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Tweezers and Tools - What Works for Me
Article © MAIL User: ZiLi

As a relative newbie (yet), I actually work with pre-made rings I buy. And I found, after earning first blisters on my hands (especially when working with the steel rings), it would be best to get new pliers, and modify them to my needs by filing their jaws to a flat-ogival form, and pushing high-pressure hose (15mm outer diameter, 3mm wall thickness) over the grips to thicken them, and let the hoses relatively long, extending over the rear grip end AND up to the 'business end'. So there are no more pressure points on the grips, that produce new blisters - despite having large hands, myself. I also modified an older pliers with a remaining piece of that hose (the left one of the three), and this example proved to be too short to be really comfortable to work with, while being waaay better than before without the hose at all - and that was the the most comfortable of my tweezers for mailling work, before. Maybe I will reverse the mod of this one, when I begin to work with smaller rings, somewhen...

Image: zili-twz1.jpg
Image: zili-twz2.jpg
Image: zili-twz3.jpg

By the way: A second useful tool for me is a simple strengthened slot in my work table, that aids me in bending rings open - or closing them. And that slot is as useful as a third hand would be in some mailling operations, because I often simply don't need the second tweezers and have one hand free for holding or manipulating my work piece or else. I simply used a piece of 1/8" Grade 5 Titan sheet, that was at hand (I could have used steel instead), a Dremel clone with cutting disc, and made a slot, that I finally filed to a width of 1,65mm - that fits my Aluminium rings very well without leaving any tool marks on them. Maybe that plate will get a second slot about 1.45mm wide fitting the SS rings. That seems not to be really necessary in my opinion, but the option remains. Finally, I put two holes (with countersinks) in the plate, to be able to screw that plate onto my table with countersunk head screws in a prepared slot, so it sits flush with the table's surface and edge. And yes, I mounted a piece of thin Aluminium sheet (was also at hand) below the plate.

Image: zili-slot1.jpg

Enjoy :-)
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