What the CRAP?
I believe in maintaining a good level of humor in my life. Often times dry is my most favored method of humor delivery. However, occasionally I go straight for overt throat.
Enter the Cabochon Reclamation And Pry stick, CRAP stick for ease, humor, and brevity. Despite the chucklesome name of this new tool, it packs a lot of figurative CRAP in one alloyed metallic stick.
In recent history tools like this CRAP have been called prong lifters or stone removal tools (Amazon link attached)
They are pretty basic tools. Normally constructed from carbon (hardening steel) or mild (non hardening) steel of a single thickness with notches cut on both sides.
Sometimes called unsetting tool. Versions of this can be homemade and can work quite well if you want to skip my CRAP and its long winded inauguration check out this link to Interweave on making a basic unsetting tool HERE
The idea is to use the supplied notches to assist you in opening prongs or a bezel to rescue a cabochon or gemstone in the midsts of experiencing a setting calamity or lovingly being in a recycled for an inspired new project.
I tend to be a simple man, I think I own six of them. Since I started metalsmithing in 2016 I think they have been brought into service maybe that many times. Why?
I think “why?” Has more to do with the “what” of the issue.
What does the tool do? These tools do pretty much one thing and the design probably hasn’t changed decades. I love tools, but I tend to be IN LOVE with tools that do a lot of CRAP.
While pondering life, tools, what my dogs must have eaten to smell that bad I’ve come to a conclusion, crap I use often stays closer to the main area of my workspace. CRAP I seldom use gets relegated to a dark drawer and forgotten about until it is the only crap for the job. Some tools are perfectly suited for single tasks, its their job and that’s okay.
Enough with that other CRAP and lets talk about the good stuff.
Here is a little diagram to help you understand what the CRAP i'm talking about in reference to this tool.
Anatomy of CRAP
A: Emotional support beverage opener (I prefer non- alcoholic ginger ale or tonic)
B: Wire bending slot
C: Finger placement pads
D: Small pry points
E: Key chain hangy hole option or leverage point
F: General porpoise handle (Yes,I know that’s a air-breathing, warm-blooded mammal that nurse their young but it auto corrected and I liked it, so it stayed)
G: .250 inch hex hole to accept screwdriver or Allen wrench tips
H: Tapered flat pry wedge
I: Tapered talon for opening bezels or for your general prying needs
Some of the early pictures reflect a sightly different looking design such as this photo.
Short story long…
As I design a new tool I start in very metaphorically biological way, from the point of view of an insect.
I start with an idea or egg. This is where everything develops in my trusty brain bucket.
Eventually this tool idea emerges a prototype the larva. Think tool design baby pictures.
Inevitably this metaphoric wormlike CRAP needs some pondering, adjusting and nourishment to grow.
All this growth pushes the tool into the second or third redesign and into an awkward fella insects call a pupa.
The pupa is a teenager that wants to be on your bench with all of the other fun jewelry tools but isn’t quite ready for the responsibility.
Finally after its voice changes and it stops growing and the final design is released we are the proud parent or tool owner of an adult tool ready to see the world and make its place at your bench.
This is a long winded way of explaining that a lot of the pictures you may see online are my tool babies growing up.
Now that i have an adult aged tool to release upon the world lets revisit, "What"
First this CRAP is available in two options at the moment Grade 5 Titanium and 304 stainless steel.
A: Arguably the most useful part of this tool from an emotional support standpoint. The bottle opener. Chances are good if you need to employ the use of this tool you may also need to take a break and enjoy a beverage, because CRAP happens.
B: The wire bending slot can be used to maneuver a prong or assist you in making a tight bend in a wire you are working on.
C: Comfortable finger placement points that allow you to choke up on the tool for more precise crap.
D: Several shapes of pry points give options for rock-ribbed demolition jobs or tricky stone rescue business dealings.
E: Keychain or hangy hole. Additionally this hole can be used as a leverage point when using the tapered wedge. If you need to pry open a fold form or provide more of a rotational prying action insert a rod into the hole and use the rod as a handle for stronger rotational prying.
F: General porpoise handle for all your gripping and sea mammal needs.
G: I am most excited to add this into the final adult tool. This is a .250 inch hex hole that fits standard 1/4 inch hex screw driver tips. This CRAP is also a screwdriver, Allen wrench, small socket wrench, and more depending your tip.
H: The tapered wedge looks like a pry bar. The tool is .187 inch thick except at this wedge. The wedge tapers from .187 inch to .020 inch. The rapid taper works to quickly pry open an element, bezel and even a fold form.
I: The tapered talon is attached to one end of the wedge. This added talon provides a sharp tapered point for insertion and prying.
[ Imagine the glorious screech of the bald eagle.]
This CRAP will be getting its own Youtube Video. However, at the moment I have set some synthetic calibrated stones in the most CRAP inspired way to give a little pictorial about this this CRAP works.
Here is the side profile of the Tapered wedge (H). The slightly rounded fast taper allows for quick opening and prying action .
Using the tapered talon I am inserting just the tip this this CRAP between the bezel and the stone. I polish the working surfaces of the tool so stone damage will hopefully be minimal or nil.
With the tip inserted I use a slight prying combined with a pull and a wiggle [sounds like a dance].
Here are a few slightly different angles of whats happening.
Before you know it this CRAP is finished. I photographed one more example to help those visual folks like myself.
1.The stainless steel option will be polished metal. this CRAP is made to order in Right and left hand options
I hope this CRAP's for you !