dances! No warts visible on my screen! I’m learning metalsmithing too, on a budget lol, because enamelling is also on my wish list. I have an old pair of flush cutters, think I bought them at WalMart when I started jewelry making, and I save them for heavier gauge copper. But I bought a nifty metal cutter at the hardware store, it looks like a heavy pair of scissors, and it does a nice flush cut on heavy wire and saves my expensive tools. It was comparatively cheap and is precise enough to save a lot of sawing. The hardware store can be a good friend!

  6. Kristen,
    I am currently saving my dimes to purchase a GRS third hand soldering station. There are a couple of options to choose from. You might want to google GRS solder station to check them out. They are of excellent quality and will last a very long time!


  7. I was in the same boat as you when I began, wondering which tools to buy. I bought a metalsmithing kit from Rio Grande so that I didn’t have to choose every tool. It has proven to be a good decision. I don’t think they offer that exact kit anymore but you might like what they have or what kits other reputable jewelry suppliers offer (Otto Frei, Contenti). It’s a bigger investment at one time. Perhaps you could look at the detailed listing for such a kit and use that information to choose the tools you are currently seeking. The tools in the kits are also sold individually on Rio Grande and they link to them making shopping easy.

  8. Try shopping at Harbor Freight for tools. Look around and see what you can use for jewelry making. They are pretty inexpensive and have things like 3rd hands and metal cutters that look like big scissors, I believe they are called tin snips.

  9. Harbor Freight is a great place to buy some tools. They have a big metal dapping set for considerably less than the jewelry supply sites. I also love their red-handled flush cutter. (My expensive ones never get used anymore!) Save your pennies to invest in the best quality pliers and saw blades you can afford. It will pay off in the long run.

  10. Love your earrings! I’m going to take a soldering class at Tucson this year. I’m excited about learning this technique. Yes, it will open up a whole new jewelry making experience. I learned a brazing technique last year. I love going to Tucson for beads, stones, fossils, and raw stones and classes. If anyone is going and wants to meet there, let me know. Maybe we could have our own JMJ meet-up.

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