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


Who were your favourite lecturers in university? If you consider back, I’m confident you are going to observe that the ones who manufactured the most important affect on you did not simply instruct you a list of predetermined details. Relatively, they taught you how to acquire in new data and believe for yourself.

Above: Andy Cooperman is recognised for working with his flex shaft in inventive ways, these as producing a pebbly texture on metal to roll from a softer metal.

Metalsmith Andy Cooperman fits this instructor design properly. In his very own words: “My position as a trainer is to open up doors for folks and get them to think a tiny exterior of the box.”

master the flex shaft with Andy Cooperman
Andy Cooperman enjoys training his college students how to find innovative, unconventional approaches to difficulty resolve with equipment like the flex shaft.

Andy stays genuine to his philosophy even in his two on the net workshops for mastering the jewelry flex shaft. As a substitute of directing you step by phase, he will take you by a sequence of various procedures to spark your very own discovery into how to consider gain of the flex shaft.

Let’s just take a peek at just a number of examples of exclusive means Andy wields his go-to tool.

texturing with a flex shaft with Andy Cooperman
Andy displays numerous techniques to use a ball bur, together with how to make “alligator scale” texture.

Texturing with the Ball Bur

In Master the Jewellery Flex Shaft: Volume 1, Andy covers a lot of territory, including extra forms of burs than I at any time imagined existed. One of these is the marvelously flexible ball bur.

To see Andy’s mastery of the ball bur in motion, check out this excerpt from his quantity 1 workshop (now available in a specific benefit bundle learn class with quantity 2):

To develop the appear of alligator scales, he demonstrates working with the bur to make indentations in steel. If you roll it out in opposition to a thing tender, such as sterling, you are going to be able to see a wonderfully raised sample. This is how Andy designed the pebbly area on his collection of Fibonacci Pins.

master the flex shaft with Andy Cooperman
Andy displays how the cylinder bur can, amid other factors, make a pin catch or a groove in a design.

Routering with a Cylinder Bur

Together with its quite a few other capabilities, the cylinder-formed bur can be made use of like a router. Occur from beneath the operate and vary the speed as you cut in. This is how Andy built the catch on his Fibonacci Pin and the grooves on his Hummingbird Tongue ring.

master the flex shaft with Andy Cooperman
Separating discs are good for making notches for prong configurations, mating two parts, and loads more.

Notching with Separating Discs

Separating discs are between some of Andy’s private favorites. These wheels slash nearly anything at all: metal, glass, stone, bone, and plastic. Be harmless dress in a mask and security eyeglasses while you operate.

Separating discs are excellent for chopping notches. When they can be made use of for practical uses this kind of as sizing down a ring or producing prong settings, separating discs with a spacer involving them can build ornamental picket traces in a piece. A number of discs stacked together will make wider notches, valuable for mating two parts.

master the flex shaft
The hammer handpiece delivers the force whilst you focus on precision. Stippling and stone placing are just a couple issues it’s valuable for.

The Numerous Talents of a Hammer Handpiece

In Master the Jewellery Flex Shaft: Quantity 2, Andy wastes no time in advance of diving into more recommendations and methods. Because the potential to swap out handpieces is 1 of the flex shaft’s finest strengths, Andy introduces you to on of his favorites: the hammer handpiece.

This tool makes it possible for you to harmony pressure and accuracy devoid of compromising possibly. Praising the high-quality and affordability of the Range 15 Foredom hammer handpiece (affiliate backlink), Andy demonstrates location a stone in a significant-walled tube by putting close to the edges at small speeds.

He also demonstrates how to create great stippling with a more challenging-than-steel carbide stylus in the hammer handpiece. Ordinarily finished with a hammer and punch, stipling with the flex shaft enables you to focus only on precision as the machine supplies the force.

master the flex shaft with Andy Cooperman
Andy helps make his individual pit pounders from steel eye screws or eye bolts. They can be utilized for burnishing and compacting surfaces and even for upsetting.

What is a Pit Pounder?

You can purchase rotary burnishers, margin rollers, and the like, but generating your possess is uncomplicated enough. Andy purchases metal eye screws or eye bolts at a components shop and gets rid of the zinc coating by employing a snap-on disc or a rubber wheel.

Soon after removing the zinc, you will have your own pit pounder! You can use it in your Foredom #30 (affiliate url) to burnish and compact surfaces, squeezing metal into the pits. Since the pit pounder enables you to see by way of it as it spins, you can enjoy how your piece is shifting.

This pit pounder can also be employed as a normal hammer, as it has slightly far more pressure than a hammer handpiece for particular scenarios. In upsetting (also referred to as edge forging), you pound the edge with a hammer to thicken it and deliver a great finish.

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


Normally with the flex shaft, the do the job stays stationary when the software spins. However, Andy displays you how to flip that all-around, putting your operate in the handpiece and holding your software continual. 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 middle punches or burnishers. In a approach known as swaging, Andy demonstrates how you can squeeze the tube with round-nose pliers to reshape the metallic. No substance is lost—rather it is compressed.

These six illustrations are just a glimpse into how Andy Cooperman appears to be like to his flex shaft to creatively solve complications. Study significantly a lot more in his workshops. Alternatively, look at out Interweave’s on the web workshops for on-need obtain to an at any time-escalating library of programs.

Go be resourceful!
Tamara Kula

Initially revealed on January 18, 2019. Up-to-date April 5, 2022.

Permit the Flex Shaft Open up Doorways for You!


Resource hyperlink