I’ve wanted to to post a review feature on tools for a while, so I decided it’s time to do it! This is the first in a series called “Tools that Delight” and they will be tagged for easy searching in the Categories menu to the right…
As a tool junkie, I mentally rate my tools into different categories depending on how much I want them. It is not unusual for tools to change the category they are in, especially when I learn new techniques:
- Must Have: these are the tools I can’t work without
- Gotta Get: these are the ones that I really want, that I will use alot
- Cool Tool: usually very specific for one unique purpose
- Next Level Tools: usually really expensive versions of tools I have
- Big Boys: the tools that are really expensive, or take up alot of room!
First up… the nylon faced bracelet former pliers!
I considered these pliers a “cool tool” for many years, but over the years, they’ve become part of my “must have” toolset (yes – they are still really cool!). These pliers have nylon jaw pads that are shaped to easily bend thin metal and wire in a light consistent curve.
One side is convex, the other concave, so that they fit together when closed. Many of these pliers have replaceable nylon pads so that when you ding them up (and you will!) you can easily fix them – note the nylon screws that are holding them to the jaws.
These pliers are great for shaping both narrow strips of metal sheet, as well as wire. I can easily shape up to 12g – for reference, the copper strip above is 16g, and the wire is 14g. And using them is so simple – it doesn’t get any easier!
- STEP 1: lay wire into nylon jaw
- STEP 2: close pliers
- STEP 3: repeat as needed
So simple, and the results are so clean and nice and consistent! You can easily shape wire for a bangle, or to create a “frame” which can be hammered and wrapped.
For this piece, I had already finished the copper strip design with some letter stamping, texturing, and hole punching. I am going to use it as a link for a bracelet… look how easily it gets formed!
Doesn’t this look great?! Nice and even, with no warping or damage, and the nylon ensures that the strip doesn’t get scratched. I am planning on antiquing the copper to bring out the details, and will add some chain, or maybe attach some leather cord, to make up a bracelet.
Hopefully… I’ve shown reason why this pair of pliers has moved into my “Must Have” list – I have a few pairs with slightly different shapes – all of them are well loved!
I’ll be posting more photos of my favorite tools, as well as some info on how they are used – let me know if there’s anything is particular you’re interested in, and I’ll try to oblige!