24 August 2012

My Secret Tools: Pliers

Alright, they aren't a secret at all but here it goes. These are my four basic and in fact only pliers I use to make all my wire jewelry. From the left, shear cutter, round nose plier, chain nose plier, and a multi-function plier. However, it took me a few years to explore and experiment before I had this well combination of handy tools. I can finally say that I am comfortable and happy with them!

Shear cutter:
I got this just this year (2012), and it is my most expensive and favourite cutter ever. It is so useful and it saved me a whole lot of time and energy. It is a high quality product made in the USA, and I would never regret buying this.
- I use this to cut full flush wire ends before bending them into a loop for double safety so that the sharp end of the wire would not harm anyone. I also use this to cut the jump rings that I make with my wires.

Round nose plier:
Before I got this, I used a similar plier that has grips to hold the wire well while I bend them. I decided to upgrade to this smooth and grip-free pliers because the grips and the pressure applied made every piece of wire name jewelry I make filled with flaws and scratches. When I first switched to this new one, I couldn't get used to it at all because no matter how hard I try to grip my wires, they would slip off because the plier is too smooth. But I knew that I had to make the extra effort to get hold of it and after years of experience, now my wire name jewelry looks much elegant than before.
- I use this for bending round shapes or corners so that they look smooth and well crafted.

Chain nose plier:
I got this one the same time I bought my round nose plier, and it is as smooth as well. So, I had the same experience for this plier with the round nose plier.
- I use this to bend flat, straight, or sharp-angled corners on the flat side, and sometimes utilise the round area of this semi-circle shape plier to make round corners right after the straight or sharp corners.

Multi-function plier:
I had no name for this plier, because I don't think they sell it. It is actually a plier my dad gave to me back in 2009 when I first bought wires and started making my very first wire name. He got it from his working place  a long time ago where it came with a laboratory machine that was no longer in use and it was made for that particular machine probably for repairing purposes. Ps. Shh, don't tell anyone! This plier has a rough chain nose tip, a basic cutter and a round slot for cutting at an angle that makes sharp pointy wire ends. It proved me useful as a pure beginner, but not as much as for now because of it's rough surface that scratches the wires as well as the non-flush cutter that would cut pointy wire ends, just like the economy cutters.
- I now use this to open and close jump rings and sometimes use it as a stable grip for wire jewelry designs that challenge me with the flawless ends of the round nose and chain nose pliers.

So these are my 'secret' plier tools for all my personalized wire name jewelry making. Well of course, my hands play a big role too! They are responsible for every control of the wire as well as the pliers. Sometimes the pliers and wires treat my hands so bad, I'd get blisters or redness - but I'm already used to that. What I recently noticed this year is that the last three fingers of my right hand has three little hard bumps and some callus time to time, just like the fingertips of a guitarist. Every time I look at it and feel them, it reminds me of the 4 years of hardship (and still counting) that led me to this day. I am very grateful for it, praise be to God who gave me life and blessed these little hands of mine!


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