This is a busy time of year for our Technical Support team as we talk to jewelers about a new process, help them through a jewelry-making challenge, and suggest tools and equipment that will make their work at the bench that much more successful. And as we talk about these innovative tools, each and every one of us, as fellow jewelers, can’t help but get a bit giddy about what WE would love to have for our OWN benches this holiday season! Here are some of our favorite and most coveted tools and equipment.
Phil Scott (The Laser Dude and Rio’s In-House Stone-Setter and Graduate Gemologist)
Foredom 1090 Rotary/Hammer Dual Handpiece Micro-Motor System: To restore a 60-year-old rifle for his son, Phil determined that his Foredom® flex shaft was the right tool for the job because he needed a micro-motor with more speed and extra control. Along with a new micro-motor, Phil says that Sam Alfano’s stone-setting and engraving DVD series would be a great gift for a stone-setter.
Sessin Durgham (Award-Winning Metalsmith and Stone Carver)
Sessin’s been a good little jeweler this year so spoiled himself a bit early with a shiny new Orion 150s Pulse Arc Welding System. Got a question about an Orion? Call us at 800.545.6566 and ask for Sessin! He also loves all of the LUXI Polishing Compounds; they are non-toxic, water soluble (easy clean-up), and provide a bright, gorgeous lustre!
Thomas Flores (Precious Metal Clay™ Guru)
Thomas has his eye on the Bonny Doon Vertical Vise along with one or two Bonny Doon stakes. Thomas already has the Bonny Doon Urethane Hammer (pure AWESOME), and wants to form PMC Sterling™ bracelets with these tools.
Gregg Burgard (Master of Rapid Prototyping and Glass Caster Extraordinaire)
Gregg could use 3DESIGN® CAD software to perfect his jewelry creations. He also mentioned he was interested in getting into more stone-setting, and a GRS BenchMate Stone-Setter’s Kit would do the trick. It’s the perfect gift for any jeweler who’s starting to do stone-setting work or who wants to upgrade their bench.
Ronnie Mares (Equipment and Fabrication Expert)
Every member of Tech Support (and every jeweler who’s used one) loves the Swanstrom Disc Cutter sets. Ronnie needs the newest teardrop shape to add to his bench. Disc Cutter. He also wants a Durston rolling mill. Who wouldn’t? Ronnie says there are so many things to do with a rolling mill…the most important? Rolling out scrap metal to make more jewelry! They are also great for texturing metal and rolling wire.
Mark Nelson (Rio’s Television Celebrity and "His Exaltedness Highness of the Third Realm of Awesomeness")
Mark thinks the new Slide & Lock™ Height Adjustment Bracket is the coolest! It allows you to move your bench pin up and down giving you more versatility depending on your project. Also, Mark has noticed a change in his vision (ah, age), and absolutely loves CraftOptics™, especially the 1.5 bifocal. CraftOptics come in a wide range of magnifications to fit various vision needs.
As for me, I’m asking for the new Fretz Planishing Hammer.
I already have the smaller Fretz Planishing Hammer, along with several other beautiful Fretz hammers, but this one is equally amazing and I must have it! It is larger than the other nylon hammers and has eleven inserts. Other than feeding my hammer addiction, I really could use the Durston Complete Cupola Daps and Forming Set.
I work with these in the lab at Rio and they are my favorite dapping tools around, with a beautiful high polish finish and sturdy design.
What’s on your list this holiday season? Leave us a comment below and share wish list favorites!Comment on this article
Registration is now open for this week-long event where you can get hands-on in any number of jewelry-making classes taught by the industry’s most beloved and talented instructors, watch demonstrations of the tools and processes that will enhance your work at the bench, and tour our 180,000 square-foot solar-powered facility. What a great way to experience Rio firsthand and start 2014 with a shot of creativity and learning!...Read the Rest
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What inspires you these days? What materials are you dying to work with? Each month we present you with another “What are You Working on Now?” contest, in which we invite readers to submit a picture or two and a description of what’s on their bench right now. Well, this month’s winner, Melicia Phillips, has won a $10 Rio credit, and September’s contest has officially begun – show us your stuff for a chance to win!...Read the Rest