Pliers that won't scratch anodized aluminum
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Joined: February 18, 2012
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Pliers that won't scratch anodized aluminum
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Posted on Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:49 am
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I'm still new to maille, and I've been working with the Ringlord's anodized aluminum. I love the colors, but my pliers sometimes scratch the color off. I make jewelry and so far the biggest rings I've used are 18 gauge 1/4 inch, mostly I've got 18 gauge 3/16 inch, and I also work with 20 and 22 gauge bronze. So I need pliers with small jaws.

Right now I am using Jo-Ann's pliers, so I'm looking to upgrade. I once saw a picture of a pair of small pliers that appeared to have ribber tips over the ends of the plier jaws (this was in a book about chain maille that I saw in Jo-Ann's). It looked like the jaws were metal, just with a rubber tip put over the ends of the jaws. I haven't been able to track any down to buy, though, so I thought I'd plumb the knowledge of the maillers here.

I'm aware of nylon jawed pliers (such as the ones sold by the Ringlord), but I'm worried the jaws would be too big to handle the size rings I work with.

Anybody have any suggestions?

Thanks!

~ Sarah the Slightly Mad

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Posted on Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:00 am
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It may be that you are using an excessively strong 'death grip' on the pliers; perhaps a gentler touch is indicated. You mention that you are new to maille, so I am guessing that with a bit more practice opening and closing rings all will be well.

There are some who coat the jaws of the pliers with 'Tool Magic', but I have not found that to be necessary, but you may try it and like it.

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Posted on Thu Feb 23, 2012 4:34 am
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I assume that your pliers are smooth jawed and toothless. If not, you need some toothless pliers (or to file the teeth off). If they are, next time you scratch a ring, take a look at where the the scratch occurred - chances are it will be from the sharp edge of the pliers where the jaw ends. If it is, putting a slightly rounded edge on the edge of the plier jaws all the way around using a small file and some sandpaper can do wonders.

As an aside, Rio Grande sells some low melting point polymer called Jett Sett which you can heat in hot water to melt it into a putty, then form it and allow it to cool, locking the shape in. One of the uses in the literature is to make custom fit plier tips which can be snapped on and off. Your mileage may vary.


Andre "Ironband" Miron
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Posted on Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:05 am
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I have to agree with Rognvald. Having worked with quite a bit of TRL's AA, I can definitely say that not having just the right grip will easily mar the color of the ring. Also, a rough spot on your pliers will do the same. Check the jaws of your pliers to make sure they are smooth and don't have any dents or burrs. Also, if you want to go the route of coating your pliers and need a temporary fix, you can wrap the jaws with a small amount of electrical tape and that will provide a cushion that still has a bit of grip. I have tried this on a few occasions with some success (bc a place that would sell decent pliers or a coating for the jaws would be at least an hour away Sad ).

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Posted on Thu Feb 23, 2012 3:28 pm
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I usualy address sharp corners or grind marks on my pliers with an emory file and then use a nail buff to smoth things out. fine sandpaper glued to a paint stir stick or any flat surface is handy. If your useing this option get a standpaper that works with metal.

If you want to wrap or coat the jaws eletrical tape will work but i find it slips and wears through in short order.

firemountaingems sell a product called tool magic that can help.
Its basicly a liquid plastic that cures on your pliers.

Plasti dip will have the same results at a fraction of the price but you need to thin it a little and it can dry out in the can over time.

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Posted on Fri Feb 24, 2012 2:14 am
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I searched nylon tip pliers and looked at a few links. Fusion Beads.com has some needle nose ones. maybe what you saw was rubber tubes like for fish tanks over the tips.

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Posted on Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:30 am
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If you do decide to use tool magic JoAnn's sells it but I'll warn you now it doesn't stay on the pliers very long if you use them frequently.


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Posted on Fri Feb 24, 2012 6:57 am
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Tool magic is kind of a "crutch" in my opinion. Nylon pliers are crap except for what they are meant for (to "crush things between the pliers and straighten them out, like wire, or ear wires). The best thing you can do for yourself is learn how to use some flat-nosed pliers. My current favorites are the Xuron 475's. They have a nice, small flat nose and are comfortable to use. Best of all, they are not expensive. It never hurts to run a file gently over the edges of the pliers so that they are smooth. If you practice, and get used to use them, I think you will find that they are your favorites too. Smile


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Posted on Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:50 am
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lorraine wrote:
Tool magic is kind of a "crutch" in my opinion.


Seconded.

Coating pliers in a surface that simply CANNOT scratch metal, only serves to perpetuate bad habbits... And keep the mailler using poor pliers for longer than they should, all the while wasting money on a product that is disposable.
Or, spending a ton of money on nylon jawed pliers, and replacing the jaws when they get destroyed... Either way, a cost effective proposition. (They're also massive :clol)

Spending $20 on a good set of pliers once and using them properly will serve you MUCH better in the long run.

As the one who forced Xuron 475's onto lorraine (with her kicking and screaming in protest the entire way, that her way more expensive Lindstrom's were better), I'll also toss my nickel into that pile...
TRL sells them on their plyer page as "Xuron Short Nose Plier"... They have blue handles, and they're wonderful in the 18-22 (and smaller) range rings.



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Posted on Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:41 am
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Would brass jaw pliers make any difference?

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Posted on Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:14 pm
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djgm wrote:
Would brass jaw pliers make any difference?


No not really, since the brass is still going to be harder then the anodized aluminum.

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Posted on Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:51 pm
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Well in the end there's no way to avoid learning a proper technique, combined with a proper tool selection. The proper tool can be acquired - smooth-jawed pliers, maybe even with slightly rounded edges are the right choice here. About the technique I might add, that in my experience plier SLIP causes more harm to anodized rings than a firm grip. So I found, that it makes sense to 'modify' the pliers in a way that addresses the slip problem, without giving the jaws a texture rough enough to mar the rings, but allowing a not too firm grip to avoid slippage. My choice is the emery paper method, to roughen the smooth jaw surface, once it becomes too slippery. Not more.

-ZiLi-


Maille Code V2.0 T7.1 R5.6 Ep Fper MAl Ws$ Cpbsw$ G0.3-6.4 I1.0-30.0 N28.25 Ps Dacdejst Xagtw S08 Hip

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Posted on Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:45 pm
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Daemon_Lotos wrote:
Coating pliers in a surface that simply CANNOT scratch metal, only serves to perpetuate bad habbits... And keep the mailler using poor pliers for longer than they should, all the while wasting money on a product that is disposable.


I have to jump in here in defense of Tool magic. Smile I find that using Tool Magic allows me to work nearly twice as fast as I would otherwise. And it is terrific when working with 12ga aluminum, where by the very nature of the rings one needs to have a stronger grip and the risk of marring the rings is increased.

Yes, I can weave without Tool Magic, but I do not like it, particularly when working with slippery rings like enameled copper. Additionally, the time I save by being able to weave faster more than makes up for the time/cost involved with dipping tool magic. Since I do this for a living and sell to places that take up to 60% of the retail cost, being efficient is crucial.

You're right that the product is disposable, and I wish it weren't. And I understand that it isn't right for everyone. Even I don't use tool magic all the time, particularly with 20ga and smaller rings. But for most of my pieces, I am all about the dipped pliers. Very Happy


Chainmailling the world one ring at a time.
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Posted on Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:07 pm
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Rebeca: Sure, everybody has developed own methods, or should at least do so - who doesn't try does it wrong in the 1st. place. So the (small) investment in a small can of PlastiDip/ToolMagic is surely not wrong. Who feels well with, will continue to use it; who doesn't, will simply buy no further cans once the first one is empty (and will maybe use that test can's content for other purposes, as that stuff has a multitude of possible applications).

And as you, I see a material dependence as well, as my grit paper roughening doesn't work equally well for all ring types - usually I change over to different plier sets, that are maybe either extra-smooth with rounded edges, or large grooved-jaw ones - I only avoid teethed pliers, irrespective of ring material. And while I (admittedly) use them seldom (I work only with low amounts of AA, and no EC at all, but mostly base metals), I HAVE always two pairs of pliers around, that ARE PlastiDipped...

BTW: I found, that the proper technique taught by you in 'Chained' avoids more ring marring as all tool modifications combined. Smile

-ZiLi-


Maille Code V2.0 T7.1 R5.6 Ep Fper MAl Ws$ Cpbsw$ G0.3-6.4 I1.0-30.0 N28.25 Ps Dacdejst Xagtw S08 Hip

Human societies are like chain mail.
A single link will be worth nothing.
A chain is of use, but will break at the weakest link.
A weak weave will have the need to replace weak links.
A strong weave will survive even with weak links included.
-'me

Joined: February 18, 2012
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Posted on Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:04 pm
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Thanks!

Most of the damage to the rings is coming from the edges of the pliers, and it sounds like that can be largely fixed by filing down the sharp outer edges.

I'll also look into the Xuron pliers as the upgrade from my current ones (I don't even know the brand; they were just what I could get in the local craft store).

~ Sarah the Slightly Mad

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