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Hanging a Flex Shaft for Jewellery

Jewellery Flex Shaft

While our Ozito Rotary Tool, which is basically a cheaper Dremel Tool, sort of did the job we purchased it for, we recently found a few limitations. The biggest of which is the limitation of the collet system. When I went to use a small diamond drill for drilling holes in fused glass cabochons I found there was simply no way the Ozito could handle the small diameter drill.

Looking through the accessories for an old Dremel that gave up the ghost I found a chuck, but it simply wouldn’t fit the Ozito. The shaft was slightly different. Extensive research proved that nobody supplied a chuck for the Ozito and we couldn’t find one online.

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Modifying a Standard Tile Saw for Glass

Tile Saw

As usual, being on a budget, when it came to buying a tile saw I opted to visit the local hardware and see what was on offer.

A little unsure about exactly what I needed, as I hadn’t actually done any sawing of glass with a diamond saw, I looked over the various saws available. Surprisingly, they didn’t have that many, but the price difference was substantial.

Guess what? I chose the cheapest saw and hoped for the best. Things didn’t go quite to plan, but they didn’t work out too bad either.

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Purchased a Dual Tumbler


I used a tumbler for the first time at my last silver smithing class to polish the silver chain link bracelet I made. The tumbler seemed to polish my bracelet so quick. So I thought that  I would do some research when I got home to find out about these tumblers. I spoke to Jeff about the information that I found including methods to polish glass.  Jeff became very interested in the tumbler when he reviewed the information on tumble ploishing glass as this would make things easier for him as well. So we decided to go ahead and buy one with 2 barrels. This way Jeff could use one only for his glass work and I could use the other . The information I found explained the different materials I needed to use to polish my jewellry. This required shot and a burnishing compound. It took a little while to work out how to use the burnishing compound as there was no instructions to explain how to use it for jewellery. So Jeff rang around and found out that I just needed to add a small amount of the compound in with the shot and a small amount of water.  I really hope this all works as I think it will save so much time.

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At last, new shelving for the glass sheets.

Shelving for Glass

A while back I mentioned that we were fortunate enough to purchase, at a very reasonable price, a large lot of Bullseye COE 90 sheet glass from a local business. As you would expect, our immediate problem was where to store it all.

storage for glass

You can see in this photo how we chose to purchase a set of shelving along with a number of large plastic containers. Well, the shelving is fine, but the plastic containers were a bad mistake.

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Purchasing Tools For Silversmithing

Where to buy your silversmithing tools????? This is a good question, I have found that you can get silversmithing tools at reasonable prices from a couple of websites that are not jeweller suppliers . The only thing is that you do need to pay attention to the description of the tools you are buying and check out if there is any difference between the jeweller suppliers same product. Continue reading Purchasing Tools For Silversmithing

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Changes to My Silversmithing Workbench

Jewellers Bench Peg

For the past few months I’ve been having problems with a couple of things while working at silversmithing on my workbench. Yes, I persisted longer than I should have. It got to a point where I wasn’t looking forward to working in my studio due to these difficulties.

There had to be a fix.

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The Beetle Bits Glass Cutting Station

Glass Cutting Station

Just a quick post to show you our cutting station. This is where all of our glass is cut and prepared.

When we started we didn’t have a cutting system and just cut directly on the table. If you look closely you will see a wooden ruler that I screwed to the table as a guide. In addition I used a carpenters square for cutting straight pieces etc. It worked, sort of, but had some failings.

I was endlessly cleaning up glass slivers and chips after cutting and sometimes during. If I didn’t clean it up I found my self laying new glass down on small slivers that I am sure scratched the new pieces, and certainly made the piece unstable. The carpenters square was too heavy and made it difficult to manipulate the glass. It also tended to slide when I was cutting and caused me to go off line.

It became obvious this had to change.

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Our Paragon Fusion 14 Kiln

Just thought I would post with information about our current glass kiln, the Paragon Fusion 14. Believe me, I am not trying to push this kiln or sell or promote in any way. This is just so you can see what we are using for all our glass fusing and slumping.

So far, no real issues with the kiln, but I suspect that having the bead door and peep hole do sap a bit of heat from the kiln and it gets to processing target temp a little slow. Unless you really need the bead door I would certainly suggest you don’t have it installed. The peep hole is really a necessity.

The kiln has been easy to program, but I hope to talk more about this later.

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Our Studio

Our Studio

This is the first post of what I expect to be many about the evolution of our studio. We are learning so we do expect to be making changes to the studio as we discover what does and does not work for us.

Having said that, we love our studio. It is our new playground and where we spend quite a lot of time here.

You can see we have a dedicated area for cutting and working with glass, another where Ann works with her creations and the kiln is in a separate area, well away from combustible items.

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Our Budget Workbench

Our Budget Workbench

This was actually a bigger problem than I expected.

We needed a good sized workbench that was very solid and sturdy, and at the right height. The sizes was important because we needed enough room to have the cutting station but also area for project setup, kiln shelf preparation, general design work and what ever else came up. Room in the studio wasn’t a real big issue, but we had to consider future improvements and decided not take up too much space.

It needed to be sturdy and stable. In other words, something that felt good and solid so cutting and working on it was done with confidence, and with stability so it didn’t move at all. The height was a huge issue. Prior experience with standing and working at a normal table height for extended periods taught me the importance of working height. That aching back is something I didn’t want to be repeating.

We really couldn’t find any ready-made workbench with the width we needed, and couldn’t afford to have one custom made. So, what do we do? Well, the solution sort of just presented itself.

Ann was scanning through an online classifieds site and found a large very solid and sturdy kitchen table for just $40. If it was as good as it looked it could be a great solution, as long as I could somehow make the height right. On inspection it turned out to be a excellent solid table with a thick top and very substantial solid legs. But the height was still an issue.

So I thought about it a little and a plan was hatched. We purchased the table and headed home.

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Building our Studio

Building Our Studio

Not sure if anybody is really interested, but thought I would post a little about building our studio. By the way, please excuse the photos. They were taken with an old iPhone.

The studio is for working with glass, as in glass fusing, glass slumping and glass draping. It is also a work area for Ann working with silver, copper and other metals. She has another area in the house for more assembly work to do with jewellery and other crafts.

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