Friday, September 18, 2015

Cabochons - Cabochon masher tool

I picked up this cabochon mashing tool, Jelveh's Cabachon (sic) Maker - I was browsing Etsy - looking for something else entirely - of course.

I have been making cabochon-y type objects for awhile, and it is not hard to do, but keeping the back flat and stable can be a little frustrating. So when I saw this - it was - "I have to have that ..." .

 When it arrived, I realized it was quite a bit smaller than I had anticipated - probably because I have a collection of Jim Moore's magnificent mashers - which are all very large. So that was pretty much what I had in my head.

 You can see that it is a flat masher with a cut-out on one side for the mandrel, and ...
 a concave, half-lentil masher on the other.
 Here it is with the ubiquitous Windex bottle for size comparison.

 It's function is to make cabochons on the end of a mandrel. Without the glass punty - you spend less time farting around separating them, and they are much thinner. (No reason you couldn't add a glass loop and turn them into pendants - just sayin'.)

On the left - Dark Fossil. On the right, random left-over high-silver twistie.

These two below are made on a loop of stainless steel wire, instead of a mandrel (I wanted the wire attached for use after.) These are a little irregular in shape - with the doubled wires on the back, they are a little harder to rotate smoothly.

Shots of the backs, two on wires, and two on mandrels. 

It only took me a couple of cabs to realize that rotating the mandrel while gently mashing/shaping gave me better results - instead of having a ridge on the back (see left most and right most above) where the glass oozes through the mandrel access slot.

The metal is not brass as this photo appears to indicate - that's a reflection. 

Better shot of the best one so far. 
 And the back after pulling off the mandrel. Yes - I used a dipped mandrel.
 While the masher is smaller than I anticipated, and probably smaller than I would have requested had I been specifying it, it does actually make a nice, manageable size cab. That would make a nice ring.
 Here is another one - made on a single wire. I coiled the end of the wire to catch more of the glass and make the connection stronger.
 From the bottom, you can see the coil. A wire sticking straight into the cab, given the shallowness of it, didn't seem too secure. The coil gives the wire more surface area to hang onto.

So, overall - I'm pretty happy with it. It's well made, the spring action in the handle is adequate, the two parts come together to be parallel at the point of closure - which is exactly where you would want it for this. The concave part is beautifully polished. Overall - this is a win.

I would probably still want a larger size if they had it, with a deeper cup. But that is just me. More is more!

Tool is available on Etsy here, or ask your favourite glass tool store if they can carry it.

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