Monday, February 18, 2013


Not long ago I watched an episode of Sesame Street with my two and half year old niece and really enjoyed the segment "word on the street". The particular word for that day was 'ticklish', Iona loved watching Grover ask people on the street what ticklish was and in the end everyone jumped on Grover and tickled him until he couldn't take it anymore.

Anyway, I thought I would start doing a 'word on the street' for my blog related to words makers use. So, if you are a maker of any sort like a woodworker, ceramicist, silversmith or tinkerer of any kind and use terminology that is specific to your craft, then drop me a line and I'll include it on this blog. 

So, to todays 'word on the street' - lemel. What is lemel you may ask? Well it's simply all the metal dust and shavings that are created from filing, sawing and finishing metal. These bits end up in the tray of a jeweller's bench. The reason why it is so important to have a tray or something similar to collect all this stuff is because it is pretty precious. Silver and gold lemel can be sent together with scrap pieces of precious metal back to the metal merchants to get refined and melted down to create more sheets of metal. 

I sweep up my lemel on a regular basis and pop it into a container or jar. I try to keep various metals I use separate and label each container accordingly and when I have a few kilograms of scrap and lemel I send it off to get refined. 

So, dear reader, that's the lowdown on what lemel is. Hope your day is proving to be a good one. Until next time, cheerio and have fun making.


  1. Dear Sylvia,

    I didn't found 'lemel' in any dictionary. Is this an official term or more or less a colloquial term used in your jewellery branch or just used by Australians?
    What you call 'lemel" I would call 'swarf". We produce an incredible amount of swarf (iron and aluminium fillings) in the shopfloors of the company I work for. We use many lathes, turning-milling centers, multi-axis machining centers and industrial robots to produce workholding and toolholding systems (lathe chucks & chuck jaws, vices, magnetic chucks, clamping force blocks, toolhlder systems, ...) as well as robot grippers (including swivel and rotary units, linear axis, robot accessories and mobile gripping systems) and so on and so forth.
    You see - more or less we work in the same branch!

    But lemel..., we never created lemel. ;-)


  2. Yep, lemel is a trade term for all the dirty dusty stuff you see in the picture. The term is used in the US and I think UK as well. I create swarf too, when I drill the metal I use, they are those lovely curly bits.

    Wow, robot grippers sound a little scary!

    Yes, more of less we are working in the same business - your company makes huge metal things and I make little things.


  3. Here's a youtube video about a gripping application inside a small machining center, Sylvia. It might help you to get a better idea what we do when talking about grippers for industry robots. The company I work for is world market leader in these gripping systmes and of course you can buy them in Australia, too, via our Australian distributor. :-)


  4. Now I get what they are. Not scary at all. :-)