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Little Metal Foxes

06/30 Mechanisms: Taps and Dies

06/30 Mechanisms: Taps and Dies

Regular price $78.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $78.00 USD
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Sunday, June 30, 2024

10:00 am - 1:00 pm PST LIVE ONLINE

Instructor: Jennifer Stenhouse 

Screws, bolts, nuts, and mechanical cold connections are mechanisms that create connections that are incredibly secure and useful as links, hinges, for findings, stone settings, and attachments. The use of a threaded connection joint is used in a variety of mechanical fittings because they are so secure, yet can be undone if needed. In jewelry, this can add so much versatility to the work that it almost seems magical!

We will begin with creating a simple threaded rod and hole, for a screw and bolt cod connection, then options for more screw connection possibilities like earring backs and stone settings. Then we investigate a few possible options for applications.

Demonstrations will include making a simple threaded rod, threaded holes, washers, and working with different wires and tubes. Students may work along with their materials or just choose to just watch, take notes, and participate in the class. Students might want to practice on samples in sterling, copper, or brass.

Following the class students are encouraged to produce both samples and finished elements for jewelry applications. You are encouraged to return to the LMF website, sign into your account, and watch the video again for up to two months following the class. Pro tip: Take screenshots of images that you want details of and add them to your notes for reference later!

Recommended skills: Beginning to intermediate jewelry working skills. You might need the ability and tools to solder. Check out the core skills academy classes if you need a refresher on some of the basics!

All classes include the video recording, which you will have access to for 60 days after the class. Zoom link and instructions for joining the call will be emailed 1 day (24 hours) prior to class.

The class supply list is below and contains links to buy the supplies you need.

Supply List for Students

The links below will take you to or other suppliers. To see prices for precious metal items, you need a free Rio Grande account. Students in the Rio for Schools program enjoy wholesale benefits for six months (instructor code = RFSLMF). This site may contain Amazon and other affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission on qualifying purchases.

Materials Recommended

A small variety of wire gauges and tubing profiles afford you a broader range of experience and design possibilities. You do not need a lot of material to work with. A foot or two of different wire, tubing, or a few 2mm crimp beads make this easy!

Listed below are options that I will be discussing and demonstrating. It is not necessary to purchase all of them to be able to work on your jewelry.

Metal options:

  • Crimp beads (fits 18-20 gauge wire)
  • Tubing, 2mm, one foot
  • 0-16ga sterling round wire. You can use other gauges, you just need to have a tube that has an inside diameter slightly smaller than the wire. And of course, other metal and stone settings can be added for decorative effect! I’ll be demonstrating with 19ga because I like it for earring wires. I will also be using the 16ga for a heavier screw demo.
  • Sheet metal that is at least 20 gauge, for sample making. If you want to prepare a few 1" x 1" pieces to practice with you can make a stone setting and a couple of threaded part examples.
  • Solder. I use easy paste solder and medium solder for most of this.
  • A 3-5mm faceted stone, a matching stone setting bur, and a drill bit approximately 2/3 the size of your stone (for example if you have a 3mm faceted CZ you will also need a 3mm stone setting bur and a drill bit that is about 2mm).

Tools recommended for tap and die besides your basic jewelry tools:

These tools are available from Rio Grande and other suppliers, local and online, for your convenience. But, if you have your own tools or want to add to your kit, this is what I will be using. Reactive Metals Studio, ( also has a neat selection of taps and dies, along with micro-treaded parts, and rods.
You will need access to basic jewelry working and possibly soldering tools.

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