6 Ways to Explore Flex Shaft Possibilities with Andy Cooperman | Jewelry


Who were your favorite teachers in school? If you believe back, I’m positive you’ll see that the ones who manufactured the most important effects on you didn’t simply instruct you a record of predetermined points. Rather, they taught you how to take in new info and consider for oneself.

Previously mentioned: Andy reveals a lot of ways to use a ball bur, like how to generate “alligator scale” texture.

Metalsmith Andy Cooperman suits this teacher design perfectly. In his personal text: “My task as a trainer is to open doors for people today and get them to imagine a tiny outside of the box.”

master the flex shaft with Andy Cooperman
Andy Cooperman is recognized for utilizing his flex shaft in resourceful techniques, these types of as producing a pebbly texture on steel to roll from a softer metallic. He enjoys educating his learners to locate artistic, unconventional techniques to dilemma resolve with resources like the flex shaft.

Andy stays genuine to his philosophy even in his two online workshops for mastering the jewellery flex shaft. As a substitute of directing you stage by stage, he takes you by means of a sequence of diverse methods to spark your very own discovery into how to take advantage of the flex shaft.

Let’s acquire a peek at just a handful of illustrations of special means Andy wields his go-to device.

Texturing with the Ball Bur

In Grasp the Jewellery Flex Shaft: Quantity 1, Andy handles a good deal of territory, which includes much more forms of burs than I at any time imagined existed. A person of these is the marvelously multipurpose ball bur.

To see Andy’s mastery of the ball bur in motion, test out this excerpt from his quantity 1 workshop (now obtainable in a special benefit bundle learn course with volume 2):

To develop the appear of alligator scales, he demonstrates employing the bur to make indentations in steel. If you roll it out from a little something tender, these as sterling, you are going to be able to see a fantastically lifted sample. This is how Andy created the pebbly floor on his series of Fibonacci Pins.

master the flex shaft with Andy Cooperman
Andy demonstrates how the cylinder bur can, amid other things, make a pin catch or a groove in a style and design.

Routering with a Cylinder Bur

Alongside with its numerous other abilities, the cylinder-shaped bur can be utilised like a router. Appear from beneath the function and change the speed as you slice in. This is how Andy made the capture on his Fibonacci Pin and the grooves on his Hummingbird Tongue ring.

master the flex shaft with Andy Cooperman
Separating discs are fantastic for creating notches for prong configurations, mating two parts, and a good deal additional.

Notching with Separating Discs

Separating discs are amid some of Andy’s personalized favorites. These wheels slice practically something: metal, glass, stone, bone, and plastic. Be harmless use a mask and protection glasses although you work.

Separating discs are terrific for reducing notches. Though they can be employed for functional needs these kinds of as sizing down a ring or generating prong options, separating discs with a spacer involving them can generate ornamental picket traces in a piece. Several discs stacked collectively will make broader notches, practical for mating two parts.

master the flex shaft
The hammer handpiece offers the drive while you emphasis on accuracy. Stippling and stone placing are just a number of points it’s practical for.

The Many Talents of a Hammer Handpiece

In Grasp the Jewellery Flex Shaft: Volume 2, Andy wastes no time ahead of diving into supplemental recommendations and tips. Considering the fact that the ability to swap out handpieces is one particular of the flex shaft’s greatest strengths, Andy introduces you to on of his favorites: the hammer handpiece.

This software permits you to balance force and accuracy with no compromising either. Praising the high-quality and affordability of the Variety 15 Foredom hammer handpiece (affiliate url), Andy demonstrates location a stone in a large-walled tube by placing close to the edges at very low speeds.

He also demonstrates how to produce great stippling with a harder-than-steel carbide stylus in the hammer handpiece. Historically accomplished with a hammer and punch, stipling with the flex shaft lets you to emphasis only on accuracy as the machine supplies the force.

master the flex shaft with Andy Cooperman
Andy would make his own pit pounders from metal eye screws or eye bolts. They can be applied for burnishing and compacting surfaces and even for upsetting.

What is a Pit Pounder?

You can buy rotary burnishers, margin rollers, and the like, but building your possess is quick more than enough. Andy buys metal eye screws or eye bolts at a components retail store and eliminates the zinc coating by making use of a snap-on disc or a rubber wheel.

Immediately after eliminating the zinc, you are going to have your individual pit pounder! You can use it in your Foredom #30 (affiliate backlink) to burnish and compact surfaces, squeezing metal into the pits. Considering the fact that the pit pounder will allow you to see by means of it as it spins, you can view how your piece is switching.

This pit pounder can also be utilized as a standard hammer, as it has a bit a lot more power than a hammer handpiece for selected situations. In upsetting (also referred to as edge forging), you pound the edge with a hammer to thicken it and deliver a great end.

master the flex shaft
The flex shaft can even be employed like a lathe to flare rivets or swage tubes.


Ordinarily with the flex shaft, the perform stays stationary even though the device spins. On the other hand, Andy demonstrates you how to flip that close to, putting your work in the handpiece and holding your tool regular. In this way, you can use your flex shaft as a lathe.

You can make flared tube rivets by inserting tubes into the flex shaft and shaping them with center punches or burnishers. In a approach identified as swaging, Andy demonstrates how you can squeeze the tube with spherical-nose pliers to reshape the metal. No material is lost—rather it is compressed.

These six examples are just a glimpse into how Andy Cooperman seems to his flex shaft to creatively resolve complications. Study significantly far more in his workshops. Alternatively, examine out Interweave’s on the net workshops for on-demand from customers access to an ever-developing library of classes.

Go be artistic!
Tamara Kula

At first printed on January 18, 2019. Up to date April 5, 2022.

Let the Flex Shaft Open up Doorways for You!


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