Dreaded tool marks or how to make the cheap tools work better!
It seems we all get tool marks no matter how hard we try not to. Here are some quick tips and thoughts that may help! If you cannot purchase tools that are not TRONEX, this will help you a lot!!!
1. Use a 280 grit piece of sandpaper taped to a paint stick to smooth the inside of your chain nose and flat nose pliers to keep the jaws flat. These surfaces should be velvety soft and not have any ridges or nicks in them. NOW, gently round ALL the corners just so they are smooth without rounding the main jaws. You only want the sharp edges to be soft. Don't forget the points at the end of your tools. That's where you will hit the wire first so smooth them down some.
2. Smooth your round nose pliers by placing the sandpaper over the jaws one at a time and twisting by hand until all those nice round parts are smooth. Smooth away any sharpness on the points too. You will only need to do this once to your pliers but it will take some elbow grease and patience! There is only one manufacturer of tools that does this for you and that is TRONEX. They are the strongest and smoothest tools I have ever used. AND made in USA! Check out their website www.ameritool-inc.com.
Another way we get these marks is when we slip off of a wire. Try using your knife to move the wire up and away from any other objects such as another wire or the stone so you can get your tool securely on the wire. Do not pull up on the wire as this is what causes the slipping marks. If you have a stone in the way, press into the stone awayfrom the wires to get the wire to move. If your tools are nice and smooth, this will not mar the stone but be careful.