Jewelry Tool Review and Testing

Tool Review and Testing: Overview and Scheduling

Tool Review: In one 2- to 3-hour session, students will get up to speed on our particular shop procedures and layout, as well as a review of safe use of the air-acetylene torches, forming tools, flex shafts, and polishing machine.

Tool Testing: At least one week after the Tool Review session, you may complete your individual Tool Test with the instructor, by appointment. Successfully passing the Tool Test is required before being able to work independently in our Jewelry Shop.

Those who are new to jewelry-making or metalsmithing must take Jewelry 101 first. Because this class does not teach jewelry-making skills, prior jewelry-making experience is necessary (whether you are a self-taught beginner or a professionally-trained metalsmith). Students must be at least 18 years old.

How to schedule: During the Covid-era, rather than scheduling monthly Tool Review classes we will be holding by appointment sessions only (for the same price as the class, $95 with test included). Contact the jewelry shop lead (jewelry-lead at to inquire about scheduling a review and test. 

Tool Review and Testing: Forming Bench

Know features of the following tools:

☐ Commercial Hammer
☐ Watchmaker's Hammer
☐ Planishing Hammer 
☐ Rawhide Mallet 
☐ Delrin Mallet 
☐ Dapping Punches
☐ Disc Cutters
☐ Stamps
☐ Mandrels
☐ Bench vise
☐ Draw Plate
☐ Black-handled Shears (for 22g or thinner metal)

Demonstrate Safe Operation:

☐ Know what hammer may be used for dapping block, disc cutter, or stamps
☐ How to use the dapping block (anneal metal first)
☐ How to use the disc cutter (punches must be cutting side down)
☐ Knows how to hold a mandrel in a bench vise

Tool Review and Testing: Flex Shaft

Know the following tool features:

☐ Flex Shaft Stand
☐ Chuck Key
☐ Hand piece
☐ On/Off switch
☐ Foot pedal
☐ Flex Shaft Accessories
☐ Drill press for the flex shaft: No loose clothing or jewelry, clamp or hold piece tightly with wood block underneath

Demonstrate Safe Operation:

☐ Insert a bur or drill bit into the flex shaft
☐ Safely hold metal on bench pin for support when using flex shaft
☐ Troubleshoot a crooked drill bit

Tool Review and Testing: Acetylene Torch

Know the following tool features:

☐ Regulator Key
☐ Tank pressure dial
☐ Line pressure dial
☐ Y or 3 way adaptor
☐ Ventilation

Demonstrate Safe Operation:

☐ Discuss emergency procedures, locate fire extinguisher
☐ Don goggles 
☐ Make sure all torches connected to tank are closed
☐ Turn on tank properly (first turn tank valve handwheel couterclockwise 1/4 turn, then turn the adjusting screw clockwise until line pressure dial reads 8-10psi)
☐ Anneal two pieces of metal
☐ Change torch tip
☐ Troubleshoot a torch that is not working or has excessive line pressure
☐ Turn off tank, bleed lines by lighting torch, back out regulator adjusting screw

Tool Review and Testing: Buffing Machine

Know the following tool features:

☐ Buffs & Grinding Wheels
☐ Switches
☐ Tightening Screws
☐ Polishing Compounds
☐ Air filter

Demonstrate Safe Operation:

☐ Tie back hair, remove or secure loose clothing/jewelry
☐ Don goggles
☐ Load a buff onto the machine
☐ Apply polishing compound
☐ Show the safe zone for buffing
☐ Remove a buff from the machine
☐ Show how to polish a ring
☐ Demonstrate grinding wheel use
☐ Clean up

General Knowledge:

☐ Knows why polishing chain is not permitted
☐ Knows the differences between Tripoli, Rouge, and Zam
☐ Knows what metals can be used on the buffing machine (NO STEEL, NO ALUMINUM)
☐ Knows proper attire to use the buffing machine
☐ Knows the symptoms of a buffer not adequately drawing air
☐ Knows what to do if someone is acting unsafely

Tool Review and Testing: Metal Shear

Know the tool features:

☐ Only use the metal shear to cut copper, brass, silver, or gold. NO STEEL OR ALUMINUM. 
☐ Only use the metal shear to cut 18g/1.0mm or thinner (20g, 22g, etc) - there is a B&S gauge in the island if you need to measure your metal
☐ If your metal's width exceeds the depth of the metal shear, cut half from each direction
☐ Position your metal at the rear, smallest opening in the jaws for best performance
☐ NO MESH materials may be cut on the metal shear because interrupted cuts and areas of work-hardening damage the blades

Demonstration of Operation:

☐ Don goggles
☐ Make sure no one is walking behind you who may be hit with the long handle
☐ Cut a piece of sheet metal
☐ Cut a piece of wire with shear
☐ Cut a piece of sheet longer than the length of the blades

Tool Review and Testing: Rolling Mill

Know the tool features:

☐ Cloth cover is removed only when rolling mill is in use.
☐ Only use the rolling mill with copper, brass, silver, or gold, and natural or synthetic fibers from the provided box. NO STEEL OR ALUMINUM. 
☐ Metal must be dry to avoid rust formation on rollers.
☐ Do not touch the rollers with your fingers as our natural oils can corrode the rollers.

Demonstration of Operation:

☐ Tie back hair, remove or secure loose clothing/jewelry
☐ Anneal metal first. Pickle, rinse, then thoroughly dry your metal.
☐ Tighten the rollers to the height of your metal, then turn counterclockwise to tighten just enough to create imprint with material. Not too tight or it will thin metal or you may not even be able to to crank lever.
☐ Return cloth cover when finished.