|pliers at cherryheaven.co.uk||and at kitiki.co.uk or learn more at the artclayclub.co.uk|
Lindstrom pliers and cutters are the best you can buy. They successfully combine materials, size, precision, alignment, hardness, sharpness, and ergonomics. Those shown here are about 120mm long, easy to use, and comfortable to hold.
Lindstrom has developed and produced high-precision tools since 1856, making them the oldest continuous producer of handtools. So, there's 150 years of manufacturing experience built in.
The pliers and cutters shown in the photo above are the four most popular. Although, in theory, the pliers partly share their uses, in practice, one is just easier to use for one task, and one for another.
Lindstrom 7191 flush cutters, shown top right, are used to cut wire, strips, chains, and clasp links. The cutting edges are hardened and align perfectly, and the cut is nearly straight rather than oblique or vee-shaped.
Lindstrom 7490 flat-nose pliers, shown bottom centre, have tapered rectanglular jaws, and are used to position and adjust jewellery findings, squeeze and close links, bend wire and strips at angles, and shape paper-type metal clays.
Lindstrom 7590 round-nose pliers, shown bottom left, have tapered circular jaws, and are used to shape jewellery findings, re-shape links, and bend wire and strips into curves, circles, and ovals.
Lindstrom 7890 snipe-nose pliers, shown bottom right, sometimes called pointed-nose, have tapered semi-circular jaws, and are used to shape jewellery findings, re-shape links, and bend wire and strips into curves, circles, and ovals.
Lindstrom 7892 bent-tip snipe-nose pliers, not shown, sometimes called angled-nose, have tapered semi-circular jaws, and are used to shape jewellery findings, re-shape links, and bend wire and strips into curves, circles, and ovals.
Lindstrom 8142 ultra-flush cutters, not shown, are used to cut wire, strips, chains, and clasp links. The cutting edges are hardened and align perfectly, and the cut is straight.
You'll enjoy using good tools rather than continually improvising. They'll help you manage a creative and efficient work environment. And they'll last a long time.
To look at larger photos, hold your mouse over the zoom buttons below. The photos are 480px x 360px and about 22KB so, if you're not on a fast internet connection, they'll take a short while to download.
Zoom: Lindstrom 7191.
Zoom: Lindstrom 7490.
Zoom: Lindstrom 7590.
Zoom: Lindstrom 7890.
Zoom: Lindstrom 7892.
Zoom: Lindstrom 8142.
Before dismissing the word ergonomic, remember that the palm of your hand has around 1700 nerve endings and, every time you hold a hand tool, 42 muscles are put to work. The continual strain of using an awkward tool makes delicate work less accurate and more difficult, and can lead to strain injury or numbness.
Designing and making precision hand tools that work smoothly and accurately, and feel comfortable, is a complicated, expensive, precision process. So, here are some general comments:
Very few shops sell high quality pliers and cutters for delicate work: most pliers and cutters are designed to undo rusted nuts and cut fence wire.
Economy pliers and cutters usually use regular mild steel, inadequately hardened, and laquered to hide the poor finish. The laquer will soon wear away and the metal will rust or stain. They're often rebranded, repackaged, and repriced, with different coloured handles: so it's hard to know what you're getting.
Economy special-offer boxed sets appear to be good value. However, once opened and used, the poor quality will soon become apparent. Buying like this is unpredictable and replacing one of the set, or buying a different shape, is usually impossible as the brand will have disappeared.
Poorly machined, aligned, and hardened cutting edges will cut at an angle or unevenly, and will soon go blunt or get notched. Poorly machined and aligned jaws will make it diificult to hold small shapes reliably.
Jaws might have high spots, serrations, or roughly finished edges that will mark soft metals such as silver, copper, and gold. Jewellery pliers have smooth jaws, and are precision engineered for careful work.
If they're uncomfortable to hold, the handles can nip your skin whilst squeezing, and the sprung release-action might need too much continual pressure: tiring during precision work. Tight hinges won't release unless you use both hands.
Scissor-style hinges, rather than box-style hinges, will gradually loosen and twist as you bend and cut, making delicate work less accurate and more difficult.
Jewellery cutters are not designed to cut spring steel or stainless steel wire or strips. If you want to work with these, or other hard materials, you need special snips: mail or call.
To learn more about working with metal clays, buying and using kilns and tools, or choosing a course, look at The Art Clay Club, using the The Art Clay Club link above the menu bar.
The Art Clay Club is an information resource, not a shop, providing free on-line help, 24 7 52: you don't have to register, log on, or remember a password.
|THE KITIKI STUDIO|
The Kitiki Studio is an Art Clay UK distributor, an on-line shop, and a learning centre, and provides the full Art Clay range: silver clay, slow dry, slow tarnish, paste, oil paste, overlay paste, syringe clay, paper clay, gold clay, gold paste, gold foil, cork clay, kilns, tools, books, and other materials
Aida-certified and SilverClay-certified teachers provide a comprehensive educational programme: classes, masterclasses, workshops, and Art Clay Level 1 and Level 2 teacher-certification courses.
The on-line shop includes electric kilns, rotary tumblers, magnetic polishers, ultrasonic cleaners, mini-drills, pliers, cutters, engravers, mandrels, triblets, ring guages, scribers, burnishers, abrasives, adhesives, polishes, and safety equipment.