Beginning Metal Smithing

learn to solder or be a metal smith
Okay so I finally broke down and did it! I am beginning my adventures in metal smithing. I am going to learn to solder and create new jewelry with metals like silver, gold and copper. I have done a lot of research and I will share my work and research with you here on my blog.

Those of you who are interested in learning this craft, please contact me or leave a comment. We can help each other out. First I would like to tell you the list of equipment that I just purchased and where you can go to get started with some of these great items.

Beginners List of Tools for Metal Smithing:

The Complete Metal Smith book by Michael Creighton.
DVD - LEARN TO SOLDER with ME, Soldering and Setting Level I
Micro torch
solder fire pad
charcoal block
pickle and crock pot
copper tongs for the pickle
tweezers (get the kind that will lock and has padding for handling heat)
cutters both kinds- for cutting the silver and copper sheets. fine and heavier
.925 stamp
ring sizer guide (rings and strip)
bezel pusher
files- fine files
saw blades
dapping tools
third hand
ring holding pliers
silver burnishing compound
rotary tool (like a dremel)
steel bench block
jewelers hammers
loupes or magnifier for vision
burnishing tool
nylon hammer
rubber block
rotary tumbler with steel shots

I also am still shopping around for a jewelers table or a work bench. One other thing you will also need is space to set up your shop. You don't need a ton of space but a place where you can work freely and not be bothered by small children is the best.

I also went ahead and purchased this much metal material:

1 ft serrated bezel
3' plain bezel wire 26 ga
3 or 4 ft copper 16 ga round
3 or 4 ft copper 18 ga
couple of feet of copper bezel wire heavy
5 each 8mm round plain bezel cups
5 each 10mm round plain bezel cups
13 assorted cups and pads
littl bit of brass pattern wire and a cup
2' NS 12 or 14 ga HR
1 7/8 x 3 1/2 inches Nickle Silver 22 ga sheet
1 ft NS bezel wire
2' brass bezel wire
1x 5 3/4" 28 ga sheet
silver wire:
12 ga half round wire
14 ga dbl HR
12 ga dbl hr
5 ga low dome hr

Okay so I may have went a little over the top here, but I figure if I am going to learn to do this I am going to need my metals to solder and create something exciting and new. Of course I am going to want to try PMC3 silver clay at some point as well.

Nita from Pointy Paws Etsy shop actually got me started and going with my start up kit. It is pretty extensive. I have noticed a lot of other kits are super simple and have just a few of these things.
Nita has been very accomodating and you need to ask her, she most likely will have it or can get it for you. You also are supporting a great cause with Pointy Paws. 100 percent of the income earned goes to support sick and injured animals in Nita's care. She is busy!

Other shops that have great supplies, equipment and tools:

Rio Grande
Vulcan's Workshop
Santa Fe Jewelry
Otto Frei
Monster Slayer
Thunderbird Supply

And a great place to get some beautiful, affordable and high quality cabs is from
101 Best Beads! My bead shop of course.

square cushion carnelian cabochon
Okay well I think this is a true to life good starting kit. If you have any questions on some of the equipment you can comment or contact me. I will try to do my best. Lots of nice people are ready to answer your questions in this great forum called Starving Jewelry Artist as well.

I am researching some video's and I will be posting them here in the next few days or so. These video's are other people showing me and you how to do it.

If you have something of interest that would be helpful to us newbies, please contact me!

Thanks everyone. Enjoy the world of creation...playing with fire and having fun!


ApacheMoon said...

Thank you Helen!

I know you will apply yourself to smithing and learn in no time!

It is a serious creative outlet once you start doing it regularly so the mechanics don't get in your way so much!

Way to go!

Sylvia C. said...

Well it seems like we have a lot in common...! I have been investing in many of these tools also, and I love to blog!

You have a great blog. I'm so glad we met!


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