Trick VIII: Head and Shanks made easy

Soldering just about any type of shank and prong assembly together is routine work for Tom Weishaar, JAr Certified Master Bench JewelerT and shop manager of Underwood's Fine Jewelers in Fayetteville, Ark. Weishaar makes it look easy not only because of his skill level but also because he uses customized head and shank tweezers specially modified for this purpose. Weishaar's invention. Starting with a standard pair of cross-locking tweezers, Tom fashioned the upper arm into a tapered or "V" shape. This allows the arm to fit between the prongs of a setting during soldering. This feature, combined with the concave recess of the lower arm (see illustration), allows the tweezers to aid in centering the head and shank parts for assembly. The upper arm also has a slot at the apex of the "V." This is for an alternative alignment of the head and shank, sometimes referred to as the "compass" s

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