As I noted, this tutorial involves some specialized tools, although you can make some obvious substitutions. Sources for raw sterling silver wire and other supplies include Santa Fe Jeweler's Supply
and Rio Grande
, which is a dead tree catalog-centric company.
Mandrels of various sizes. Despite the fancy name, what we are talking about here is a couple metal or solid rods that wire can be bent around to form rings. You will need one about 0.5" in diameter and one about 0.25" in diameter.
Jeweler's saw. Jeweler's saws have very fine blades. This is one tool you might consider buying, along with some "0" blades. If you don't make the cuts close and straight, soldering becomes a frustrating exercise.
Pliers. For these tasks, I like the small pliers with springs that will keep them naturally open. I also prefer smooth jawed pliers, since anything with knurling in the jaws will mar sterling silver--dead soft sterling silver, which is used here, is very malleable and will show such marks easily. For the most part, I use snub nose pliers, but I also use a pair of rounded jaw pliers and a pair of parallel jaw pliers. Unless you get into this heavily, you may have to figure a substitution here, although you can pick up relatively cheap sets of pliers at Sears Hardware.
Wire Snips. Unless you want to leave bits poking out, you will need a decent small set of wire cutters. Those big lineman's electrical wire cutters won't cut it here... Something with a fairly pointy end and small...
Rawhide Hammer. I use a rawhide hammer in this tutorial because it mars silver less. You can probably get away with a softer hammer, or taping up--and continually retaping--the end of a conventional hammer to soften it a bit.
Torch. Silversmithing was my excuse to get a big oxyacetylene rig, and it can be your excuse too. In all fairness, however, I use a little torch in this tutorial, and the soldering is such that a little torch works pretty well. Mine was actually a gift, and I think its actually designed for putting the sugar crust on creme brulee. There are probably better versions of these things available at Home Depot. They run on butane. I would not recommend one of the big plumbing torches for this--I do this inside. Insert big disclaimer here about things that can burn you and use of gas indoors without adequate ventilation, etc.
Dead Soft Sterling Silver Wire. I use, for this tutorial, 12 ga. (large rings), 14 ga. (small rings), 18 ga. (clasp) and 20 ga. (wrap) wire. I like the relative proportions using those dimensions, but you could sub 12 ga. for the 14 ga., with minor adjustments, 22 ga for 20 ga., etc. Read the tutorial and see where you might choose to do things different.
Silver Solder. I used medium for this--70% silver solder. I recommend using easy solder (65%), but I didn't have any on hand. Or couldn't find it.
Liquid flux. Stuff to solder with. Very small amounts needed. Generally sold in very large quantities.
Pickle. Not that kind of pickle. Pickle is a mild acid used to take the oxidization off after soldering. Again, small amount needed, generally sold in large quantities.
Baking soda. The stuff you get in the grocer's. Used to neutralize pickle and scrub with.
Tumbling Polisher. I use a Lortone tumbling polisher in this tutorial. There are other ways of polishing as well. I used this one because it is in my garage. If you don't have one in your garage, you can probably use silver polish and do it by hand.
Jump Ringer. I use a Jump Ringer system to make jump rings. Again, you have alternatives if you can find metal rods (mandrels to us jewelers). You just need to form circles. Look in Home Depot.
If you want to know more about this kind of stuff, suggested reading includes Indian Jewelry Making
, which, despite its cheezy pictures, is very good.