Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tool Time

UPDATE:  I mentioned below my last resort of trying the 100 proof acetone to remove some gold plating.  I am thrilled to report it worked!  So I etch on.  In the meantime here's a verbal teaser:  Latin + solid brass + old stuff.  Check back soon!

I have always loved hardware stores.  When I was a child, I was the only one in my family who would go with my father to the hardware store.  Even early on I could envision the endless possibilities to make life more clean, neat and tidy, washed with a lovely color, and just plain all-round beautiful.

I refuse to be rushed in a hardware store, even if I have a list.  It is imperative that I systematically go up and down each aisle to insure that I have left no bolt or screw unturned.  Which would stand to reason that I prefer to go to a hardware store alone instead of toting young boys who like to climb every steel shelf and touch everything, including sharp power tools.  It goes without saying that the hardware staff tremble when they see me and my brood cross their threshold.  I don't even like bringing my husband because I think he secretly despises these types of places.  But that's a whole other blog altogether.

One might think hardware stores and jewelry make for strange bedfellows, but I have found that the two really go hand-in-hand.  Behold, I bring you some hardware finds most applicable to the craft of jewelry making:

This makes a wonderful etcher when mixed with peroxide in a specific formula.  Note the word "Danger."  Makes it even more fun.

100 proof, not cosmetic blend.  I picked up some of this today (I had to bring the was not pretty) to try and remove gold plating off solid brass id plaques before I etch them.  Keep your fingers crossed, because I really, really want to use the plaques for my intended purpose, but am having a difficult time removing the plating. 

Hardware stores have the best prices on tools.  Sorry Michael's and Hobby Lobby!

Wire such as this makes lovely jump rings, if you have the time to make them yourself.  Larger gauge (the higher the number, the thinner the wire) also makes great beading hoops for earrings.  I will be unveiling these very soon!  I like to make them as I watch a movie or the news.
These make great connectors when closed up a bit.  I like to age them before using. 

Solid brass O rings.  Can I get an "Amen?"

Great clasps

I am torn between the smaller, mom and pop stores versus the larger chains like Lowes (I really detest Home Depot) that carry a larger selection.  The Ace Hardware down the street knows me, and I like that, but their prices are a tad higher and they have less to choose from.  The staff is, however, extremely helpful and seem genuinely interested in how I will use something from their store in something so girlie, like jewelry.  And have you ever had to chase down an associate at a Lowes?  There's your daily workout right there.

No matter what you store you choose, large or small, remember this:  Hardware stores are our friends.


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