Friday 5: Gear

A white person working at a crafting bench, surrounded by pliers, brushes, wire, and snips.
Photo by Kelvyn Ornettte Sol Marte on Unsplash

What kind of specialized equipment do you own for a specific non-electronic hobby or job?

I have a small collection of jewelry-making pliers, as well as a bead reamer (kind of like a file in the round: you use it for gently opening up holes in beads that are just a little too small).

In what way can this equipment be upgraded or souped-up, and how difficult or expensive would the update be?

It can’t. You just buy newer, better pliers. There are a variety of price points, depending on how professional you are and how much money you want to drop.

Things like drills or torches you can buy different attachments for, but I don’t (as of now) have those particular pieces of equipment. Getting a Dremel is on my short list, though. I have a whole bag of Korean coins I want to drill for a bracelet and some pendants.

In your fields of interest, what’s the gear envy like?

“Envy” is a strong word. When I worked at the jewelry store, customers were always just excited about someone’s new purchase. But in terms of always wanting another attachment or another stamping set or whatever: yeah, that definitely happens.

What’s something you own the old version of because it’s better than the new version?

It’s not gear per se, but I have very strong opinions about bead-stringing wire. SoftFlex is my preferred brand but sometimes it’s really hard to find because everyone’s carrying Beadalon instead!

Lortone rock tumblers also are, from my understanding, still the highest quality brand of rock tumbler around.

What’s a hobby you don’t engage in that intrigues you mostly because of its equipment or tools?

Welding and blacksmithing are kind of natural off-shoots of jewelry making, inasmuch as they’re all about metals. The tools do largely the same work, they’re just scaled up for macro-level projects. Electronics also involve some of the same tools, since it’s work on the same scale. Both of those are things I’d like to learn more about but there are only so many hours in a day!

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