Jewelry Tools: How To Make Your Own Sandbag
Perhaps the most underrated jewelry tool in a studio is the old-fashioned sandbag, an excellent tool for straightening or forming thin metal sheet. Sandbags are available commercially from most jewelry suppliers these days but they come with a hefty price tag. Instead, many prefer to make their own.
It’s a simple process:
- Cut out two circle or square shapes of material approximately 1 – 1 ½” larger that the desired finished size to allow for seams.
- Sew by machine or hand a ¼” seam around the outside edge, leaving a 2” opening. Sew another ¼” seam inside the previous one.
- Turn the bag inside out – press the outer edge flat with an iron, if necessary.
- Sew ½” seam from the edge leaving the 2” gap open. Then another 1/8” seam inside the ½” seam. These four seams provide a sufficient barrier to eliminate any leakage.
- Place a funnel into the 2” opening then pour in the sand.
WARNING: Don’t overfill the bag. You want the bag to be loose enough so you can make a depression in the center with your fist.
- Pin the 2” opening closed. Then sew 2 seams that match up and overlap the previous stitching. And, “Bob’s your uncle” you are ready for many years of service.
We find sandbags so useful that we have several of various sizes scattered about our shop for general use.
Side note: Tom prefers canvas and I prefer leather.
Tom & Kay
Tom & Kay Benham are Contributing Editors to Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist and author its Ask the Experts column. Have a question for them? Please leave a comment below.
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