Posted by: alenegeed | June 29, 2014

Tools of the Jewelry Trade; Pipe Cutter


The other day I decided to play around with a new process… using copper piping to create a jewelry design. I had seen some designs recently that started out as tubing/pipe and then were chased with a hammer to create some awesome results.

tube cutter large

medium pipe cutter

I had some 1/2″ pipe and 1/4″ flexible piping that I had purchased at a local Home Depot. 
As I brought out my Jewelers Saw to make the necessary cuts, my husband asked me why I wasn’t using a pipe cutter.
A Pipe cutter?? Aren’t those something that plumbers use? The answer was Yes… but if you want to cut pipe then why not use it for jewelry? What a concept!
And of course since my husband is handy around the house… he already owned 3 different sizes of cutters. Yippee!
tube cutter small with tube

Small tube cutter with copper

Once he showed my how to use this handy tool. I was in heaven! The one you see here is the smaller size for 1/4″ tubing. There is a blade on one side and a recessed area for the pipe on the other side. And talk about EASY to use.
1) Mark where you want the cut.. insert the tube into the cutter, turn the wheel to hold it snugly. (dont tighten too much)
2) Then spin the cutter slowly.
3) Once you see the marks (slight indentation around the tube), then tighten a little and spin again… repeat process until the piece is cut all the way through.  
AND, there is no need to anneal the tube before cutting. Save that step for  the design process. 
Next time you want to accomplish a new jewelry process and are not sure about the right tools to use.. remember to think outside the box and look at tools that are made for other purposes. They may be the perfect solution for your creation.
Rough tube designs

Rough tube designs

 Here’s the product I created in the rough stages. (copper cut, annealed, textured/hammered and sterling added)
tube earrings
And here is the finished Earring design.. the first of many designs now that I have this shortcut!
 
IF you enjoyed this post you may like
Tools of the Trade; Mini electric sander and filer.
 

Responses

  1. What fun. There is always something NEW and you find it!

  2. I use the pipe cutter on copper all the time. What a wonderful little tool!


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