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Details for Precious Metal Workers


Description

Cast, anneal, solder, hammer, or shape gold, silver, pewter or other metals to form jewelry or other metal items such as goblets or candlesticks.

Tasks

  • Shape and straighten damaged or twisted articles by hand or using pliers.
  • Verify that bottom edges of articles are level, using straightedges or by rocking them back and forth on flat surfaces.
  • Design and fabricate models of new casting molds, and chipping and turning tools used to finish product surfaces.
  • Strike molds in order to separate dried castings from molds.
  • Solder parts together or fill holes and cracks with metal solder, using gas torches.
  • Strike articles with small tools, or punch them with hammers, to indent them or restore embossing.
  • Trim gates and sharp points from cast parts, using band saws.
  • Weigh and mix alloy ingredients, using formulas and knowledge of ingredients' chemical properties.
  • Wire parts such as legs, spouts, and handles to article bodies in preparation for soldering.
  • Carry castings or finished items to storage areas or to different work stations.
  • Design silver articles such as jewelry and serving pieces.
  • Sand interior mold parts to remove glaze residue, apply new glaze to molds, and allow it to dry for mold assembly.
  • Secure molded items in chucks of lathes, and activate lathes to finish inner and outer surfaces of items.
  • Weigh completed items to determine weights and record any deviations.
  • Research reference materials, analyze production data, and consult with interested parties to develop ideas for new products.
  • Anneal precious metal objects such as coffeepots, tea sets, and trays in gas ovens for prescribed times to soften metal for reworking.
  • Assemble molds, wrap molds in heat-resistant cloth, and ladle molten alloy into mold openings, repeating casting processes as necessary to produce specified numbers of parts.
  • Cut and file pieces of jewelry such as rings, brooches, bracelets, and lockets.
  • Determine placement of auxiliary parts, such as handles and spouts, and mark locations of parts.
  • Engrave decorative lines on items, using engraving tools.
  • Examine articles to determine the nature of defects requiring repair, such as dents, uneven bottoms, scratches, or holes.
  • Form concavities in bottoms of articles to improve stability, using tracing punches and hammers.
  • Glue plastic separators to handles of coffeepots and teapots.
  • Hammer out dents and bulges, selecting and using hammers and dollies with heads that correspond in curvature to article surfaces.
  • Heat ingots or alloy mixtures to specified temperatures, stir mixtures and skim off impurities, and then fill molds to form ingots from which parts are cast.
  • Peen edges of scratches or holes to repair defects, using peening hammers.
  • Pierce and cut open designs in ornamentation, using hand drills and scroll saws.
  • Polish articles by hand or by using a polishing wheel.
  • Position and align auxiliary parts in jigs, and join parts using solder and blowtorches.
  • Position articles over snarling tools and then raise design areas, using foot-powered hammers.
  • Rotate molds to distribute alloys and to prevent formation of air pockets.
  • Route out locations where parts are to be joined to items, using routing machines.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Knowledge

Skills

Related Careers

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  • Electric Motor, Power Tool, and Related Repairers
  • Etchers and Engravers
  • Fabric and Apparel Patternmakers
  • Jewelers
  • Molding and Casting Workers
  • Shoe and Leather Workers and Repairers
  • Solderers and Brazers
  • Tool and Die Makers
Wages for this career
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