If you’re a metalsmith, then you probably have heard of Kevin Potter. He owns Potter USA. Potter USA is one of the places I get my
toys tools from. My first toy tool was a bench shear. Imagine a paper cutter…now give it 3 years worth of steroids. there ya go 🙂 You have a great imagination! I first met Kevin in a Facebook group for metalsmiths. He’s a laid back guy who has quite the touch for making tools. He’s also a goldsmith so he understands tools that metalsmiths use. My second purchase was…ummm…I forget. Something like a die, then a spinner ring squisher and then…tada, a mini press. WHY a mini press? Because. Life is short, my hands hurt when I saw for too long and umm…well, just because 😀 Cutting ring blanks out with a jewelers saw is fine. If you’re only doing one or two. If you get into production work or have several orders slam you at once…then it’s nice to have a tada! A die that you insert into the mini press and POOF, you have an instant (almost) ring blank! ‘Scuse my sideways pic 🙂 First, I use my mini press from Potter USA to kick out a blank formed so I can solder the edges together… fresh out of pickle (a mild acid that gets nasty firescale off) Hammered out on my ring mandrel Filed, polished and paired up with a partner. They’ve tumbled for hours, antiqued with black max or liver of sulpher and the “partners” (spinners) have a tiny bezel cup soldered on, ready for a 2 or 3mm cabochon 🙂 Now the finished products, I’ll be selling these at the local markets 🙂
I was a little flummoxed when I received my mini press Seriously. I’m a little slow to the party when it comes to springs and fittings and nuts and bolts. I sent poor Kevin a few photos that I’m sure made him scratch his head. I’m not stupid, I swear…but I could NOT figure out how I did THIS! What was I thinking? The 8 ton jack from harbor freight … le sigh Eventually… less than a few days later, I had it bolted to my work bench (THAT took 3 trips to the hardware store to get the right length bolts ) It’s easy to operate. No, really. Life is easier since I got this
toy tool. I was even able to shorten things a bit and make this I think I have all the toys tools I’ll need. Bahahahaha just kidding!! Snickersnort If you do decide to get a Potter USA press, keep in mind that the mini is limited in the size die you can use. He carries two wavy ring blanks that Joni Kisro designed by the way! The smaller ring blank fits in the mini just fine, the wider ring blank goes in sideways and will need extensive clean up afterwards because of the way the metal gets cut. It will still cut, but just not as cleanly as the smaller ring blank. I wish I had known this when I got the press. I would have gone with the medium or large press. But this size suits my needs for now so I’m extremely happy! However, if you can afford it, buy bigger…only rich people buy twice 😉
You can find Potter USA
toys tools here http://www.potterusa.com/index.php
There, you’ll see what a PotterUSA press is supposed to look like and how they work.
If you want more info on jewelry presses, my sweet friend Melissa Muir has some awesome videos on them on her page over at youtube here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9pJbgpmS6I
Now if you’ll excuse me…I have some kicka** coffee calling my name…and I have to go
work play work with metal!