The Shiny Hammer

When it comes to hammers I am usually very rough on them. But in the case of my jewelry hammers, especially the ones I use for texturing, I make sure the face is highly polished. I may even stop and buff the face of the hammer during the process of texturing a piece of jewelry if the face gets marred. Oh and by the way the sock in the background is but I put the hammer in to keep it from getting tarnished.

Picture of jewelry hammer artist mark haglund
Look at that shiny face.

I work out of my garage so my tools are exposed to the changes in humidity and temperature. Rusty hammers and tools kinda add to the rustic look of my jewelry, but I do like a shiny finish.  Oh ya, I almost forgot, the ring I finished today. That looks nice too. Ready to ship to one of my Etsy customers.

Building your own bench top dust collector 

Having a clean work environment is important for me.  I could go on about safety and health, but let’s face it, some people work better in a mess.  As owner operator’s we can choose what level of safety we feel comfortable with.

I like clean air,well as clean as possible.  I also want to keep my costs down.  I could just buy a complete collection system, I almost did.  Or I can make one.  My background is in manufacturing in the metal industry so I have an understanding or dust collection systems although it be on a larger scale.  As a manufacturing engineer I sourced and installed various collections system.  I will include a list of reliable vendors and dust collection systems at the end of this article.

Why did I decide to build my own?  Because I like to use what I have before I go out and buy something new.  For starters, I have two bench top grinders and a shop vac.  The basics of the system.

I started by purchasing the needed polishing supplies from Rio Grande Jewelry Supply. Then I researched what was available on the market and did a quick cost analysis. There should be a large cost saving to make the DYI route viable. There is so I will build my own.

Step one is to develop a design based on what is commonly used.  Here is one of my sketches 20161106_121847that I used to generate ideas.

Then I laid out the pieces on cardboard and cut them out.  I used 2″ wide masking tape to assemble them.  There were 6 pieces total.

If this design works I can cut apart the pieces and use them as patterns for the wood version. There would be adjustments need in the dimensions as the final material will be much thicker then the cardboard.

Here are some pictures of Prototype I.

I have used this version for several weeks now and I am just waiting for the time to move on to version 2.  I know I need some sort of manifold across the back and vents by each wheel.  I will publish a new post on the progress as soon as I can.

Until then here are some links to give you some food for your imagination or information on build your own bench top dust collector.

Rio Grande Jewelry Supply

Foredom Electric Co. Dust Collection

Dust Collector Jewelry Polisher With 1/2 Horsepower Double Spindle Motor