Few things are more exciting than getting new tools – that is if you are as obsessed with creating jewelry as I am:)
But some of those tools can be a little pricey. So if you are sitting on the fence about whether or not it makes sense for you to buy one of your own, let me tell you why I decided to purchase my disc cutter and why I now cannot imagine my shop without it.
I had discovered the usefulness of ordinary copper washers as jewelry components a while back, but if you know me, I like nothing less than running out of a certain size component whilst being in creative mode, as detailed here. And copper washers, I have found, can be difficult to come by.
Not every hardware store carries them and then they are frequently sold as assortments – speak, you get some in the size you need and want and a whole bunch you don’t. Ordering through jewelry supply companies was cost prohibitive for me. Besides, buying all of these ready-made components goes against my make-everything-yourself-if-possible grain. And I prefer US copper.
At one point I purchased a little disc cutter from a local craft store on impulse. Don’t do that. It was $$$ not well spent and had to be returned on the double.
After researching my options, I decided on taking the middle road and ordered the Pepe Tools disc cutter from Contenti. Would I have loved the Swanstrom one? You bet. But budgetary constraints are a bit of a factor. If you are up for a solid investment and have the funds, l’d say go for the Swanstrom.
So, why do I love this tool so much? One word: versatility.
Here a summary of some of the benefits of using a disc cutter:
- – consistency
- – allows creation of professional quality components like discs, washers, bead caps etc.
- -can create a number of different shapes
- -time saver
- -saves money by letting you create many different items from more reasonably priced sheet metal
- -requires no special training
Not only does it allow me to consistently produce high quality discs in gauges up to 18 for non-ferrous metals and 22 for stainless steel (if using a mallet or hammer), but also lets me cut my own washers. I use the smaller dies for cutting holes into pendants, take advantage of various size holes to add interest to components, such as these in my mixed metal bracelet. Certain diameters also match up with copper tubing, which makes it a very useful tool for riveting.
Here are a few examples of discs I cut:
And other shapes…
If you plan it just right you can accomplish two things at once, create a fun cuff and cut circles to use for other projects, as I did here.
My half moon designs like this bracelet,
result in little leaf shapes that I have chosen to use as tags for my bracelets and necklaces. But bigger leaf shapes can be filed and stamped and used as organic elements in their own right, as I did in this fun bracelet:
I’ll leave you with one more example of bracelets I couldn’t have created without my trusty disc cutter.
Do you have a disc cutter? Have you been wondering if it’s a worthwhile investment? Are you using one to create unusual shapes? I sure would be interested in knowing if you like yours as much as I do mine!
*disclaimer: I was not reimbursed in any way for the statements made in this post and all opinions expressed are my own.