If you’ve been following my blog, you probably know that I never throw anything away that can be reused or repurposed. Here are four ideas that may be helpful to you…
For optimum performance, it’s important to keep tools sharp and if you create jewelry and use drills and burrs for making cold-connections such as riveting, it is especially important. I sometimes use a lubricating wax such as Bur-Life®, but I really prefer to dip my drills and burrs in Liquid Bur-Life®, which isn’t as messy to use. It comes in a squeeze bottle and I used to pour a tiny amount into a small container for dipping, but then I came up with this idea…I fitted an ultra-tiny plastic cap from an empty bottle into my drilling board where it stays put and is convenient to use. It holds just a few drops of the Liquid Bur-Life®, which is really all I need for a given task. I dip my drills into the small vessel while they are inserted in my flex shaft hand tool and if I’m using my drill press, I can easily slip the cap out of my drilling board and lift it up to submerge the bit while it is fitted in my drill press. This has been a real time-saver!
Don’t throw away used plastic hotel keys or expired credit cards…they come in very handy to pound on when stamping metal. Because they are not as hard and rigid as steel, the cards allow your metal to absorb a deeper impression. I also use them when I’m texturing my metal on both sides so the texture won’t flatten out as it does when hammered on a steel bench block. I place a card directly on top of my bench block and hammer away!
When I’m at the bench, I’m constantly creating small components, which are easy to lose. It seems I always have beads and/or tiny bits and pieces cluttering my bench top, sometimes so many that I often can’t find what I’m looking for even when it’s right under my nose! The solution is to always have several tiny ramekins or bowls, which keep parts from rolling around or falling off the bench. Here, I’ve even repurposed caps from perfume bottles!
Our local Tea and Spice Shop had a going out of business sale and it occurred to me that the tiny porcelain tea strainers they were selling would be great for dipping small parts into patina and cleaning solutions. No more rigging pieces with wire to dangle in the solution and no pieces dropped while rinsing!