Part of the fun of being a metalsmith is collecting and customizing tools and containers for your own use. Besides the obvious, such as measuring cups, spoons, and the ubiquitous creme brûlée torch, how many kitchen items do you use at the bench? Here are a couple from me.
Fold-formed metal opener: Opening up folded pieces of metal, especially when they’ve been hammered closed or closed in a vise, can be really difficult, even with 2 pairs of flat nose pliers. I’ve come up with the perfect tool; a cheap oyster knife. It has a short, sturdy blade, a comfortable handle and, my favorite bonus, a hand guard. Just poke the tip between the two legs of the annealed metal and give the knife a little twist. Be sure to point the tip of the knife away from your hand.
Saw blade storage: I found a great bacon cooker for the microwave at Wal-Mart. While I didn’t like how it cooked bacon, it’s exactly the right size and shape to hold 10 plastic tubes with saw blades. Check out the used blades on the right. They’re stuck to a magnet so they don’t end up all over the drawer. The magnet came from an old executive desk toy. The plastic tubes came from Volcano Arts.