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Below is a listing of the hand tools I use for my jewelry designs, from different pliers to frisbee discs,
along with links to assist sourcing your hand tools to stock your studio. Review the supplies used.

frisbee discs
3.6v screwdriver
jacobs chuck
sanding pads

Flat-nose Pliers

Swanstrom short-jaw flat-nose pliers are used in tandem, one in each hand, for opening and closing jump rings.

Source at Rio Grande # 111210


Chain-nose Pliers

Swanstrom short-jaw chain-nose pliers are used for bending, twisting, and tightening fine 24-gauge wire.

Source at Rio Grande # 111152

Round-nose Pliers

Swanstrom round-nose pliers are used for bending wire with a round loop for earring backs and bead settings.

Source at Rio Grande # 111150

Mandrel-tip Pliers

I assisted Swanstrom to develop these unique pliers, designed to bend wire at a precise inside diameter loops, for a seamless assemble into a beaded chain pattern.

Both sizes are sold at Spiderchain.

Review how to use these unique pliers.

Practice with 3 free beaded chain tutorials.

Nylon-tip Pliers

Swanstrom nylon-tip (delrin) pliers are used to straighten fine 24-gauge wire to allow the addition of gemstone beads between wire wrappings.

Source at Rio Grande # 111326


Swanstrom side-cutters are used for cutting wire, the smaller size is designed to cut fine wire up to 18g, and the larger size for cutting thicker wire up to 14-gauge.

Source at Rio Grande # 111710 (small)
Source at Rio Grande #111717 (large)

Jewelry Files

I use a round file for removing any metal burr from the inside of a closed jump ring, and the flat file for the
outside; color coded to separate different metals.

Source at Rio Grande # 114739 (round)
Source at Rio Grande #114751 (flat)

Beading Cable & Crimp Tubes

I use 19-strand Beadalon beading cable for setting beads into chain patterns; secured with a smashed crimp tube.

The cable has a .30mm thickness, while the tube has a .75mm inside diameter; allowing two cables within.

Source at Rio Grande
Beadalon cable # 681113
silver crimp tubes # 693231
bronze crimp tubes # 42015513


A pencil-point compass is used to find the 3 points of a triangle on a solderite board for the 3-ring Propeller. Look in the school-supply section, or ask a 3rd grader.

A digital caliper is used to measure the inside diameter of a jump ring, or the outside diameter of a mandrel. Rio Grande catalogue # 115189

Plastic tape is ideal for measuring curved lengths of wire, and can be cut to length as needed, and easily found in the knitting section, or ask your mom.


The common paperclip has many jewelry applications; used as a beginning point for linear chain assemble, to open each knot formation of the Byzantine chain, and cut in half to create two soldering pins for the fifth book's Propeller designs.


Blazer Butane Torch

I highly recommend the Blazer-brand butane torch for silver soldering jewelry work; as cheaper 'creme brulee' can get dangerously overheated. The butane fuel refill bottles cannot be easily shipped to your home, source them at your hardware store.

Source at Rio Grande # 500230

Solder Paste

Argentium silver solder paste is sold as half ounce quantity; a small amount is placed into a smaller 5cc syringe, with an 18-gauge pink tip that receives a 19-gauge pin to help keep the paste from drying out too fast.

Source at Rio Grande # 103638

Solderite Board

The Solderite-brand board is excellent for silver soldering with a butane torch, as it reflects the heat to the metal, cools quickly, and will not burn your tabletop surface.

Source at Rio Grande # 502063

Pickle Cleaning Solution

This acid-water solution cleans any oxidation patina or head discoloration from the metal's surface; always neutralize the pickled metal with baking soda.

Source at Rio Grande # 5010233

Hammer & Anvil

A planishing hammer and bench anvil are used in tandem to flatten and forge metal wire into S-clasps and more.

Source at Rio Grande
hammer # 112461
anvil # 115315

Rotary Tumbler

Lortone rotary tumblers are excellent for polishing
finished jewelry designs with steel shot and water to strengthen the metal and provide a bling-bling shine.

Source at Rio Grande # 202106

Propolish Pads

These pliable foam pads are impregnated with micro-abrasives that polishes away surface oxidation, and cuts through a liver-o-sulfur black patina for a two-tone look.

Source at Rio Grande # 337020

Frisbee Golf Discs

These 8-inch diameter discs hold all the findings and pliers for assembling a specific project, and each disc holds six aluminum triangular pans to organized multiple bead sizes. Source in your local sports store.

Electric Drill

This 3.6-volt electric drill has a hex-base to accept a three-prong jacob's chuck adaptor seen below. Source at your local hardware store.

Jacobs Chuck

This 3-prong jacobs chuck has a hex-base to fit into a 3.6v screwdriver, with an adjustable three-prongs to hold a variety of mandrels for wrapping wire into a coil, which would be cut lengthwise into many jump rings.

Source at WireSculpture

Knitting Needle Mandrels

Knitting needle mandrels are ideal for wrapping wire
into a coil at specific diameters to be cut into jump rings. Source at a knitting store, or ask your mom.

Gas Pipe Mandrels

To create large 11mm, 13.5mm, and 23mm diameter jump rings to be soldered into frames for the projects in the fifth book, I use a variety of steel gas-pipe sections, sourced at hardware stores. Each pipe is fitted with a decreasing coupler tube fitting, which allows the pipe to be held in the three-prong chuck of the electric drill used to wrap wire into a coil. Before you can wrap wire, you will need to drill a hole into the pipe at the end of the threads, allowing the wire to hook into the pipe and hold the coil’s tension for the wrapping process.

Sanding Pads

Superfine (320-grit) 3M sanding pads are used to smooth the joint of each closed ring; this scuffing will polish out in the steel-shot tumbling to create visually seamless rings.

Source at Rio Grande # 337321

Copyright © 2012 Scott David Plumlee, all rights reserved