Gear up for 2024 by optimizing your jewelry workshop with these essential tips to service, care for, and upgrade your equipment.
As the holiday season wraps up, your well-organized workshop has been the backbone of successful projects, helping you to maximize workflow, increase productivity, and maintain high-quality pieces your customers will cherish for a lifetime. With the New Year approaching, it's time to ensure your tools and equipment stay in top shape.
Read on as we guide you through five practical ways to service, care for, and upgrade your equipment, so your shop is fully prepared for everything 2024 has in store.
1. Perform Routine Inspection
Depending on how your space is organized (for example, your equipment may be set up by process), it’s best to begin your routine inspection by closely examining the equipment you use daily. Pay special attention to tools that play a crucial role in specific jobs, and look for signs of wear and tear, such as frayed cables, worn-out components, or any parts that may need replacing.
By incorporating routine inspection techniques into your workflow, you not only safeguard your equipment but also enhance the overall efficiency of your process — it’s always best to stay proactive and catch issues early to keep your workshop running seamlessly throughout the year.
2. Cleaning and Maintenance
While thoroughly inspecting your tools and equipment is a good first step, longevity begins with consistent cleaning and maintenance practices. More than just extending equipment life, a consistent cleaning routine is your ticket to a smooth and successful New Year — and gives your shop a clean slate after the busy holiday season.
You might ask, “How often should I clean or repair this?” Although every tool is different and may require special routines, our experts have provided a breakdown of a few recommended practices for a bench jeweler’s top tools:
Weekly: Wipe the inside chamber and clean both the scope lenses and protective lens. A buildup of soot or metal on the lens can lead to reduced efficiency.
Annually: Change water and air filters, and clean lens protectors, radiators, and your model’s water tank if accessible.
As needed: If all other maintenance practices have been performed, change flashlamps once the power output reduces.
Weekly or as needed: For LED printers, use lens cleaner spray and microfiber cloths to keep glass surfaces free from dust, polymers, or debris before printing. Regularly strain the vat at least once a week to remove particulates and older materials.
Weekly or as needed: Keep the bell jar and rubber pads clean and free from investment to maintain the vacuum seal.
Monthly or as needed: Change the vacuum pump oil when it becomes cloudy. Regularly drain the water from the pump. If the sight glass shows separated oil and water, open the drain valve until only oil, without water bubbles, comes out. Close the valve and refill the oil reservoir to the proper level.
Weekly or as needed: Keep the steel shot clean by running it in a steel shot cleaner or degreaser cleaning solution. Optimal results are achieved by tumbling in cleaner for 10 minutes, rinsing, and repeating until the solution remains clear after 10 minutes.
Daily: Change the cleaning solution frequently. Maintain the water level at about 1 to 1.5 inches from the top of the tank. Ensure the heating element is not exposed by keeping the water level steady, preventing overheating and burnout. For easy top-offs, keep a pitcher of distilled water nearby. If your ultrasonic has fuses, it's also wise to keep spares on hand.
When in doubt, keep these quick tips in mind for easy maintenance:
- Keep a maintenance log: List the dates and services for each machine in a log so you can keep track of what you have done.
- Set aside dedicated time for your shop cleanup: Scheduling a time to do this daily or at least a few times a week makes it a priority.
- Store your manuals in an easy-to-reach space: Inevitably, a piece of equipment may require some troubleshooting. Save time and frustration with manuals that include maintenance procedures for your equipment — and don’t be afraid to ask for help from suppliers or manufacturers.
Services by B&D, A Stuller Company
Dedicated to providing quality and efficient support, we’ve partnered with our trained B&D Sales technicians to assess, troubleshoot, and provide solutions for your laser equipment, bringing you exceptional quality and expert-backed assistance with a diverse range of services, including diagnostic evaluations, repairs, and personalized one-on-one training sessions.
And, with B&D, you can always count on our team to go the extra mile with tailored support — when and wherever you need it. Our experts are ready to diagnose, repair, or service your equipment with precision. As you step into 2024, we aim to give you the confidence that you have everything you need for success, backed by our dedicated technicians.
Learn more about our laser equipment servicing with B&D, a Stuller company, and request a virtual or in-person appointment at your convenience.
3. Stock Up on Consumables
Whether it's laser welding, 3D printing, casting, or day-to-day manufacturing processes, a well-stocked bench and shop keep you prepared for any request. Make sure to keep these essentials on hand for an additional way to stay successful in 2024.
4. Empty Your Scrap Bucket
Not sure what to do with leftover metals and materials? Get more out of your cleaning with an easy practice that can earn your business extra income — recycling your clean metal scrap.
Whether your goal is to tidy up your workshop or to get rid of stagnant inventory, Stuller’s Metal Clean Scrap program provides a seamless solution to transform your surplus metal into rewards. We make it simple for your convenience — send us your high-grade, clean scrap gold, silver, platinum, or palladium, and we process it to offer you some of the highest payouts in the industry.
For more information on fees, payout options, submission details, and more, visit here on Stuller.com.
5. Reinvest In Your Services
Understanding the strengths of your business is a vital step in preparing for a successful upcoming season and year. One way to take your equipment and performance to the next level is to evaluate top-performing services that allow you to reinvest in your business.
Repairs and Restyling
For repairs and restyling, laser welders deliver long-term returns on investment, boost precision, and make it easier than ever to get in-house jobs done faster — a great addition to your 2024 services.
Equip yourself with tools that simplify quick requests, such as durable watch battery selections, and a range of top-of-the-line burs, quality saws, and a selection of abrasives.
For your customization business and services, it’s important to strategize on what you can do to set your business apart from others. Laser engraving equipment works quickly and precisely to meet customer demands while maintaining high craftsmanship. Their efficiency, precision, and versatility make them essential tools for upping your customization services.
Stuller is committed to providing continuous support to empower your success in the jewelry industry. If you have any technical questions or need support with tools, you can reach our Tools Tech team at 1-800-877-7777, extension 4300.
Wishing you a new year filled with abundance, joy, and unparalleled success from our teams at Stuller!