Friday, February 4, 2011

Actually Useful Gadgets #1

As a metalsmith for over 20 years I've purchased my share of nifty looking gadgets that I thought would be good in the studio only to find that I never really had a need for them or they just didn't work as well as I thought they would.  So I'm going to talk about those items I use in the studio that really are handy but not necessarily the normal compliment of tools we have. These little review posts will be titled "Actually Useful Gadgets".  So here we go:

A few years ago, Lonnie (from Lonnie's Jewelry Supply) gave me a pair of Atlas rubberized gloves to try. He was considering carrying them in the shop but hadn't tried them.

Atlas 370 gloves- Rio Grande photo

I will say right now, these are great gloves.  I like them because they are rubberized on the working side and knit on the back so they breathe. They fit my hand well, and it's really difficult for me to find work gloves to fit my long slender hand.  But the best aspect of these gloves is that the rubberized side it thin enough to still be able to feel the metal piece in your hand as well as keep a good grip on it yet it still does a great job of protecting the hand from the heat generated by mechanical grinding/ polishing!  With leather gloves I usually felt like I was working in a space suit- the padding was always so thick I couldn't feel the piece well and I certainly couldn't keep a good grip on it if it was small and I was having to grind it in some fashion.

Well, after several years, the heat and chemicals do take a toll and my old gloves had gotten stiff and I wasn't using them anymore.

These guys are really worn out

However, I didn't know where to get any new ones since I hadn't seen Lonnie carrying them and with a day job it was hard to get over to Lonnie's to get supplies.  Well, imagine my surprise last weekend when the hubby and I were at Baker's Nursery getting starts and seeds for the garden:

There were my gloves! In fantastic colors and all sizes- same Atlas 370 gloves but packaged for gardening. The only difference I could tell was that the wrist was longer.

I bought a pair at the garden center for about $7 and I subsequently found them in the Rio Grande catalog in small and large only for $5 but unless you are going to order more items, shipping will kill off any savings you'd get by ordering them.

Verdict: Recommended 

If you try them, let me know what you think!

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