Thursday, September 29, 2011




It struck me today that I have been using a tip bench trick for ages now which I have selfishly not shared with anyone, not out of malice or self-interest, but simply because I use it so very regularly that it never entered my head until one of the students mentioned today how unusual it was. The idea originally came from another one of my students who asked me why there are no tube cutters for jewellery of the sort plumbers use to cut pipes. Her partner is a plumber and he gave me a plumber's tube cutter to try out. This is what I developed.

1) Mark out the length of tube required.

Fashion:Victim - In Memoriam ALMcQ (WIP 37)

2) Use a plumber's "heavy duty mini-cutter":

Fashion:Victim - In Memoriam ALMcQ (WIP 38)

3) Clamp the cutter onto the previously-marked line, ensuring that the line is directly under the cutting-wheel:

Fashion:Victim - In Memoriam ALMcQ (WIP 39)

4) Rotate the tube in the device several times, tightening the clamp slightly each full turn. I don't use this tool to cut right through the tube as it tends to leave an outer bevelled edge and an inner flange which have to be dealt with:

Fashion:Victim - In Memoriam ALMcQ (WIP 40)

5) This leaves a lovely, clean, deep groove which is absolutely straight all the way around the tube:

Fashion:Victim - In Memoriam ALMcQ (WIP 41)

6) I then use a saw in a standard tube-cutting clamp to cut the tube off through the groove, rotating the tube as I cut:

Fashion:Victim - In Memoriam ALMcQ (WIP 42)

This method allows for much more even cutting of tube, less sawblade breakages and fewer blades blunted by rubbing against the standard clamp. I've used it on very tiny tubing and although this clamp says it will go down to 1/8", I've managed to mark out tubing just over 2mm OD.

Didn't get much done today other than making the other hinge for the sphere:

Fashion:Victim - In Memoriam ALMcQ (WIP 43)

And cutting out some stars for the "poles" of the spheres.

Fashion:Victim - In Memoriam ALMcQ (WIP 44)

As I mentioned yesterday, I found a very interesting blog because the owner kindly emailed me to say that my ring made from the corroded hex-nut features on her Industrial page.

As she says on the front page of her blog,
All the cute and the precious have been found. All the kitties and puppies have homes. The candy colored, the eco-friendly, the hipsters of the handmade are all duly covered elsewhere. Here I will find the slightly odd, the darkly beautiful, the elegant and steamy pieces of goodness.
Very refreshing!