Friday, April 11, 2014

Bead Fest Tools

Beadfest is in town for the weekend, and that can usually mean trouble for my wallet.
It's entirely too easy to convince myself that my bead supply is lacking particular colors and that I need more tools.
I could just not go to the show, but that's just silly.
I always know I'm going to go.
I'm proud that I showed tremendous restraint and only bought the items that I intended to get.
I didn't intend to get the mandrel, but I didn't know one was available at that size so I didn't even know to want/need it until I saw it.
This is how one's wallet can get into trouble.
I got a long wished for anneal pan so that when I'm annealing pieces, I won't pick up leftover soldering scrunge.
All right....scrunge is not a word, but if you do soldering, you know what I'm talking about and that stuff should be called scrunge.
I got a third hand tweezer with base for those delicately balanced soldering jobs.
And the item that I was especially happy to get is a new, small wooden dapping block with 2 punches.
This is such a simple and inexpensive item, but it's one that I use
I forget how many years I've had my older, now retired dapping block, but it's kind of beaten up.
I didn't mind too much that the depressions in the block had seen better days, because the block still did the job.
The problem was the punch that I prefer to use.
I was recently shaping etched discs for some earrings and with one of my hammer hits...
little pieces of wood went flying.
It's never good to have bits flying when shaping metal.
The impact end of my punch was disintegrating.
Of course, I kept using it, but I was using caution with my hammer strikes which meant I wasn't distributing force in an even manner.
Time for retirement.
Several vendors had small wooden dapping blocks, but the first three that I saw had punches that I didn't like....they were too narrow.
When I find something that works, I stick with it so I would not compromise.
Lucky me...the last tool vendor had exactly what I wanted and
I can get back to shaping my discs.

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