The Studio – Jewelry Blog by Rio Grande

Ashli’s Tumbler Series: Top-of-the-Line Jewelry Tumble-Finishing with Avalon

Feb 24, 2014
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Avalon TE-6 Wet and Dry Centrifugal Tumbler

Avalon TE-6 Wet and Dry Centrifugal Tumbler

Avalon Centrifugal tumblers provide fast, superior jewelry finish and eliminate media impingement (surface deformation or dimpling) that can be caused by certain media in other finishers. The bowl in an Avalon centrifugal tumbler has a tapered shape that creates a vortex-like motion, increasing contact of the media with the pieces and providing a faster, more efficient finish. They are extremely quiet and available in various sizes.

The vortex-like action in an Avalon tumbler

Avalon’s exceptional design is available in models suitable for a high production environment (see the Avalon TE-18), as well as in models suitable for small and medium-sized shops (see the TE-6 and TE-6HD). Available for either wet or dry finishing, Avalon centrifugal tumblers significantly cut processing time and deliver beautifully finished jewelry products. Avalon centrifugal tumblers allow you set the speed, time, and direction of the media and are programmable, which allows you to store your personal preferences.

With the Wet TE-6, you can manually control the amount of solution that flows through the system, where the TE-6HD and the TE-18 have the Avalon dosing pump. The dosing pump provides fine control over the amount of solution used in the flow-through process. The wet tumblers run abrasive media, such as ceramic or plastic, to debur and smooth your pieces and can also run burnishing media, such as porcelain and polished ceramic, to achieve a burnished shiny finish for a pre polish step. As for the dry TE centrifugal tumblers, they are equipped with an air blower that prevents media from entering the gap and clogging the rotor, keeping the tumbler running efficiently. The dry tumblers run dry polishing media, such as walnut and other impregnated dry media, creating a beautiful polish on the metal.

Avalon centrifugal tumblers are some of the best tumblers on the market. They are easy to operate and provide a remarkably quick and consistent finish. In fact, we love Avalon tumblers so much that we use them in-house here at Rio Grande! Give Rio a call today and let me or one of my Tech teammates help you find the tumbler that best suits your mass finishing needs!

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Video How-To with Mark Nelson: Jett Sett is Jeweler’s Duct Tape

Jan 6, 2014
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Amy Cliser
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Today on our YouTube channel, Rio Grande posted a new instructional jewelry making video all about Jett Sett Fixturing Compound. Need an easy-to-use, flexible ring clamp, or need to hold a pavé setting in place? Jett Sett can do that. Want to make a custom handle for your tools? Jett Sett can conform to the shape of your hand to ease and improve your grip. How about a texturing tool for metal clay? Jett Sett can do that too. In fact, Jett Sett is a versatile tool that can be used in countless creative ways at your jeweler’s bench. And even better, it’s reusable!

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Rio Grande Tech Team’s Holiday Wish List: Picks for Every Jeweler!

Dec 2, 2013
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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.

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Ashli’s Tumbler Series: Create an Irresistibly Attractive Finish with a Magnetic Finisher!

Oct 4, 2013
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Shine up your jewelry pieces quickly and easily using a magnetic finisher. Did you know a magnetic finisher takes half the time of a traditional rotary tumbler with stainless steel shot? Magnetic finishers are extremely fast and efficient, offer a great way to remove tarnish and other soils, contaminants, and debris that may be caught in recesses, details, undercuts and other hard-to-reach areas of your work. They are also a simple way to create a shiny finish.

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“Man, That’s a Hydraulic Hammer!” Bonny Doon’s Urethane Forming Hammers

Sep 23, 2013
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Viqui Sanchez
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When Phil Poirier, of Bonny Doon Engineering, showed his new urethane hammer to Eddie Bell, vice president of manufacturing at Rio Grande, Eddie was immediately excited by its possibilities for jewelry-making and said, “Man, that’s a hydraulic hammer!” Although the Bonny Doon urethane forming hammer does rather look like a colorful plastic hammer, it is actually so much more than that! Take a look at today’s post on The Studio, and see what this dynamo can do for your metal forming!

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Saw Frame Know-How with Yvonne M. Padilla

Sep 11, 2013
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Yvonne M. Padilla

Saw frames. At first glance one looks very similar to the next. But, there are several features that you should consider before purchasing one. Whether you’re new to sawing or you’re a seasoned pro, Yvonne M. Padilla shares her knowledge about saw frames so that you can choose the right one for every jewelry making project.

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Video Project with Bill Fretz: Twist Forged Bracelet with the Fretz Jeweler’s Sledge Hammer

Sep 5, 2013
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Molly Therese Bell

Designed by Bill Fretz, the Fretz Jeweler’s Sledge Hammer is ideal for forging heavy wire, rod, or sheet. Today, on The Studio, Bill makes a striking twist forged bracelet using his workhorse sledge hammer.

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Firing a Kiln Is Very Expensive! True or False?

Sep 2, 2013
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Viqui Sanchez
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“Firing is very expensive!” We hear this pretty often. Hmm . . . is it true or false? In this post, find out the truth, and find out how to figure out for yourself how much any given firing program will cost you based on your kiln, your media of choice, and your volume of work.

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Choosing Your Burs: Part Two

Jul 24, 2013
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Bernadette Bennett

In Choosing Your Burs: Part One, we talked about burs, the various metals they are made of, and discussed some of the advantages and disadvantages of each. In part two, we’ll put the bur to the metal! Learn about different types of burs and how they can make your job at the bench easier and more fun!

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Choosing Your Burs: Part One in Our Two-Part Series

Jul 11, 2013
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Bernadette Bennett

Burs come in different metals, shapes, and sizes. But which one is best for your job? Come with Rio Grande as we explore the world of burs in part one of a two-part series.

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