Saturday, April 9, 2011

My Favorite Tool(s)


I love the "favorite tool" posts. My own favorite last time was the "Laizee Daizee" tool for Viking Knit. So I thought: "Hmmm, how about another couple of tools, kind of a two for one deal here today?"

Preeeesenting: the handy dandy "Jump Ring Tool" and a home made "Rocket Tool". I love chain maille. It reminds me of knotting done in metal, considering maille is made up of "unders and overs and goes throughs" just like knots. I cut my own rings with a jeweler's saw (can't justify any of the wonderful ring cutting systems out there). After cutting, the rings are tumbled to remove any burrs and grease. Here's the problem: you wind up with lots of rings that aren't either completely open or closed, but you need both to work with, and you need lots and lots of both. So, here's where the Jump Ring Tool comes in:



As you can see, with pliers in one hand and this ring tool you can open and close rings quickly. The slots in the ring shank handle different gauges of wire. Pick up a ring with your pliers, slip it into one of the slots and either open or close the ring.

And that little length of wire? While you can buy a "Rocket Tool" I find that a length of wire can do the same thing. When weaving patterns you often have to flip and separate rings before inserting other rings. You have to keep the space open/rings in place while doing this so here's what I might do:



It comes handy with the Byzantine weave where you continually need to do this. Here's an example of the Byzantine weave (for the bracelet in the top photo) with the wire in place to add another set of rings:



The best thing about these handy tools? They are very inexpensive, around $5 or so (and that's the ring), and that's wonderful!

The Starving Artists Mother’s Day Giveaway Event is on now! What are we giving away? Three gift certificates that can be used towards the purchase of jewelry from any of the participating team members! See this post for the complete list of participating shops, and to find out how to enter.


Featuring artisan handmade creations by the Starving Artists Jewelry Team, the SATeam members create handcrafted jewelry and beads. More information about our team and its current shop owner members can be found at SATeam on Etsy and here on ArtFire.

10 comments:

mcstoneworks said...

Thanks for sharing some cool tools, Sue. Great ideas.

JJeanne/J3Jewelry said...

Great post about handy dandy chainmail tools. Chainmail is 'on the lists of things to do.... and not very far down that list, either.... these tools will be helpful!

galadryl said...

Very handy tools, thank you. The jump ring ring looks cool, I sometimes do some chainmail aswell and it looks pretty helpful.

AMDesignsbyAngela said...

I have a very under used jump ring tool. If I did more chainmaille it would definitely be utilized more often...it is rather nifty. I'm not familiar with a "Rocket Tool" but with a piece of wire used as you described I guess I don't need to know what it is.
Thanks Sue, this is a very informative post.

Bonnie said...

You can't beat that ring opener when you are prepping to start a project. it has saved me from blisters more than once.

Cat said...

Wow, that really looks interesting.

Ava said...

Humm, may have to purchase one of those rings. Thanks for sharing.

BeadSire said...

I was given a jump ring tool and never knew what to do with it - thanks for the review, will try it now!

Rita alias alatvian said...

Great tools!
Thank you so much for sharing!

Stacie @ azoho.com said...

Cool little time savers- always cool to see a tool. ;-(