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    Muir.brass hand
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    Muir.silver tea pot
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    Muir.universal bracelet hinge
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    Muir.silver infuser

Hinges and Joints: Standard, Invisible, & Universal

This intensive, hands-on, 5-day workshop will focus on three types of hinges, for the jeweler and metalsmith: a standard three to seven knuckle hinge, an integral hinge (aka invisible or hidden hinge), and a universal joint hinge. Through technical demonstrations, discussions, slides and an examination of various samples, special emphasis will be placed on problem-solving and creative applications for a variety of formats and approaches.

Engineering principles of hinges will be discussed, along with useful soldering and fabrication strategies which can be applied to numerous procedures in the jeweler’s and metalsmith’s studios.

During the hands-on segment of the workshop, at least three different hinges will be produced by each student.

Meet the instructor

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Tom Muir is Distinguished Professor of the Arts at Bowling Green State University, where he is head of the Jewelry and Metalsmithing area in the School of Art. He received his MFA from Indiana University, Bloomington, and his BFA degree from Georgia State University in Atlanta. Mr. Muir has lectured and taught widely, holding positions at universities and craft schools around the country. His award-winning work has been published and exhibited extensively in art, craft and design exhibitions. Collections include the Art Institute of Chicago, Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution and The White House Collection of American Crafts, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. He is the recipient of an Arts Midwest/National Endowment for the Arts Regional Artist Fellowship, Michigan Council for the Arts Fellowship, and numerous Ohio Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship Awards. In 2009, Tom received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Ohio Designer Craftsmen for having made a major contribution to craft in Ohio.

Click here to learn more about Tom and his work. 

Materials & Tools

There is a $95 materials fee for this course which is payable upon registration. The materials kit fee covers cost of:

  • half-round wire (U-joint stirrups). 6 – 8 gauge.

  • brass Tubing, thick-wall, two 4” pieces. 2.33mm o.d., 19 gauge(.86mm) i.d.

  • brass Tubing, medium-wall, two 6” pieces. 2.35mm o.d, 14 gauge(1.56mm) i.d.

  • nickel silver, 14 gauge (#52) x 4” straight

  • steel Music Wire, #52. 3 – 4”

  • steel Music Wire, #53. 2.5 – 3”

  • wooden V-block cutting jig

  • drill bit, #53

  • 4" x 6”, 14 gauge nu-gold sheet

  • 4" x 6”, 18 gauge nu-gold sheet

  • fine point tweezers

  • white out (new) and yellow ochre

  • 2/0 sawblades

  • 8"x10" glass sheet

  • separating discs(aluminum oxide) with mandrels

  • super glue, 2 pak, .07 oz

  • clear packing tape, 1 roll

  • paper masking tape, ¾” – 1” wide, 1 roll

  • duct tape, 1 roll

  • silicon carbide sandpaper - 220 or 240, 400 600 

  • solder - easy, medium, hard

  • paste flux

  • denatured alcohol

  • boric acid

  • paper towels

  • fire brick

  • use of many other miscellaneous consumables items

Students should bring

* If exact sizes are not available, choose the closest size to those indicated (NOTE: Metalwerx has many of these tools for communal use or in your kit,  but we recommend you bring your own / extra if you have them or if you do not want to wait to use a communal tool / item).

  • needle files (set of 6 or set of 12)

  • 6” half round file, approx. 0 cut and/or 2 cut

  • Pliers: chain-nose, flat-nose

  • Soldering pick (coat hanger is fine)

  • Flux brush (inexpensive, natural hair)

  • 6 x ½” flexible metal ruler

  • saw blades - 2/0 (two dozen come in kit)

  • larger file such as 6-10” half-round, barrette or flat files

  • metal scribe or x-acto knife

  • silicon carbide sandpaper: 1 sheet each of 220 or 240, 400 and 600 grits

  • glass sheet, approximately 8 x 10” or larger: Local frame shop

  • notebook / sketchbook and writing implement 

  • safety glasses or reading glasses - for working up close

  • other personal hand tools (if not wishing to share communal tools)

  • studio apron

  • studio towel

  • closed-toe shoes - required in the Metalwerx studio

  • lunch - Metalwerx has a fridge, toaster oven, and microwave



  • safety glasses (preferably with 99% UV protection; clear lens acceptable)

  • 2 or 4” Starrett dividers

  • starrett or machinist’s square

  • vernier gauge or digital calipers

  • respirator with dust filter

  • sharpie marker with med. – thick tip

  • drill index(es): 1-60

  • cutting broaches, sizes approximately .7mm – 3mm

  • separating discs with mandrels

  • super glue

  • files:

    • 4” joint round-edge to match o.d. of tubing, 2 cut Part # LP1170/LP1171  (1.5mm) 

    • 8-10" #00 cut barrette file

    • 8-10” narrow or extra-narrow pillar, 0 or 2 cut Part # 131.223GR and Part # 131.201GR

    • 10” regular pillar, 0 or 2 cut #LP1132

    • 4” round parallel 2mm diameter, 0 cut #LP1669

    • 6” round parallel 2mm diameter, 0 cut

    • 6” round parallel 3mm diameter, 0 cut

  • parallel-action pliers

  • joint vise/mitre cutter: Bergeon or less expensive model

  • hand-held sawing jig  #Part # 126.448

  • *All part #s are hyperlinked in red from Otto Frei unless otherwise noted



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