Camp Clamp by Tina Wojtkielo Snyder - Originally published in the MJSA Journal10/09
Originally published in the MJSA Journal 10/09
By Tina Wojtkielo Synder
Getting a grip on the tiniest of findings, such as jump rings, might require looking outside of the typical jeweler's toolbox. During a recent Home Depot shopping trip, Karen Christians of Cleverwerx (cleverwerx.com) in Waltham, Massachusetts, spotted some small and large rubber tipped clamps that work perfectly for holding tiny elements during fabrication.
"The large clamps with their lurid orange rubber grips have been a familiar and useful clamping system for holding everything from tablecloths to wires," she says. "However, when I spotted tiny ones for 37 cents, I purchased two--and they proved to be a cheap, but smart, bet."
At about 2.5 inches in length, the clamps pack a lot of gripping power. Christians says they are particularly suited to clamping down on a small jump ring so she can file a concave profile to ensure a tight fit for a curved bail before soldering. She has also used the clamp to drill a pearl, first dunking the tip into water and then drilling into the pearl with her flex-shaft and pearl drilling bit.
"The clamps fit nicely in my hand and are a comfortable and ergonomic alternative to trying to grip a pair of pliers in one hand and file with the other," she adds.
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