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How to Work Harden Jewelry Components With Simple Tools


Soft metals like sterling silver and copper are especially in need of work hardening - hammering lightly on the components several times will do the trick. You may not be much of a metal worker but knowing how to work harden metal will strengthen delicate jump rings so they don't accidentally pull open or ear wires get distorted. 

StonesandFindings is an artisan jewelry supplier based in. They recently shared on their Instagram this neat tip on how to "tumble" harden sterling silver jump rings.  A really clever solution to work harden in bulk. Bear in mind tumbling of any kind is not suitable for plated components because the plating might wear off. 



I've also had to resort to simple tools when I teach my jewelry classes locally (temporarily halted during the pandemic) simply because Iguana Beads and I do not have enough tools for all students.  Inspired by Stones and Findings, I have shared one of my own tips for inexpensive tools on my Instagram and my new TikTok.  

As ice hockey is Canada's national sport,  it might seem like a sacrilegious use of an ice hockey puck!  But the material - vulcanized rubber - as well as the padded household hammer prevents marks on the ear wires or whatever you need to work harden metal.  

You can buy these pucks in sets.  A household hammer is something most people already have at home and will save from having to buy a nylon and rubber hammer like this.  



H/T to Sonya (Rocpoet) for this find

Before You Go: 

Disclosure 
 
This blog may contain affiliate links. I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links. This goes towards the support of this blog and to provide resource information to readers. The opinions expressed are solely my own. They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation. 
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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM 

3 comments:

  1. Some really good tips here for any metal workers!

    I have a tumbler but I often just harden my jumps etc by hand. The only thing missing from that particular recommendation of putting the jumps in a plastic container and shaking it - is for how long and how hard to shake it. Since all metals are different it comes down to testing really. Hard one to explain.

    Thanks for the find Rocpoet!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stones and Findings did answer that - about 5 minutes. But you are right, one has to test for hardness after a good shake.

      Delete
  2. Thanks for posting this and reinforcing the idea of hardening metal for jewelry. I used to think it required pounding and couldn't understand why people thought this was a good idea. Simple hammering really does the trick.

    ReplyDelete

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