I was just thinking it would be good to do a few posts about making your own tools. Often with a bit of creativity we can make or adapt some pretty useable tools. Me, being as cheap as I am, have made quite a few tools for my workbench. Some of them I have fallen in love with and some did alright until I could afford the proper one, and some just plain old didn’t work.
I thought I’d get the ball rolling with the first jewellery tool I ever made. When carving a wax ring, the first thing you need to do is make the wax the right size for the finger. This means you need to take wax out of the inside of your ring tube. Matt makes a tool that is basically a tapered dowel with a blade in it that you just twist inside the ring and it shaves off wax until it is the right size. Pretty simple.
You can see in this photo, my homemade inside ring sizer compared to the real one. I took a stick and a hand plane and shaved it down to a taper, then I flattened one side of the taper (to give the wax that is being shaved off somewhere to go) then I found a strip of steel off my Dad’s old downhill skis- so old in fact that the edges were strips of steel that were held on with little tiny screws. I sharpened one of the metal strips up and inserted it in a groove that I cut with a handsaw. Voila! Not pretty but I have sized quite a few rings with it.
In case you are wondering, no I don’t use it anymore, I now use a homemade table that I attach to my flexshaft with a big wax cutting cylinder bur in it. Just that much quicker.