Monthly Archives: January 2012

Tool Time Tuesday – Koil Kutter vs. Jump Ringer

Do you know that the movers will be here in just 7 short days. 7 DAYS!!!!! AHHHHHHH!!!! The knot in my stomach is getting tighter and tighter. I am 2 days behind in packing because of the illness of my baby last week. Luckily she is doing much better now and I am finally able to get some things done. Though, it is still difficult to get everything done and have three children that need various things, particularly as we get ready to say goodbye to their friends and such.

Well, for one of my last Tool Time Tuesday posts here in Ohio I decided to do a comparison between the Koil Kutter (now offered by Potter USA) and the Jump Ringer (Offered at Rio Grande.) As you may have noticed, Potter USA has been sponsoring me in return for my reviews and instructional videos for some of their products. It has been a great deal for both of us as I get to try out new tools and help to develop ideas for others. Having me do their instructional videos helps them so that Kevin Potter can continue doing what he does best, making affordable tools for people who make jewelry.

Recently, Dave Aryns, the creator of the Koil Kutter, turned the Koil Kutter System and manufacturing over to Kevin Potter. Kevin, being the person that he is, took the system and has improved upon it while doing his best to keep the price right where is was.

I have wanted a jump ring creating system for a long time, but I never made enough jump rings to make it worth the investment. But let me tell you, every time I had to hand cut that stupid coil of rings, I  was really wishing I had one. So when I was presented with the opportunity of getting one of the Koil Kutters, I jumped at the opportunity. I thought it would be a great idea to compare a couple of systems. My good friend Katie Mullins brought her Jump Ringer system over so we could do a comparison between the two. We were able to identify the various things we liked and didn’t like about the two systems while comparing them side by side.

So let me share with you my thoughts on the two systems.

The Koil Kutter can be purchased through Potter USA at their website for $89.00
The kit can be purchased for either a Dremel or Flexshaft.
The kit includes:
Aluminum koil holder lock, 6″ long
Steel top plate for holder
Saw blade guard for Foredom Flexshaft with adapter bushing (Or can be purchased for the Dremel)
1 saw arbor to fit 3/8″ hole blades
1 saw blade

*** In the picture, I show the mandrels. Those are not included in the kit. ***

 


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The Jump Ringer can be found at Rio Grande for$289.00The kit includes:
One blade
One blade arbor
One blade guard/guide
One round, four-sided coil holder
One winder
One chuck key
One stick of Bur-Life®

So the difference is that you get the Coil winder and a stick of Bur-Life®

*** This image shows the mandrels (Not included) and does not show the coil winder or Bur-Life***

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All parts on each of the systems can be purchased separately. So you don’t have to buy the entire kit if you don’t need it, or you can replace just one item if needed.

Let’s look at the saw blades first.

The Koil Kutter blades are the same outer diameter and have the same number of teeth as the Jump Ringers. The difference between the two is the notch where it attaches to the arbor. The saw arbor on the Jump Ringer has a raised area to hold the blade in a certain position.

One nice thing about the Koil Kutter blade being without the notch is that if the blade does happen to bind or grab while cutting, the blade can slip a little and will help protect the blade from breaking.

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Prices:
Koil Kutter: $11
Jump Ringer: $12.50

Next up is the Blade guard.

The Koil Kutter is made of steel and has two wing nuts that screws INTO the bushing for the flexshaft and ONTO the bushing for the dremel. It has a bit of weight to it, so I don’t know if that is a good thing or bad thing.

The Jump ringer is made of aluminum, or at least that is what it feels like. There are three screws that have plastic caps, and as you can see, a little easier to break.

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Cost:
Koil Kutter: It is not posted on the website, but I know you can get it as a stand alone piece.
Jump Ringer: $53.50

The coil holder:
The Koil Kutter has only two sides for holding coils. The groove goes the entire length of the piece. The screws to hold the blade guide in place are a little taller and it is easy to hand tighten them. When you need to get them tighter or even un-tighten them, they have an allen wrench that comes with the system.

The Jump Ringer coil holder is also aluminum. The thing I like about this one is that it is 4-sided. Each side is grooved with a rounded surface. The screws are a phillips head. So you will need a screw driver to place and remove them.

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The blade guides:

The Koil Kutter has a nice little coil stop that helps to position the coil so that the blade can cut the entire coil.

The Jump Ringer has a smaller slot so it does essentially the same thing with positioning the coil as to make it so the blade can cut through the entire coil.

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Cost:
Koil Kutter: It is not posted on the website, but I know you can get it as a stand alone piece.

Jump Ringer: $89.95

Mandrels:
Neither system comes with mandrels. Both systems offer mandrels in US Measurement and Metric. It looks like both now offer a set that have a holder. At first, when my friend Katie bough hers, they weren’t available with a stand. Her mandrels weren’t marked either. You can see in the first picture of the jump ringer that she has wrapped the ends with tape and marked the size of mandrels on the tape.

The mandrels that are currently available for the Koil Kutter are not marked on the mandrel itself, but the slot where the mandrel fits is labeled.

The Koil Kutter Mandrels have a groove that has been cut into the end of the mandrel where you can wrap your wire into and begin to wind your coil. The jump ringer mandrels have a hole drilled through them toward the end of the mandrel where you can insert your wire and begin to wrap your coil.

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Cost:
Koil Kutter:
US Measurement:$39.95
Metric: $39.95

Jump Ringer:
Us Measurement: $98
Metric: $98

So there you have it in a nutshell. I did create a little training video on how to use the Koil Kutter. Kick your feet up, relax and have a look.

The studio is just about packed

What a great response to my Tool Time Tuesday Post. Thank you all of you that responded to it and left me comments. I have to say, it means a lot to me when you take the time to comment. It really makes it worth it to me to do them. I honestly almost didn’t post that one because I was afraid people thought it would be a stupid one. I am glad that wasn’t the case. Thank you again for the feedback. I love it when I come on here and have comments. It makes my day!

Oh, I have a piece that I made a little while back. I didn’t show anyone because I want to use it as a project in my book. But now that I will be teaching it in March at the Fraser Valley Bead Show in March, the picture will be out there, so I might as well share it with all of you. You can tell me if you like it or not.

 

BrassNDruzy

 

Wow, what a week. I think I just about have it all done. There are the little bits of odds and ends here and there, but for the most part, I think it is just about done. I even have all the holes in the walls patched and now they just need to be sanded and painted.

I was really hoping to be further along than this, but that just can’t happen according to plan, right? On Monday my baby had to go in to have her tubes in. She was fighting a bit of a cold at that time, but we were all comfortable in going forward with the surgery. Well, the past couple of days, her cold has improved and then gotten worse. Last night my husband and I were up all night with her and we each had the pleasure of a cold shower. My poor baby had a fever of 106. I have had my kids have fevers up to 104, but NEVER 106. OH MY GOODNESS. With multiple cool baths and showers, a couple of rounds of tylenol and an antibiotic on board, we finally got the fever to break around 8:00 am this morning. Of course, by that time, we had had only about 2 hours of sleep. Talk about miserable, for all parties involved. Today she has been super clingy and we still haven’t gotten much accomplished. I was really hoping to have all the packing done here in the basement with all the boxes moved upstairs and ready to be loaded into the truck in 2 weeks. Oh well. At least I still have 2 weeks….. right?

So you want to see what I have been up to?

This is where the polishing machine and bench used to be.

 


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Watch as the ventilation system comes down.

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I have removed the vent hoods.

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This is the shelf we built to hold the dust collector that I use for my ventilation motor.

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Now the vent system is down and you can see the blower that I use for moving the air out of the studio.

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My rolling mill looks like it has been met by a rather large group of spiders.

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This shelf keeps getting empty and filled back up as we move things around while packing everything up.

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All the copper is packed up and the pegboard has been taken down. The boxes on the floor are coming out of the storage room and we are culling and sorting them to see what to toss and what to keep.

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The vise has been removed and even the bottle jack has been removed from my hydraulic press. We just need to wrap it up and move it upstairs with the rest of our stuff.

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My peg board (wall of hammers) is down and the storage drawers are all empty and packed away.

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All the mirrors and wall art has been removed. You can actually see all the pictures from the studio sitting on the cabinet there in the corner.  I just need to take care of some chemicals and get them disposed of and that will be done.

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So there you have it. Once we get all the boxes up stairs and a bit more organized, I will take a picture to show how many boxes I filled. It is actually kind of embarrassing that I have as much as I do. But when you consider that I teach classes, it kind of makes sense for me to have multiples of various tools.

 

Tool Time Tuesday – Let Your Tools Do the Work

Thank you all for the comments and emails of love and encouragement. I really do appreciate it. I know that things are going to be great in Washington. They are going to be great no matter where I go, because that is how we are. We can roll with the punches with the best of them. I was very excited to go to Dallas. I was sad that it fell through, but I am very excited about going to Washington. I have always LOVED the rain and the lush trees and forests. I never even thought that Washington would be an option to live in because my husband hates the dreary weather here in Ohio. LOL. We will have to see how he handles it in Washington. I hate to even think about it, but it might be another place that we only live for a few years.

Although I did tell him that if we aren’t going to settle down in Vancouver, that he has to move before Riley gets into High School and then we stay where ever that is until she graduates. It is only fair to her. But I am really hoping he likes it in Washington so I don’t have to move again…. after I get into my dream house that is.

So, did you think I would never do another Tool Time Tuesday again? It sure seems that way huh? Well, Before packing all my tools away I tried to make a couple of videos. So here is a really short one on letting your tools do their job, specifically the Flexshaft and drill press/drill bits.

It is a common mistake that I see people doing. By slowing down a little and letting your tools do the job they were meant to do, you increase the life of your tools and make things a bit safer for you too.

 

The Studio is Closed….

It has been so hard and I have been in total denial that this was ever going to happen. Especially when you consider that we have been “going to move” since June and things just kept changing and getting pushed back. But Saturday my friend Valerie came over and we started packing.

The very first thing we packed was my Guillotine Sheer. That sucker is HEAVY. I am not looking forward to packing and moving the rolling mill. haha Slowly but surely the studio is being emptied of its contents. Although, we are taking things out of their places and putting them on the top surface of the tables, so it hardly looks like we are making progress.

It really has been hard to pack everything up though. It is the closing of a chapter that I opened here in Ohio. I have done so much with jewelry here in Ohio. When we moved here my baby was only 10 weeks old. I didn’t know a soul in Ohio. I had only just started making jewelry and didn’t really have a clue as to what I was doing. I just knew that somehow I had found a hidden talent that I didn’t ever think was possible for me to have.

I remember looking for classes around in the area and all I could find were simple stringing and beginning jewelry classes. But I already knew those things. I actually drove back to the DC area so I could take a bezel setting class. Six months later I began teaching classes here in Ohio. Once again, I took my skills as far as I could on my own. I enrolled in a couple of metalsmithing classes at the University of Akron. That was SOOOO much fun. I met some of the most amazing artists. I also saw a lot of crap passed off as “art.” But it was a really good experience for me all the same.

In teaching my classes and talking with the students at the university I found a need for a group that could pull artists together with people that support the artists. 3 years ago right now, I sat here at my computer with a friend and decided to take the plunge and start a guild for the Jewelry and Metal Artists here in Ohio. This February they will have their 3rd Anniversary. We have had some bumps in the road, but it is growing and its membership includes some of the most amazing, caring and giving artists I know. I have also made some of the very best friends I have ever had.

We currently live in the nicest home we have ever had. I have great neighbors. My girls have friends right next door…. and I have the MOST AMAZING studio. or, I HAD the most amazing studio.

My time here in Ohio has also seen some amazing accomplishments for me. I have written a couple of magazine articles (I know, I need to write more.) I have been in several books. I have been introduced to some wonderful artists and techniques and created wonderful friendships in the art world. I never would have dreamed I belonged in the art world. How does a computer programmer/trainer go from hacking and teaching code, jump into the world of art jewelry and succeed?

I have not done many shows. I don’t sell a lot of my jewelry. But that has been a decision based on the fact that my family is still so young. Not only that, but my real desire is to continue doing what I do best, teaching. I am an okay jewelry designer. It is not something that comes easy to me. But teaching? Oh, I CAN TEACH! Just ask any of my students. I was just biding my time and waiting for Kate to enter Kindergarten and then I was going to take the world by storm. I was going to teach at all the shows and really get things going doing what I do best. Then we had a surprise setback. So I Will bide my time once again and wait for Kiari to get into kindergarten. Then I will take the jewelry world by storm. LOL.

We are going into a rental home in the Vancouver area (that is over 1,000 sq ft LESS than what I currently have – My current studio space is about 1,200 sq ft). I haven’t seen the house that we will are renting. I have no idea how much room I am going to have for my equipment or if I will have room for classes. So for now, the plan is for me to work on my craft. I want to get back into learning new techniques and making my jewelry better. I am working with really cool tools. I am in the process of writing a book. I haven’t decided if I will self publish it or see about working with a publisher. But my goal is to have it out by the end of the year. I would like to teach some classes in Tuscon next year, as well as other places.

This March, it looks like I will actually be teaching in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I am so excited about that. I will keep you all posted on how things progress with that.

I am excited and nervous and apprehensive all at the same time about this upcoming move. I am going back out West. I didn’t really ever want to do that. I have simply LOVED living out in the East. I LOVED LOVED, LOVED the DC area. I would have loved to go back there…. if only they didn’t have such yucky traffic. I adored the lush terrain of Virginia and Ohio. I am so glad that of all places in the West we are going, is to Washington where it is not only LUSH but BEAUTIFUL. I am nervous about starting all over again. Starting over with friends, my business, a new unfamiliar area, everything.

The one thing I have to say about that though, is that I have already had people in the area contact me to ask if I will be teaching classes, or if they could come over and be friends. I have “Friends” that I have known since just after my daughter passed away 7 years ago. I have known them for years, but I have only met two of them. And even then, I have only met each of them once before.

I know this is getting rambly, but it has been good for me to get this all out there.

So here are a few pictures of the studio packing progress.

This one took place over several hours, but it is so sad. My wall of hammers, full and happy. Then, it started to get thinned out a little.

And now, it is empty.   My wall of hammers is very sad.

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This is 7 lbs of stainless steel shot being dried out and prepared for storage. Sigh.

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This is where I I do a lot of my clean up. The sink is there on the left. In this first picture I had already packed away my ultrasonic and started to pull chemicals out from the cabinet. But you can still see my tumblers and other tools.

Then in the next picture, everything is packed away. The chemicals are all packed away, things are cleaned off and it is now ready to be moved out.

So much to see in this first picture. My polishing bench has a TON of tools. I keep all my mandrels, calipers, stencils, bezel setting tools, etc. The little table just next to that is where I do all my drilling with my drill press and flexshaft, etc. Watch as it all gets cleared away…..

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Tools are disappearing from the polishing bench and shelf above the drilling station.

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Oh, how sad. All the tools are gone. Just the polisher and flexshaft need to be packed. I am waiting to pack the flexshaft because I have one more video to film before packing it away.

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If you look closely in the back there, you can see my soldering station. All the torches are still lined up ready to do their work.

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Now things are packed away. No more soldering surfaces or tools. The torches are still there since I need to take them outside to release all the gas in them.

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This black peg board is where I keep all my tools that are for sale. They are all now packed away and a bunch will hopefully be sold on Tuesday when I teach my final class in Ohio. I will be teaching at a local bead shop.

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This thing is just a mess. I keep so much on here. But hey, I know where it all is. LOL.

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It is even more bare now since taking this photo. The top shelves have nothing bust dust on them.

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What a process. But wait till you see the final photos. Hopefully I will have it all done by the end of this week.

Only 3 weeks to go.

Christmas break. I really wish we had. Then all this craziness would be done and over with. But at the same time, I am glad we are still here. I am having fun fitting in the last visits and classes. I am getting more and more nervous now that we have only 23 days left.

I went out to Vancouver back in December to do some house hunting. I found my DREAM HOME!!!! We can even afford it…. if we didn’t want to have money for anything else. So, for now, we have found a nice little rental home and will save our money and pray that my dream home stays on the market long enough for us to get a really good size down payment.

The girls are getting excited to leave. Though my oldest (Riley) is unhappy about the timing. We move the day after her 12th Birthday. Her Birthday/Going Away Party will be held the weekend prior. Kate broke my heart the other day when I asked her if she was excited to go. She said, “Yes, but why do we have to leave all of our friends?”

Kiari is oblivious to all of it so far. But she has her own problems to deal with. I had noticed that she was not hearing me and she is delayed in her speech by about 4-6 months. I took her over to have her hearing tested and they got the same results as I noticed. She has quite a bit of fluid in her ears and will be having tubes placed on Monday. The interesting thing is, she has never had an ear infection. I guess she and Kate got my bad ear genes. We just have issues with the fluid draining. In fact, I get to have my ear surgery done again too. Oh Lucky Me! NOT! But my surgery will wait until after we get settled in Washington as well. See? Never a dull moment in my home.

In the midst of all of this I have somehow finally found a way to work on a few new pieces.

Last week I had a couple of students over and we made some simple wide band bezel set rings.

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Saturday I had some friends come over for a Fold Formed Pea Pod class. This was a fun one. I love the sound of hammers in my studio.

PeaPods

This was a bracelet I was working on for something that I hope to announce soon.

swirlcuff

The past couple of nights I have been working with my oldest daughter. She wanted to learn how to solder, so she made the top ring with the black onyx. I made the bottom ring with Red Coral that I bought in Tuscon back in September.

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I have a few other pieces that I have been working on as well, but you will just have to wait and see my book when it is done for those little beauties.

I have also finished recording a few new videos for Tool Time Tuesday and would like to get them done before I move, but they may have to wait until we get settled into our new place in Washington. My studio will be packed this weekend. My best friend Valerie is coming over to help me get everything ready for the big move. This is not going to be fun. Anyone want to come over and help clean and touch up paint? Anyone? Anyone?

Well, I have two final classes here in Ohio. On Friday night I will hold my very last class here in my beautiful studio. Oh, that just made me cry. :*( I will be teaching the fold formed cuff with they hydraulic press. I have one or two spots open if anyone would like to come. $65 – Includes all materials. Class starts at 6:00 pm.

Next Tuesday night, I will be teaching my Spinner Ring class at Beadtini Boutique, in Copley, Ohio.

It really is starting to hit that we really are moving. Now, I just need my beautiful home to sell. I hope whoever buys it loves it as much as we have. It has been our nicest home yet.

Well, off to clean out more crap that I don’t want to move.