A day at the workbench is often hard on the hands for any jeweller, leaving them sometimes dirty and your fingertips numb or sore from gripping too hard. After a while, this could result in dry and cracked skin which can be painful and not very pleasant to look at
When asked what products our silversmithing community uses to protect their hands, three products topped their list.
Considered complete game changers, Alligator tape, O'keeffe's Work Hands, and Badger Balm are handy tools to help protect yourself. Whether you want protection when polishing, stone setting or sawing - alligator tape is our most recommended product alongside O'Keeffe's Working Hands hand cream and Badger Balm to keep them soft.
ALLIGATOR SKIN FINGER PROTECTION TAPE
A must-have in any jewellers workshop and always being raved about on social media. It works by protecting your fingers throughout your jewellery making project, whether you’re filing, polishing, grinding or stone setting.
It will protect you against any minor cuts, abrasions or burns while also avoiding getting your fingers dirty. It’s also good alongside heat and avoiding numb fingers when gripping down hard, with the tape you can keep a hard grip but avoid any damage to your hands in the process.
Non-sticky and flexible
The tape is a thin, non-sticky material, tears easily and it's really flexible so it won’t restrict your movements when making a design. Its recommend you use a few layers of the alligator tape to make sure it’s secured around your fingers.
You’ll be glad to know that this tape sticks to itself, meaning you won’t have to worry about getting irritated by sticky residue or being unable to remove it after you're done.
Lasts all day
A single application will last you all day long, so this is certainly a handy roll to have in your drawer in times of need. Not only is alligator tape great for jewellery making, it’s also perfect for all kinds of people, from guitarists to Bobbin Lace Makers!
O’KEEFFE’S WORKING HANDS HAND CREAM
When making jewellery all day long, it can cause your hands to become dry and craving moisture. Using this hand cream, it will protect your skin from water loss and avoid dry and cracked skin – which can sometimes be painful too.
It is advised to use O’Keeffe’s Working Hands hand cream after handwashing, bathing and just before you head to bed and of course, it's not just jewellers who need this brilliant cream, it's great for anyone who uses their hands a lot for work.
O'Keeffe's is a brilliant healer and a good cream to use to keep your hands hydrated, especially during the winter months.
The original Badger Balm was designed for the hard-working hands of carpenter's. As it proved to be a very successful formula, Badger Balm grew in popularity.
The all-natural balm is a mixture of beeswax, olive oil and castor oil with healing aloe vera. It helps to sooth, heal, and protect chapped, rough, and weathered skin.
Never use gloves when jewellery making, especially when using a bench polisher - it can end with very serious injuries if it gets trapped in the machine. We recommend tying your hair up, not to wear loose clothing and always do a risk assessment before starting a jewellery project.