It’s time for another compilation of Tech Tidbits! It’s been way too long since we last shared our Tech Team’s tips, tricks, and jewelry trivia. Here are some of their latest nuggets of tech gold. Enjoy!
For a long time now I have wondered why they called it “pickle.” You know, the acid solution we use after soldering to clean up the flux and surface oxides. After all, it has nothing to do with pickles. Or does it? I recently came across a wonderful article by Charles Lewton-Brain on Ganoksin called “Pickling Notes.” His theory is that “the term comes from the chemical jewelers once used to do the job: Alum, which is also traditionally used for making pickles.” Turns out that alum has some advantages and is great for removing broken drill bits, which Lewton-Brain explains. It’s a great little article on pickle, and we recommend putting it on your reading list!
Here is a tip from Tech Team member, Phil Scott: Quick-change handpieces for the Flex Shaft – what are they for and how do you pick the right one? Well, they’re used to save time. Changing out tools on a regular chuck-style hand piece takes some time, and quick-change handpieces really make the job simple and quick. If, for example, you’re polishing metal or setting stones and need to use a lot of different tools for the same project, a quick-change handpiece can really help.
One important fact you need to know about these hand pieces: they only accommodate one shank size, which is a 3/32″ shank. So all the tools you use will have to be that same size. The only drawback to quick-change hand pieces is there are several to choose from. Which ones do you get? Well, it’s kind of like buying shoes: you need to get one that fits you and your style of working. If you need help narrowing down your choices, our Tech Team members are here to help. You can call us (800-545-6566), email us, Facebook us, or chat us and we’ll help match you with the perfect quick-change handpiece.
Phil Scott on the Tech Team has a favorite saying: “If it’s not broke, don’t mess with it.” Well, bench pins were just made to be messed with! They come as a clean slate so that you can customize them to your best advantage. The cool thing is, everyone has a different way of doing it. Check out this great video from the people at the Gemological Institute of America. It demonstrates one way you can customize the bench pin for ring sizing and repair. I’ve already adapted a few of the ideas to my own bench pin.
Before and after comparison of Rio’s Superior Bench Pin