Thursday, December 3, 2009

I don't care if the walls aren't painted - I'm moving in!

The weekend before Thanksgiving I taped and floated all the joints on the sheetrock walls.  And, even though it's not completely finished, I moved a lot of my tools into the area. I had 3 full days off from work after Thanksgiving and I wanted to be able to spend it making jewelry.  I arranged my work space so that all of my tools were easily accessible. I set up stations for doing each part of the process. In the shop I have a cutting, drilling, and grinding area, an area for annealing, soldering, and pickling, an area for hydraulic pressing and forming, and an area for wheel polishing.  In the studio I have an area for drawing, designing, and beading, an area for hammering, an area for my tabletop kiln, and a wet area for anything that requires water, like my tumbler, my shaper, and my lap machine.

This is one side of the "shop" area.

On Thanksgiving Day we had family over and did the usual cooking, feasting, and spending time with family. It was great having everyone here, but secretly I could hardly wait for Friday to come.  With all the construction projects and other things going on, I had not had much "Studio" time.

This is the other side of the "shop" area.

On Friday I finished organizing my workspace. I have a new air/acetylene torch that I had gotten several weeks before, but had not set it up yet.  I wanted to wait until my husband could help me. (I have a healthy fear of gas tanks and fire, and wanted his help to be sure I was following the directions properly so as not to blow up myself or the house!)  He helped me attach the regulator, the hose, and torch handle, and we checked all the connections with a mixture of liquid dish soap and water. Everything was tight, so I fired it up and tried all the tips. Five different sized tips came with the torch. The second to the smallest tip seems to work the best for soldering.

My new torch!!!!  Wooooohoooooooo!

On Saturday I started making a new piece that had tubing as part of the design. Cutting each piece by hand using a jeweler's saw was really tedious and time consuming. About half way into the project I was really wishing for some kind of tool to make the process faster and easier. Yes, I know I said "No more buying tools."  So, I will have to change that - no more big expensive tools for now!  Anyway, I did some looking on the web at several different miniature miter/cut-off saws.  The places selling them claim that they make the job of cutting tubing much easier.  I also did some reading on the Ganoksin website to see what tools other jewelers were using for cutting tubing. Many of them wrote about using a miter saw made by Proxxon, and a few of them wrote about the mini miter/cut-off saw available from Micro Mark. After reading reviews on a lot of different websites I could tell that the only way to find out which would work was to order one and try it out.  I decided that I would order the mini miter/cut-off saw from Micro Mark to start out with and hope for the best.

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