Tricks of the Trade

We love to share metalworking advice from our experts! Many thanks go out to our faculty and community members for generously sharing tips they've learned or developed from years of experience at the bench. If you would like our monthly "Tricks of the Trade" delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our email newsletter, The Metalwerx Insider.

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As I look around my studio I realize I'm a collector- of pebbles, bones bits of glass from my travels. Twigs,seed pods, leaves seem to end up in my coat pockets  these bits and pieces act eventually as subjects for reference and even make their way into finished pieces of jewelry. The puzzle for me is what to do with all of the gatherings -- what's the best way of trapping or setting a found object?

Making rivets is one of those skills that we all learn early on in our jewelry classes, but somehow, they can still be tricky to get right! Andrea Zatarain gives 3 simple tips that can help you avoid putting dings in the surface of the piece you are riveting, and make sure the finished rivet is the perfect length for the job.

Making jump rings is a simple process of wrapping wire around a mandrel tightly to make a coil, and then cutting that coil into jump rings. When making small jump rings, the hardest part is holding the wire and mandrel together. Holding two round objects together can be difficult, as they don't like to sit still as they are forced together. So… a simple jig is in order.