Anyone that wants to make great wire jewelry needs to have the right tools. Many newbies to jewelry making — and even some of us who have been doing this for awhile get a bit intimidated when it comes to the world of tools. Some jewelry makers actually get a bit stubborn, and attempt to make one single tool work for every possible configuration. It just doesn’t work! You really do need a variety of tools for best success.
Here’s my best beginners’ tool list (and a frugal minded one at that) for working with wire:
* The most important first: your pliers- flat-nose, chain-nose, round-nose
* A good quality pair of side flush cutters
* A good, smooth steel plate (this is a terrific substitute that is less expensive than a steel bench block)
* A hardware store hammer
* A small nylon or rawhide mallet
* A flat file (can find this at either the hardware store or a hobby store)
* Fine steel wool (for cleaning and polishing)
These tools will help you master wire work jewelry and create many beautiful pieces of jewelry.
Now that you know what you need, you might be wondering where to get these things. Here are some tips so you don’t waste your money:
Great tools can be found at the hardware store. “The hardware store?” you may ask, “that’s where the light bulbs and ladders live.” But no my little chickadee, you can find some of your jewelry making tools at the hardware store. Remember that you’ll be working with wire and that wire is stiff and hard. It makes perfect sense that your perfect tools would live at the hardware store, just waiting to be found. Get a hammer, flat file, steel wool and a nylon mallet — all at the hardware store! Best of all, often your hardware store jewelry making supplies will be less expensive than traditional craft store supplies!
Pay for quality so you don’t pay for mistakes. This may seem funny to say after tip #1, but there is a time to spend the money. Here’s where to spend your money: pliers. Never EVER get your pliers from the hardware store. Here’s here you need to splurge on the specialized stuff.
It seems like many wire work jewelry makers scrimp a bit on their pliers (been there, done that!) so they have extra money to spend on supplies. But this is just like charging something on your credit card so you don’t pay cash: not really a great bargain. You need quality pliers to see you through every wire work jewelry-making project that you do. If you purchase the cheapie pliers, you’ll soon have trouble getting them to perform for you. There is nothing more frustrating than working on a great piece and having your tools not work as well as you do. The key to cutting costs is to know when – and pliers ain’t the place to save. When it comes to pliers, you’re wise to purchase quality tools that keep up the pace!
Wire work jewelry making kit tools can be a great deal. But you do need to investigate exactly what is included in that kit. Many craft kits are created so they can be given as gifts or purchased by a beginner who may not completely understand what they need. We’ve already talked about exactly what tools you need. So if you see a wire work tool kit that includes lots of great pliers and a hammer or other tools for a top-notch price, then that is a good deal. But if it doesn’t have the above tools and includes different types of tools then it is created for doing different types of jewelry and will not be useful for what you want to do.
Wire jewelry making is very dependent on having the right tools. The more informed you are about your tools — the stronger your jewelry making skills become.