Tuesday, May 24, 2011

How to clean gunk from steel shot tumbler.

If you are using steel shot tumbler to polish or clean sterling silver, after a few tumbling, the stell shot will eventually turned "gunky".

There is a solution you can get at a jewelry store to clean it or you can choose a simpler, more affordable option, classic coke.

Just pour the coke till it all cover the steel shot and let it run for at least 20 minutes and then rinse it. You will be surprise to see the result. Your steel shot is as clean as new.

What do you think?

Monday, May 9, 2011

How to fix a jewelry bench part 2

The table top is off. I went to local hardware store and found MDF boards 3/4" and 1/2" thick.
After talking to the person at the store, I learned I have 2 options. Glue two 1/2" MDF boards, clamp it, screw it and make it a 1" thick like the original table thickness or use single sheet 3/4" MDF board.

I choose the later one as I thought it's simpler.

How to protect MDF board? I use polyurethane. MDF board is very porous and it absorbs a lot of polyurethane. My mistake was applying it in a cold weather (I can't help it, ... it's 6 months winter in WI and I was too excited to finish the project). It creates lines of brush strokes on my table. It's not the end of the world. I could scrape it off using sand paper and re apply the polyurethane.

The table size is about 19x38". Then semi circle is about 7" deep and 20" wide. It's not quite a perfect semi circle shape. Table height is about 37".

I keep all the wood pieces that connects the table top. After the table top is ready, with my hubby helps, we screw the table top back.
Then I add the sides that helps beads or any round items from rolling away.

After cleaning up all the drawers and other parts, the table is ready to use. I bought a jewelry bench and anvil that can be fitted on the table top.

If I were to do it again and if I am willing to invest $100 on the table, I'd go to a local cabinet maker and order 1" natural wood table top. They would use pieces of wood, glue them together and mill it to a table top instead of one big slab wood.

I'm glad I tried this project. It makes me a better person. Best, I can share this with you.
What do you think?

Monday, May 2, 2011

How to fix a jewelry bench

I bought a used jewelry bench, a very well used one. The price was right, so I decided to take a chance.

The table top looks dirty and rotten. I'm guessing it's because a pickle pot was sitting on it. My friend, Jon Hughett, gave me some tips...Use a MDF board, look for 1" thick, cut to the size and voila... As for the existing table, I could just pry it open.
Sounds easy?

Yes,... it sounds easy. I wasn't sure if I should plunge to this project. I'm so not handy but I was trained as an architectural designer.

I decided I'll try the easy way... I use steel wool and try to clean it. It turned out the table top is really in a bad shape that each time I rub the steel wool, more pieces are coming off. I don't think I want to bring this inside the house. So, I let it sit in our garage for a while.

After contemplating and doing some internet search, I decided to take the plunge. So, in the next few weeks, I will be blogging about it...:)

I went to the garage, turn on the heater (we got a heated garage) and start working.
First, I took all the moving parts out, including all the drawers and dust pans.

Then I attack the back cover. I use a raw hide mallet so it won't damage the table. Trust me, it's very noisy.
Next, with the mallet again, I start pounding the rail guard. That one is pretty easy to do too.

Perhaps, the harder part is cleaning the nail out from the wood. In the beginning, I use pliers and try very hard to pull the nail out. I see the back of our hammer is made to pull nails out. So, I use the back of our hammer and voila... nails are coming out from the woods.

Then I need to take the table top off. Thanks to Derek L who gave me some tips. I found the table top is screwed around the perimeter. Hubby helped with his electric screw drive to take the screw off.... and it's off.

Will continue next week...